Christian Aid 2021

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Christian Aid 2021

Week 10th-16th May

The funds raised during Christian Aid Week will help people living in poverty around the world, and we are proud to have you standing alongside us for dignity, equality, justice and love.

 

Short magazine article

With every gift, we help people like Rose and stop this climate crisis  

In Kenya, extreme weather is making it harder and harder to survive. For communities fighting the climate crisis, every last drop matters and every last one of us can help them thrive. The coronavirus pandemic has only increased the urgent need for families to access a reliable source of water.

The devastating climate crisis robs people of the water and food they need to live.

Rose walks for six hours to fetch water for her grandchildren. She tries hard to give them the kind of life she remembers from when she was a girl: when the rivers flowed with water and the crops bore fruit.

Rose and her grandchildren shouldn’t have to go hungry. A simple earth dam, built with the help of Christian Aid’s partners and your donations, could completely change her life. This Christian Aid Week, you can be one of the hundreds of thousands of our supporters who give, act and pray to stop this climate crisis driving people like Rose to hunger.

From envelope collections to walking 300,000 steps in May, Christian Aid Week brings people together as one community against global poverty and injustice.

This Christian Aid Week (10-16 May), please:

  • Give generously to help ensure people like Rose fight this climate crisis.
  • Act as we call on the UK Prime Minister to lead the world with ambitious climate action that will also address inequality.
  • Pray for a radical change of heart for politicians, and that as a global community we will care for our common home and for people living in poverty.

 

Together we stop this climate crisis.

Join us at caweek.org

 

 

Long magazine article

With every gift, with every voice, with every prayer, with every action, we stop this climate crisis.

Our planet is changing, but some people are feeling the effects of this more than others. Weather extremes are now more frequent and more intense due to the climate crisis and one place that has experienced this is Kenya.  

In parts of Kenya in 2020, drought was followed by relentless rainfall and flooding, which damaged crops that had struggled to grow. Together, the climate chaos and coronavirus are a double threat to lives and livelihoods.

Climate chaos is causing a hunger crisis

In Kitui, eastern Kenya, 8 out of 10 people depend on rain to grow crops. Without water, staple crops like maize and beans wither up and die. People can’t earn a living and they go hungry.

People are forced to walk further and further to collect water. This daily burden robs them of the chance to farm and grow food for their families. Elderly women and children are especially vulnerable on these dangerous journeys and can face robbery or conflict as people battle over scarce resources. Cows, sheep and goats are becoming weaker and weaker. They can’t produce milk or be sold. People are struggling to cope. Lives are at risk. Families need every last drop to survive this climate chaos.

Christian Aid has been working in Kenya since 1997. One of our long-standing partners in Kenya is Anglican Development Services – Eastern (ADSE). Christian Aid and ADSE are working together with communities in Kitui county to help them to adapt to drought as well as flooding, as climate chaos robs people of control over their lives.

ADSE helps communities build earth and sand dams, and rock catchments, so they can harvest water near their homes. Dams are simple and cost-effective natural storage solutions. They catch the rain when it falls, increase the amount of stored water available to communities, defend against intense rain and flooding, and free women and girls from making long and dangerous journeys to collect water.

Meet Rose: a loving, hard-working grandmother

One woman who is experiencing the worst of  the climate crisis is Rose. A grandmother, Rose is an experienced village leader. She is proud to be able to cover the costs of her grandchildren’s education by working as a casual labourer.

After her husband died in 2006, Rose began to feel ill. She went to hospital and was diagnosed with HIV. She says: ‘My faith has helped me to accept my status and I believe that, with the doctor’s advice, I will live a long life.’ The medication Rose takes requires her to eat a balanced diet, but because of the long journeys to get water, she can’t farm the vegetables she needs and she goes hungry.

In this desperate climate chaos, Rose battles to bring water home for her grandchildren. Every morning, after nothing to eat, she sets out on a long, dangerous journey, walking six hours to collect water.

While she walks, her stomach gives her stabbing pains. She feels weary under the hot sun and the full jerry cans are heavy (40 litres of water weigh 40kg). Her aching legs walk on, because if she gives up, her grandchildren will suffer hunger and thirst. ‘We have to walk long distances. We are suffering,’ she says.

Rose needs every last drop to survive the climate chaos

Rose remembers her childhood when the rain was reliable and there was plenty of food. She wishes her grandchildren could have the same lives; instead, she hopes that her sacrifices will give them the chance of a better future. But the climate crisis is driving her to the brink. When she arrives home, exhausted, her grandson Charles cooks her a meagre bowl of porridge – but he knows she is still hungry.

But it shouldn’t have to reach this breaking point.

There is a nearby earth dam just minutes away from Rose’s home. It should be a lifeline. But it’s not wide or deep enough for everyone’s needs. It runs out of water too quickly.

Rose and her community need a bigger dam, to help them capture the rainfall and create a long-lasting source of water for their families.

A song of hope and power

What happens when the search for water does not consume people’s lives? What happened when people have the water they need to thrive?

We can find out by meeting Florence: a woman who has transformed her life with access to a dam full of water.

Florence is a soulful, joyful woman: full of life, love and laughter. The women in her farming group look up to her. She’s courageous and kind – a survivor.

A few years ago, her husband died, leaving her a widow. At that time, she had no water to grow crops. Her children were hungry. Like Rose does now, she had to walk for hours to collect water. ‘Life was miserable,’ she told us.

Florence could easily have been defeated. But she is a fighter. With help from Christian Aid’s local partner, Florence and her community were able to build a dam together, just 30 minutes from her house.

Using water from the dam, Florence grows tomatoes, onions and chillies on her farm. Her children can eat healthy, nutritious vegetables, and she has enough left to sell. It’s her source of life and joy.

Florence also uses the dam to keep bees: the microclimate of plants growing around the dam means the bees don’t need to search long distances for nectar. She sells the rich, golden honey at the market.

She says: ‘I have been sustained by the earth dam. My life has changed. I am very happy. You can see it in my face: my face is shining. I have strength and power.’

Blessings for all in need

You can see Florence’s strength and power as she hauls heavy buckets to water her crops. You can see her strength and power as she sings to encourage the women with whom she farms. You can see her strength and power as she takes climate justice into her own hands.

Florence is a generous woman of faith. She knows others are struggling to cope without a reliable water source, and wishes the same blessings she has received will be granted to them: ‘There is a village nearby – they don’t have an earth dam. They are suffering. I am thankful to people who have donated to build this earth dam. I am praying God will increase their giving.’

This Christian Aid Week, will you stand with people like Rose and Florence?

Please donate this Christian Aid Week (10-16 May). Your gift could help a community build an earth dam, providing a regular and reliable source of water in affected areas of Kenya.

  • £4.40 could teach 10 farmers how to plant drought-tolerant crops that can survive the drought.
  • £10 could buy a pair of taps at a water point which will be installed at an earth dam, making it easier for people to fetch water.
  • £42 could buy 350kg of cement, which is needed to build an earth dam.
  • £545 could pay for a skilled labourer to work on the construction of an earth or sand dam.

Every pound raised, every prayer said and every action taken, are expressions of our Christian love and compassion, of our belief that all life is equal and precious in the sight of God. Together, we stop this climate crisis, and give brave, hard-working women like Rose the chance to thrive.

You can also join us as we call on the UK Prime Minister to lead the world with ambitious climate action that will also address inequality.

Also, pray with us for a radical change of heart for politicians, and that as a global community we will care for our common home and for people living in poverty.

We can all be part of the solution. All we need is courage and determination.

Stand together with us to fight this climate crisis.

Join us this Christian Aid Week. Donate at caweek.org

 


Hi,

I have something to share with the Churches of Cornwall and it would be great if you could help me get this out, far and wide, in the next week, before Christian Aid Week. It’s a very recent development, ready for the G7:

Cornwall will be hosting the G7 in June and we would like the churches of Cornwall to send a strong message to these world leaders, urging a response to the Climate Emergency. We would like to start a ‘Wave of Hope’ across the county and ask all churches to order their Tool Kit  here https://www.christianaid.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/wave-hope and make HANDS ready to put in displays outside your church in the fortnight ahead of the G7. Why not tell your churches about the Wave of Hope in Christian Aid Week and ask them to make their hands by the end of the month (31st May). The hands can then be displayed outside each church and we can send in photos to the local press, along with a press release prepared by Christian Aid. Please email Katrine Musgrave on kmusgrave@christian-aid.org  to say you are happy to be part of the Wave of Hope and make a display of hands at your church. Better still – choose ONE OF YOUR HANDS (Max A4 in size; brightly coloured; WEATHER RESISTANT – fabric or recycled materials) and write your name and church/chapel on the back; and send it to Rev’d Etienne van Blerk at The Vicarage, Porthrepta Road, Carbis Bay TR26 2LD. These hands, representing the churches of Cornwall,  will then be added to a Wave of Hope display on St Anta church in Carbis Bay, for all G7 delegates to witness, several times a day!

If you could please put this on your church website, church Facebook page and in the church newsletter, that would be wonderful! And any other social media avenues you have access to.

Thanks so much for your help with this!

With warmest wishes,

Katrine Musgrave
Church Engagment and Fundraising Officer, Devon and Cornwall.

 

 

 

 


Christian Aid Week Talk/Penlee Cluster, Cornwall/Revd Andrew Yates

Pre-record for a zoom service, May 2021

 

Good morning, my name is Katrine Musgrave and I work with Christian Aid supporters and churches across Cornwall and Devon. It’s lovely to be with you here today, albeit virtually!

In our reading from John today (Ch15:9-17) we have heard Jesus say ‘I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.’ This verse is the purpose statement of the long parting speech from Jesus to his disciples. To speak of joy when he himself is on the threshold of deep trial and suffering is an indication of what joy is. It was for the joy Jesus could see before him that he endured the cross. Despite the suffering of Good Friday and the silence of Holy Saturday, this is a joy that believes that Sunday is coming. This joy does not deny sorrow or suffering but co-exists with them. Jesus’ parting words to his disciples are an encouragement to abide in the love of God and dig deep into consistent, uncircumstantial joy.

And he knows that they are going to need each other to get through. Their love for one another and their sacrificial giving for their friends will strengthen them to endure. It is not duty, obligation or command that will enable them to remain faithful and bear lasting fruit. It is love, friendship and joy.

Love, friendship and joy is what we hope lies at the heart of our experience of Christian Aid Week. We hope that it’s our love for one another that inspires our generous giving. That it is our sense of friendship with the communities we get to know through Christian Aid Week, that motivates us to sacrificial acts of solidarity. And it is through our generous giving and sacrificial actions that we bear lasting fruit and know complete joy.

This year our stories focus on east Africa and how the climate crisis is having a significant impact on communities in Kenya. The main problem is the lack of access to a reliable source of water to help them withstand the unpredictable weather made worse through the climate crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic has only increased the urgent need for families to access a reliable source of water for handwashing. In Kitui county, eastern Kenya, 8 out of 10 people depend on water to grow crops, for food and to earn a living. People are struggling to cope. Lives are at risk.

Out in Kenya Christian Aid is working with Rose - who is caught in a cycle of climate chaos. From severe drought to flooding, extreme weather robs her of what she needs to survive: a reliable source of water. Without water, every day is a struggle. Without water, Rose is thirsty and hungry. This is her climate crisis. ‘When I was a young girl, there was plenty of food,’ Rose says. Now, the rains are totally unreliable. The climate crisis has galvanised extreme weather and Rose’s community are feeling the brunt of it. For months at a time, Rose lives with drought. ‘I often feel hungry,’ Rose says. ‘Because of climate change, I worry a lot about food. I pray to God that the rainfall will become normal like it used to be.’ In recent years, the drought has been so bad that it’s caused a hunger crisis. Crops wither and die. Rivers run dry. Rose strives to provide for her grandchildren who live with her. She does all she can to give them happy childhoods, but the climate crisis is driving her to the brink. In times of drought, Rose sets out on a long and dangerous journey every morning to collect water for her family. While she walks, her stomach gives her stabbing pains. She feels weary under the hot sun. But if she gives up, her grandchildren will suffer hunger and thirst. With a dam full of water, Rose would be free from her long, painful journeys. She’d have time to grow fresh vegetables for her family to eat. And she could see her grandchildren grow up and live life in all its fullness. This Christian Aid week your donations will help to create dams for communities in Kenya so that people like Rose can have a reliable water source and confidence in the future.

So you see, the joy that we experience in and through Christian Aid Week does not lead us away from suffering and struggle, but towards it. We choose to look towards the pain and see the possibilities for transformation. Jesus goes on to explain to the disciples, in John Ch16, that even pain will turn to a joy that no one can remove. Alice Walker wrote ‘resistance is the secret of our joy’. This Christian Aid Week, I pray that we all choose to enter into the struggle with Rose and love our neighbour as Jesus has commanded. Amen.