Ask The CRS Experts in The Field

If you’re a CRS supporter or interested observer, you know that we work in over 100 countries. We try on our website and blog to keep you informed about all the work you do through CRS. But have you ever wondered about what it’s like to be a field worker, work in Afghanistan of Guatemala city or Zambia or any of a thousand other places? We’d like to know what question or questions you’d ask. In turn, we’ll try to answer those questions in future stories. So …

If you could ask a question of any CRS staffer who works with the poor, what would it be?

Post your question in the comment section.

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37 Responses to “Ask The CRS Experts in The Field”

  1. Joe Says:

    What are you living arrangements like?
    What do you do for fun after your days work is done?

  2. Harriette Seiler Says:

    How often do you encounter medical teams, doctors or nurses trained in Cuba?

  3. Maureen Baehr Says:

    How do you reconcile what the pope has said about condoms in Africa with your real world, on the ground experience?

    CRS response: Our experience with those fighting AIDS in Africa, including those who advocate the use of condoms, is that there is a recognition that the pandemic will not be stopped without significant behavior change of the type that the Catholic Church and CRS promote. If you haven’t already seen it, you may find this article of interest:

  4. Joyce Hyttinen Says:

    What is it about the poor and serving the poor that is transformative. I am assuming that you change interiorly from an experience such as CRS offers.

  5. Martha Says:

    How do you cope with the constant needs and the probable oppression these poor ones suffer?

  6. Ken Balaskovits Says:

    How efficient are the CRS funds used compared to other organizations in the field?

    CRS Response: Ken, CRS has a reputation for being one of the most efficient and effective humanitarian agencies operating in the developing world. We take pride in the fact that 93 cents of every dollar we spend goes to our programs in the field. We have been recognized as a top-rated charity and given the rating of A by the American Institute of Philanthropy for efficiently using the majority of our funds toward programming versus fundraising.

  7. Frank Fried Says:

    I am a priest and plan to travel to Africa for a few weeks as part of a three month sabbatical to learn about the church in Kenya, Rwanda and Cameroon.
    If I can take some time in Nairobi (for instance) could I visit a worksite in the region?

  8. Kathy Berken Says:

    What do you think is the best way for a person who is not working in the field to help alleviate the suffering of the poor?

  9. Christine Says:

    So many of us are hanging on by a thread economically and there just isn’t a penny left to give. How can we help?

    And for those who might realize how useless the pursuit of material comfort truly is, how can they sell all they have and join you in the mission fields?

    God bless each of you!

  10. Robert Wheeldon Says:

    How badly are the poor being hurt by the rising price of food?

    What is CRS doing to stop the manufacture of motor vehicle fuel from food?

    What is CRS doing to stop the conversion of U.S. farm land from growing food to growing motor vehicle fuel crops?

  11. Elizabeth Sheppard Says:

    I give all I can of my money and time (which is precious little). I wish I could do more. How can one person have a greater impact on the root causes of poverty? I feel that my small efforts are just band-aids. I know I am rich by the world’s standards, and though I try not to be like the rich young ruler, like him find myself feeling sad.

  12. Nancy Fitzpatrick Says:

    What projects sponsored by the “first” world hold the most promise for helping people permanently lift out of poverty – or at least out of extreme poverty?

  13. Paul Gifford Says:

    Could you explain how US subsidies to American farmers hurt the economies of developing nations? Is there a case where the US subsidy to a farm weakens third world nation causing us to provide foreign aid to that country to keep it going?

  14. Caroline Ossorio Says:

    I’ve been watching The Blue Planet and the BBC series on Earth. Nature does not take care of the weak; those that cannot provide for themselves. Volunteering for Mother Teresa in Calcutta had me asking myself why she was helping those that only dragged on until death freed them instead of helping those who would soon enough take off and fly. Why do you require so much money to do God’s will? Politicians also demand much bucks to do what they think is right. Where is the power of the Holy Spirit in the world?

  15. Michael Says:

    As you give of yourselves to help those in need, how often do you share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those willing to listen? Every day? Every week? Monthly? I’m assuming it is concern for the eternal salvation of others, rich and poor, that differentiates Catholic Relief Services from other relief services.

    God bless you,


  16. Gerri Duzenack Says:

    Keep up the good work. But please do not get entangled with

    any organizations that promote abortion.

    Beware of “reproductive health services” which always means abortion.

    Thank you, Mrs. Duzenack

  17. Jennifer Rouyer Says:

    How did you get interested in doing this work with the poor?

  18. Lou Hagler Says:

    I am interested in providing clean water to a town in central Haiti. What is the best way; kloralfast, filtered water bottling station, filters? What does CRS recommend? cholrine doent kill protozoa, do filters alone work?

  19. john burger Says:

    What is the most surprising thing a poor person has taught you?

  20. Olga Says:

    What draws you to this work? Is it a job for you or a calling? How to you insure that you are in fact working and living in solidarity with the poor you serve when you often come from a more privileged background as an international aid worker? What steps do you take to minimize the power differential that must exist?

  21. Richard Malaya Says:

    1.What motivate CRS staff to work for the poor and the need in society?
    2.Despite all the foreign aid support received in our community the poor are always with us.Infact the poor have become more helpless and the number is always growing in our community.As CRS do you have ideas and permanet solutions to end poverty at grassroot level in our community especially in Africa ?
    3.As a laity in the Church with humble qualifications that do not meet the CRS requirements how best can I help the poor in my community and work hand in hand with CRS Staff.
    4.Most African governments lack transparent and accountability.What is CRS doing to fight corruption which one of the root cause of poverty in most African Countries?

  22. Daniel Mellon Sr Says:

    What do you think about President Obama’s programs to help the poor of this world.

  23. Cathryn Fields Says:

    I am sure you must feel verry happy and blessed to be providing help and life saving support to those in desperate need, but do you every become overwhelmed with emotion, or difficutlties of your work environment? If so, how get through it and carry on with your blessed work?

  24. Cynthia Says:

    My prayers are with you and your efforts to assist the people in need. One benefit of these economically challenging times in America is that many Americans will be better able to identify with some of the struggles of these poor people.

    I have a few questions. One is – what type of programs are being funded or organized to provide clean water to drink and produce cops or agriculture? The other is – what is being done to deal with the AIDs epidemic? Are efforts being made to isolate those infected from the rest of the population, particularly the vulnerable? I would certainly like to get involved where I can.
    Thank you.

  25. Maribeth Says:

    Are we making any real progress? Sometimes it feels as though nothing is really changing.

  26. Kevin Cushing Says:

    I do hope that Christ (and His Church) remain the center of all your great activities that promote the human person as an image of God. Otherwise, no matter how good the acts may seem right now, at death they will all be worthless without Him at the helm.

  27. Betsy Johnson Says:

    Working among the poor must be very rewarding but it must also be very difficult to stay energized in the midst of human suffering. How do you stay focused and committed and stave off burn-out?

  28. What Are We Missing? | Voices of CRS Says:

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  29. Leonora S Says:

    Can you imagine anything more rewarding than the work you do with the poor? I know that God blesses you every day for your work with his poor children. I ask God to continue to bless you.

  30. Elaine Trimble Says:

    Is CRS working in Darfur?

  31. John Lindner Says:

    Elaine Trimble,
    Yes, CRS continues to operate in Dafur.

  32. Reader Question: What Holds Most Promise to End Poverty? | Voices of CRS Says:

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  33. Barbara Says:

    I know from recent CRS newsletters that you are helping the economically disadvantaged to sustain themselves through micro-financing, and this is very hopeful. I am sure that those who were offered an opportunity to participate in this project, felt empowered as they should, to begin to see themselves in a position of normality when they are able to provide for themselves and their families. My question for the field staff is:
    over the years, do you ever have those who have been assisted by CRS return to CRS sites themselves, to assist those after them and also to promote the programs of CRS among their own people?
    Thank you for all that you do.

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  37. kellyobalu Says:

    i would like to be a csr volunteer in kenya or any other country…how do i register or request for this since there is no such information from the csr nor is there a link in the csr website for online applications as a volunteer

    [editor’s note: please see this page:]

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