Issuu on Google+

Get your boots on for our Cut the Carbon march

50 years of Christian Aid Week – looking back on a remarkable achievement

A world of many more Darfurs Christian Aid’s stark warning that climate change could mean 1 billion more people forced from their homes by 2050

Issue 36 p01 CAN Cover.indd 1

Summer 2007

www.christianaid.org.uk 5/6/07 12:58:25


USE THE VIRTUAL WORLD TO SAVE THE REAL ONE.

Sign up to Surefish Broadband and 100% of the profits go to Christian Aid. Surefish has launched new broadband products with speeds of up to 8mb. You get faster internet access and poor communities get the chance of a better life. Visit surefish.co.uk/broadband, or call 0870 60 70 585.

CLIENT JOB NUMBER STUDIO NUMBER

Christian Aid CAxxxx 002452

DATE

5 JUNE 2007

DESCRIPTION

CA SUREFISH

SIZE PAGE PROOF NUMBER

ACCOUNT MANAGER

300x225

ART DIRECTOR

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

STUDIO

1 of 1 1

MEDIA SCHEDULE

REPRO PUBLICATION

CA NEWS

SPELL CHECK


UK registered charity number 1105851 Company number 5171525 Republic of Ireland charity number CHY 6998

Editor’s letter

Christian Aid News is printed on 100 per cent recycled paper

F1394

An audio version of this issue is available. Call 08700 787 788 for details

Burmese refugee Saw No Reh hid in the jungle with his family after soldiers burnt down their village

Special report

■ 14 THE HUMAN TIDE ■ 28 INPUT Your letters and emails

REGULARS ■ 4 NEWS Emergency appeal for Darfur…Crisis in Somalia…Showcases for climate change work…Volunteers out in force for Christian Aid Week ■ 10 CAMPAIGNS Countdown to the Cut the Carbon march; trade justice rally targets embassies; two years after Gleneagles – the promises still to be delivered ■ 22 REFLECTION Paul Langley looks back on the enduring tradition of Christian Aid Week’s house-to-house collection ■ 24 COMMENT 60th anniversary of India’s independence is a time to remember the nation’s poor, says Christian Aid director Daleep Mukarji

■ 30 EVENTS Where to go and what to see

FEATURES ■ 8 THE BIG PICTURE 40 years after the Six-Day War, what next for Israel and the Palestinians? ■ 13 ZIMBABWE’S TRAGEDY How hyper-inflation is robbing a generation of a brighter future ■ 14 THE REAL MIGRATION CRISIS – SPECIAL REPORT Climate change is set to swell the human tide of displaced people ■ 20 EMOTIONAL JOURNEY Singer Lemar visits Uganda to promote Christian Aid Week ■ 22 FIFTY YEARS OF CHRISTIAN AID WEEK How it all began in 1957 – and how it all went in 2007

■ 26 DO THE RIGHT THING Star tips for greener gardening; go online with Surefish and boost our funds; win a solar charger

8

Christian Aid/Anjali Kwatra

WHILE CONTROVERSY rumbles on about the influx of migrant workers into western Europe, a much more significant migration crisis is unfolding around the world. Conflicts, large-scale development projects and, increasingly, climate change are fuelling mass movements of displaced people. The vast majority of these never leave their own countries. Unable to go back to their homes but with nowhere else to go, they grind out an often desperate existence in makeshift camps. A report for Christian Aid week, Human Tide: the Real Migration Crisis, urges action to help these lost millions while grimly predicting that climate change could create a further 1 billion by 2050. Read our six-page feature, starting on page 14. This issue of Christian Aid News is something of an anniversary edition. It’s the 60th year of Indian independence but, on page 24, Christian Aid director Daleep Mukarji reminds us not to forget ‘the other India’ – the poor, the marginalised, living on less than 50p a day. It’s also the 40th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories but, as we report on page 8, there’s little cause for celebration among the inhabitants of that divided land. On a more positive note, we’re hailing the 50th year of Christian Aid Week on page 22. In just a few weeks’ time Christian Aid’s longest walk will begin with the first steps in Belfast, as our campaigners set out on the Cut the Carbon march, carrying the central message of our Climate Changed campaign around Britain. The countdown begins on page 10. Finally, from the end of June if you log on to our website www.christianaid.org.uk you’ll notice a few changes. We’ve freshened it up and made it much more user-friendly. We hope you enjoy it. Roger Fulton, editor

Contents Summer 2007 Issue 36

20

24

30

Christian Aid works with the world’s poorest people in more than 50 countries, regardless of race or faith. We tackle the causes and consequences of poverty and injustice. We are part of ACT International, the ecumenical relief network.

■ Cover A woman waits for plastic sheeting in a Darfur camp: Christian Aid/David Rose ■ Pictures Robin Prime ■ Subeditors Lucy Southwood, Andy Jacques ■ Circulation Ben Hayward ■ Design & production David Lloyd/Circle Publishing, 020 8332 2709 ■ Christian Aid head office 35 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7RL ■ Tel 020 7620 4444 ■ Fax 020 7620 0719 ■ Email info@christian-aid.org ■ Stay in touch with us online > News, campaigns and resources www.christianaid.org.uk ■ Christian and ethical service provider www.surefish.co.uk ■ Children and schools www.globalgang.org.uk ■ Our campaigning and student website www.pressureworks.org

Christian Aid News

p03_contents.indd 3

3

6/6/07 11:43:27


Picture: Christian Aid/Richard Smith

Darfur emergency appeal ■ Carbon offset plan news christian aid

Emergency appeal for Darfur aid JUST WEEKS after launching its own Darfur appeal last month, Christian Aid joined with other leading international aid charities in a Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal to save lives in Darfur, Chad and the Central African Republic. With 4.5 million people affected by the ongoing conflict, the looming rains are bringing the risk of deadly conditions like diarrhoea and malaria, especially for children, pregnant mothers and the elderly. Money raised by the DEC appeal will provide shelter, clean water and sanitation. It will also buy vital items such as water

buckets, blankets and soap, and enable medical teams to provide emergency care. With malnutrition levels already rising in some areas, agencies also need to bolster life-saving food and medicine stocks before the downpours hit. Storms will also make the delivery of aid a much more difficult task, with tracks disappearing and swollen rivers becoming all but impossible to cross – meaning help needs to arrive as soon as possible. DEC chief executive Brendan Gormley said: ‘We are seeing one of the greatest concentrations of human suffering right now in Darfur and Chad, and the rains will make the

situation even worse. The money raised by the British public in 2004 saved thousands of lives and we desperately need your help again. ‘We have been keeping people alive but access is severely hampered by conflict and the rains will make it even harder. The fact that all the leading agencies have come together to appeal shows how severe things are. Charities are working tirelessly in the area; with your help, they can save thousands more lives.’ Thanks to the generosity of supporters, Christian Aid has so far raised around £1 million from its own appeal. We support a

Boost for climate change projects CHRISTIAN AID’S work helping communities in developing countries adapt to the ravages of climate change has been boosted by a ground-breaking new carbon-offset initiative. Environmental consultancy and green project developer CarbonAided has announced a new scheme to channel revenue generated from the trade in carbon offsets into adaptation projects. CarbonAided helps organisations develop renewable energy and other green projects to combat climate change. It sells the resulting emissions savings to businesses and individuals wishing to offset their own emissions. Under the new initiative, CarbonAided will urge these buyers to invest at least five per cent of what they spend on offsets in purchasing ‘adaptation credits’. All revenue generated by the sale of these credits will then be ploughed into adaptation projects handled by charities on a non-profit basis. CarbonAided has also pledged to donate ten per cent of its profits to such projects. The first project to benefit from the new scheme will be the Christian Aid-backed construction of reservoirs in the Mandera district of north-east Kenya. Rainfall patterns here over the past 15 years have been constantly below average. Resulting droughts have caused huge loss of life and livestock. Dominic Brain, head of programme funding at Christian Aid, said: ‘Helping communities in developing countries adapt to the effects of climate change is a key element of Christian Aid’s strategy. CarbonAided’s credits scheme will prove a valuable source of future funding.’

4

large relief programme in south and west Darfur. Last year 83,300 families living in displacement camps received essential non-food items, such as kitchen utensils, plastic sheeting, soap and jerry cans from Christian Aid, and 20,000 received basic seed and tool packages. ■ To donate, go to www. christianaid.org.uk/sudan or phone 08080 004 004. For donations in Ireland phone 028 9038 1204 (Belfast) or 01 611 0801 (Dublin). To give to the DEC appeal go to www. dec.org.uk

Right: A mother and her son beside their ‘home’ in Biliel camp, south Darfur

Refugee crisis hits London VISITORS TO London’s South Bank got a glimpse of how millions of people live when a makeshift refugee camp was constructed by the River Thames last month to mark the beginning of Christian Aid Week – and launch our new report that highlights the plight of internally displaced people around the world. The camp was constructed from old wood, corrugated iron and plastic to show the appalling conditions people are forced to live in when they have to flee their homes due to conflict, disaster and large development projects. It was used as a backdrop for numerous TV interviews about the launch of the report, Human Tide: the Real Migration Crisis. Continual rain added to the grim authenticity of the conditions that millions face every day. ■ A world of many more Darfurs – see page 14

Christian Aid News

p04-05 News.indd 2

5/6/07 13:51:39


A WORLD OF AID

■ Thames refugee camp ■ Time for tea

Snapshots of some of the work and issues facing organisations supported by Christian Aid EGYPT Christian Aid is calling on the Egyptian government to reverse a decision to close down the offices of CTUWS, an organisation which defends workers’ rights in Egypt. The closure came weeks after the Egyptian Trade Union Federation made calls to state authorities to take action against CTUWS for ‘motivating strikes’. LEBANON One year on from the hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, the scars of that conflict still run deep, especially among children. Christian Aid partner Mouvement Social is providing psychological and educational support to children in the southern suburbs of Beirut, the Bekaa valley and Tripoli. The youngsters attend creative workshops where they can express their experiences of the conflict.

Christian Aid/David Rose

It’s tea time and the world’s invited! ON 21 SEPTEMBER thousands of people will be drinking tea together to support some of the world’s poorest communities. We’re inviting people all over Britain and Ireland to join Christian Aid workers around the world and hold a ‘tea time’ this September, to raise funds for our essential work. All it takes is a kettle, some teabags, a few cups and some friends or colleagues to join you. Just ask your friends to make a donation for a cup of tea or a biscuit or cake, and relax while you drink in solidarity with other tea lovers. For more information go to www.christianaid. org.uk/teatime

INDIA Campaigning efforts of local organisations such as Christian Aid partner MASS in Orissa, have led to new state legislation that requires urban dwellers to harvest rainwater on their rooftops to tackle increasing water scarcity. Climate change has led to fluctuating and unpredictable rainfall patterns across much of Orissa, leading to water shortages and droughts but also flash floods. BRAZIL The Brazilian Network for People’s Integration is backing the Brazilian government’s recent ruling on HIV drugs, which will give many more poor people access to life-saving medicine. The move allows cheap generic HIV drugs to be imported, bypassing the existing patent belonging to pharmaceutical giant Merck. But the company and the US Trade Chamber are trying to fight this new measure. EL SALVADOR As Christian Aid News went to press, we heard that the brother-in-law and guardian of ‘Chus’ – the 16-year-old featured in recent Christian Aid Week materials – has been murdered. William Alberto Garvía, 31, was attacked on a trip to the capital San Salvador to sell crabs. The family have been very active in the work of Christian Aid partner, Aprodehni. Christian Aid News

p04-05 News.indd 3

5

5/6/07 13:51:22


Crisis in Somalia ■ Climate work on show ■ Running total news christian aid

£50,000 for emergency relief in Somalia

■ Human Tide: the Real Migration Crisis, see page 14

6

AROUND A MILLION more people will see and hear stories from Christian Aid projects this summer at the Eden Project, and through a new Green Garden at Grand Designs Live. Christian Aid’s ecohouse – unveiled at last autumn’s Grand Designs Live exhibition – will be on show at the Eden Project all summer with 900,000 visitors expected while it’s there. The eco-house showcases Christian Aid’s environmental work around the world from helping to set up tree nurseries to replant forests in Honduras and educating people in rainwater conservation in Kenya, to helping villagers in Indonesia build homes on stilts to avoid flooding. A UK exhibit shows visitors

how they can cut their own carbon and join Christian Aid’s Climate Changed campaign. The campaign is also the focus of our new exhibition at the 2007 Grand Designs Live in both London and Birmingham. The Green Garden, which was on show from 8-10 June at ExCel London and will be at NEC Birmingham from 5-7 October, aims to inspire people across the UK to go green in the garden and sign up to the new campaign. It showcases eco-garden design and planting ideas which have been inspired by the developing world and adapted for UK homes. Arranged under the branches of a giant tree sculpture, the garden is divided into four sections

Fighting poverty is a marathon not a sprint! ON SUNDAY 22 April, 41 Christian Aid runners sweated it out on the streets of the capital in one of the hottest London Marathons on record. Undeterred by the temperatures, and spurred on by hundreds of supporters, friends and family, finishing times ranged from just under three hours to a leisurely six, and runners were welcomed at our post-race reception with soothing foot spas, refreshments and a big hug! Christian Aid is very grateful to every one of our inspirational runners, who between them have raised more than £50,000 – money that will change people’s lives across the world. If you are interested in joining our running team, call us on 020 7523 2229 or email events@christian-aid.org – we have places in this autumn’s Chicago and Berlin Marathons as well as a range of challenges for 2008.

to appeal to gardeners of all abilities. You can admire organic edible gardens, explore the secret living walled garden, ignite your imagination in the storytelling theatre and see the latest renewable energy devices. All features reflect and tell the story of how Christian Aid projects are using eco-living and renewable energy to help poor communities adapt to the devastating effects of a changing climate. Don’t worry if you can’t get down to the Eden Project or Grand Designs Live. You can also check out a touring eco-exhibition which will accompany the Cut the Carbon march. ■ Star gardeners’ green tips – see page 26

Ruth Fitzharris enjoys a soothing soak after the marathon

Christian Aid/i Olsson

CHRISTIAN AID has allocated £50,000 towards emergency relief supplies, especially the provision of water, in an area of Somalia gripped by an escalating humanitarian crisis. The money will go to Islamic Relief’s emergency water programme to help thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Gaalkacyo in the Puntland region, who have fled the conflict raging in southern Somalia, around the capital Mogadishu. There are an estimated 40,000 IDPs in Gaalkacyo, more than 9,000 of whom have arrived this year. Head of Christian Aid’s humanitarian division Nick Guttmann said: ‘They have been forced to flee their homes and are now living in dreadful conditions in makeshift camps. They have insufficient shelter and not enough water.’ The humanitarian situation in Somalia, especially around Mogadishu, is critical. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes since December. Thousands have been killed in fighting between the transitional federal government and supporters of the Union of Islamic Courts. The area in and around Mogadishu is very dangerous. Humanitarian agencies continue to find it very difficult to work throughout southern Somalia. Sir John Holms, the UN humanitarian coordinator, has called the crisis in Somalia ‘one of the worst in the world’. Hawo Ali, 28, left Mogadishu in April with her husband and two children. Because her husband hasn’t found any casual employment yet, she is presently the only one working and helping to feed the family. She collects garbage from people’s homes, a chore that is traditionally taboo for men. On her lucky days, Hawo earns up to 15,000 shillings (still less than one US dollar), and on other days, she gets as little as 7,000 shillings. With this the family buys bread, beans and water and pays rent for the space occupied by their tiny shelter. They are currently living on one meal a day.

Garden and Eden showcase climate work

Christian Aid News

p06-07 News.indd 2

5/6/07 13:54:12


■ Christian Aid Week success ■ Weekend away Below: Sydney Williams (left) and Martin John Nicholls with some of the young walkers on the 40th Newton Abbot Sponsored Walk

TALK BACK

Christian Aid/Matthew Gonzalez-Noda

Volunteers out in force for Christian Aid Week

THE THINGS THEY SAY

IN ITS 50TH YEAR, Christian Aid Week is once again drew a phenomenal response from supporters. The final total raised won’t be available for a few weeks yet, but early indications are that the efforts of more than 300,000 volunteers have nudged the total above last year’s figure and towards £15 million.. Paul Langley, head of Christian Aid’s community division, praised the work of all the collectors, churches and communities who helped to make this golden jubilee year a huge success. ‘Year after year I never fail to be amazed – and humbled – by the hard work and passion our supporters across the UK and Ireland put into Christian Aid Week. The money raised will go a long way towards making a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in some of the world’s poorest countries.’ ■ 50 years of Christian Aid Week, see page 22

‘If they solemnly swore in Gleneagles to put in 50 billion dollars more and they put zero dollars more, then something should happen.’ Former UN secretary for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief Jan Egeland, calling for a global campaign to put pressure on world leaders to fulfil Gleneagles pledges

A weekend to inspire you CHRISTIAN AID would like to invite you, our supporters, to spend a weekend with us in the heart of the Derbyshire countryside. Our Now is the Time weekend runs from 19-21 October at the Hayes conference centre, Swanwick. It’s an opportunity to share and experience Christian Aid – we are hoping to bring together as many volunteers as possible, both to thank you for your help in building a movement for global justice, and, we hope, inspire you to continue working for an end to poverty. Anne Montefiore, from Christian Aid’s volunteering and community action team, says: ‘This is a new, fresh and exciting weekend. It aims to engage people who are keen to do something about poverty. International speakers will present real-life stories of people that Christian Aid works with; you can update yourself on the latest campaigns and find out how Christian Aid is working with others. Workshops will include how to talk to the media; becoming a school speaker and how to fundraise. ‘We hope it will be full of lively activities and thought-provoking sessions, have a spectrum of worship and offer entertainment for all ages.’ Tickets for the weekend (which include two nights’ accommodation and all meals from Friday evening until Sunday lunchtime) range from £90 for a single adult to £160 for a family of two adults and four children sharing one or two rooms. For full details, phone 020 7523 2248, email active@christian-aid.org, or write to Now is the Time, Christian Aid, PO Box 100, London SE1 7RT.

‘A bold investment in addressing poverty in Africa, as promised by the G8 in Gleneagles, would be the best way to heal the wounds of the past and turn the page.’ Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan addressing UK parliament to mark the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade

THE THINGS WE SAY ‘Not one of the political figures committed clearly to using their financial leverage to persuade the big international players, the World Bank and IMF, to end economic conditions on aid. Across the political spectrum, British politicians have started talking about the importance of ending poverty and are unafraid to ally themselves to the cause and make noble statements. Progress has been made. But if our leaders want to shape history and be champions of freedom, their aspirations must be matched by concrete commitments that will change the lives of poor people for the better.’ Christian Aid policy manager Anna Thomas responds to the series of articles in Christian Aid News by Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Ming Campbell ‘Heavy-handed peace deals won’t work in Darfur. What the world has failed to see is that people did not start fighting because they wanted peace. They started to fight for their cause, whatever that might be. Unless the peace process finds ways to address the reasons for the conflict it will never end. We cannot just announce peace, it has to be found.’ Neill Garvie, Christian Aid country manager, Sudan

THE THINGS YOU SAY ‘When I first learnt that Christian Aid was campaigning on climate change, my reaction was “why couldn’t they stay with trade justice”.’ Barbara Pratt, Input, see page 28 Christian Aid News

p06-07 News.indd 3

7

5/6/07 13:53:24


DIVIDED THEY STAND Forty years after the Six-Day War that left Israel and the Palestinians entrenched in conflict, Middle East policy manager William Bell explains why Christian Aid is calling on the international community to redouble its efforts to find a viable solution

Above: Symbol of a divided land – the barrier separating East Jerusalem from ther rest of the West Bank

8

THE MIDDLE EAST always seems to be ‘between peace processes’ or trying to pass a week without violence. Unfortunately, barely a day goes by without tragedy and prospects for peace look distant. This year marks the 40th year that Palestinians have endured occupation by Israel, which has appropriated land for its own development and restricted the free movement of the local population. Many Palestinians and Israelis have died in the process, while others continue to live in a state of fear. Whether in Gaza or Sderot, Jerusalem or Beirut, all inhabitants have a right to security. For many Palestinians, not least refugees scattered throughout the region, it is another milestone in a miserable existence. Palestinians are caught in a downward spiral of

poverty and violence while living under an occupation which shows little sign of going away. In Gaza almost 80 per cent of its 1.5 million people are without a regular income and rely on international aid. Meanwhile, Israelis count the cost of maintaining the occupation, which a growing number consider has both a moral and economic cost that damages the fabric of Israeli society. International opinion is largely united in condemning the occupation as both contrary to international law and an obstacle to peace. And yet it persists and the conflict deepens. Indeed, more than 418,000 Israelis now live in illegally constructed settlements throughout the Israeli occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Christian Aid has launched Israel

and Palestine: A Question of Viability, a report aimed at UK and European Union (EU) policymakers, in response to the lack of progress towards ending the conflict between these embattled people and the poverty it causes. The document explores the critical issues that must be addressed if Palestinians and Israelis are to have a viable future where rights and dignity are preserved and prosperity for all is a real possibility. The report defines viability as the conditions that allow sustainability and growth to flourish. It asserts that for a country to be sustainable it cannot be constrained by restrictions on movement, separation of communities and embedded structures of external control. If international politicians are

Christian Aid News

p08-09 Big Picture.indd 2

5/6/07 14:21:26


land and labour; and being able to trade across borders. The government must be able to generate and allocate its own resources through tax and customs revenues. Without economic viability, poverty will worsen and humanitarian crises and aid dependency will prevail. In addition, Christian Aid believes that a viable solution requires a process that is guided by international law, is impartial and holds both sides to account. Without a holistic approach that resolves the causes of poverty and violence, instability will continue to threaten the future of the region. While humanitarian aid is a lifeline it is not the answer. That lies in a political solution that works for both peoples: a solution that is viable.

Lifelines TO MARK the 40th anniversary of the occupation of the Palestinian territories, Christian Aid has launched a pack of actions, reflections, case studies and maps called Lifelines. Enclosed are stories from our partners, a poster of the barrier, and ways people can add their voices to the urgent call for an end to this conflict and the impoverishment it causes. For a copy email orders@christian-aid.org, quoting F1381. Christian Aid/Paul Lowe

committed to a viable solution then they must confront the facts on the ground that will otherwise preclude its emergence. We have challenged the UK and EU governments to act both urgently and impartially to deliver a genuine peace that deals with the root causes of the conflict. This must include: ■ an end to occupation, ■ the protection of human rights and security for all ■ self-determination and sovereignty ■ freedom of movement ■ effective governance ■ the conditions for economic growth and prosperity. Economic growth and prosperity require the right to move freely to trade and pursue employment; the right to access resources such as

Christian Aid News

p08-09 Big Picture.indd 3

9

7/6/07 17:01:43


Are you ready boots? It’s the biggest campaign event Christian Aid has attempted – a 1,000 mile, 80-day march around Britain, calling on businesses, individuals and the UK government to cut their carbon emissions. It all kicks off on Saturday 14 July. Campaigns officer Jenny Dawkins counts down to the day we start walking!

The clock is ticking With the countdown underway, hundreds of volunteers in local communities along the route are working hard to make sure the marchers have food and beds. They are also setting up opportunities for them to meet decision-makers.

UK companies have to declare the full extent of their carbon emissions, as a vital first step to making cuts,’ says Paul Brannen, Christian Aid’s head of campaigns. ‘Internationally, we want to see an agreement which is fair on poor countries, taking account of the greater responsibility of richer countries to cut their emissions most drastically, and which allows poor countries the space to develop cleanly,’ Marcher Fraser Winterbottom from Buckinghamshire adds: ‘Our march is the right thing at the right time. I attended an international climate conference at the London School of Economics recently and it’s clear that a lot more campaigning needs to be done to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change on the poor.’

Bring us your shoelaces… Along the route, we will be asking people to contribute their old shoelaces to create a giant visual petition to show the government how much support there is for our

…and buy some new ones! Meanwhile, don’t be seen without the fair-trade fashion accessory of the summer – Christian Aid’s very own Cut the Carbon shoelaces, made from fairly-traded organic Egyptian cotton! For a suggested donation of just £1, you can carry the Cut the Carbon message wherever you go. Call 08700 787 788 to order yours today.

Where to join in Call 020 7523 2264, or visit www.christianaid.org.uk/climate to find out when and where you can cheer the marchers on their way.

Join the final mile As a climax to this undertaking, the final mile of the march – across the Thames, and around the London Stock Exchange – will see our weary marchers joined by thousands of others in a fantastic show of support and solidarity. Put 2 October in your diary now. That’s the day the marchers will

The Cut the Carbon march is a tremendous effort. I wish you well in your endeavours to persuade us to become better stewards of God’s world. – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

CHRISTIAN AID’S HISTORIC Cut the Carbon march is about to begin. On 14 July, 20 dedicated marchers will sail across the Irish Sea on the first stage of their marathon, climate-friendly pilgrimage around the UK. Our intrepid team – made up of volunteers from Britain, Ireland and Christian Aid partners around the world – will carry the message that for people in poor countries, climate change is not a future threat but a present crisis. That’s why we’re asking businesses, the UK government and individuals to cut their carbon emissions urgently and dramatically. The core team will be joined along the way in towns, villages and cities by thousands of people who will add their voices to our call. Plus, there’ll be rallies and concerts – giving everyone a chance to get involved in this mass campaign.

What is the march for? This year, the UK government will have two major opportunities to take action: in its climate change bill and at the UN’s climate change conference in December. Both could create strong frameworks for carbon cuts in the UK and globally – but we need to press the government now to make sure it tackles this crisis effectively. ‘We want to see the climate change bill strengthened, so that

10

call. Addressed to the prime minister, the shoelace petition will be displayed at the end of the march on 2 October and later presented to the PM. We hope to collect enough shoelaces to stretch the whole length of the march – that’s a lot of shoelaces! Start a collection in your community and send them in to us – call 08700 787 788 for more information and to order action cards.

take their final steps into a special Christian Aid service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London at 2pm. The service will feature a big-name speaker and gives you the chance to raise the roof with your singing! The service is free, but you will need a ticket. These will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis after the closing date of Thursday 6 September. To apply, please phone 020 7523 2258.

Christian Aid News

p10-12 Campaigns.indd 2

5/6/07 13:17:04


can: campaign

Meet the core marchers Rachel Tavernor, 19, from Newcastle – a Christian Aid gap-year volunteer. Neil Cutliffe, from Co Antrim, Northern Ireland – a Church of Ireland priest. Angela Rowe, 25, from Glasgow – a children’s community worker. Stuart Douglas, 19, from Motherwell – a student. Fraser Winterbottom, from Buckinghamshire – a businessman who is taking a sabbatical to join the march Simon White, 20, from London – a student. Rosie Leach, 22, from Oxford – a student. Merryn Hellier, from Hereford – a retired religious studies Neil Cutliffe teacher and long-term global justice campaigner. Tim Jones, 25, from London – taking unpaid leave from his office job with the World Development Movement. John Morlais Rowlands, from Cardiff – using all his annual leave from the Environment Agency.

Aurora/Paul Moane

UK-based

International

Dates to watch out for: 21 July – Edinburgh Gather at Castle Street at 3pm, for a one-mile march to The Meadows, where a rally begins around 4.30pm. 4 August – Newcastle Rally and concert in Exhibition Park, starts at 11.30am. 11 August – Leeds Gather at Quarry Hill at 2.30pm for a one-mile march to Victoria Gardens, where a rally starts at 4pm. 27 August – Birmingham Gather in Centenary Square at 11am, for a one-mile march to Cannon Hill Park, where a rally and concert start at 2pm. 8 September – Cardiff Gather in Taffs Road at 4pm, for a one-mile march to Coopers Field where a rally and concert start at 5pm

Mohamed Adow, from Kenya – works for Northern Aid, the organisation responsible for CA-funded emergency projects in Mandera. Rosalia Soley, 22, from El Salvador – works with UNES (the Salvadorian ecological unit) and studies economic science. Rosalia Soley Devon Brown, 46, from Jamaica – head of the Social Studies department at Lenon High School and works with the Mocho Oral Testimony Group to educate people about climate change, land degradation and disaster preparedness. Devon Brown Geanis Cosme de Santos, from Brazil – works with partner organisation FASE to reclaim territories from mono-culture planted by multinational companies. Cassia Bechara, Brazil – translator for Geanis. Risolat Said Muradova, 18, from Tajikistan – a student and volunteer with the Youth Eco Centre. Bishop Geoff Davies, from Cape Town, South Africa – coordinator and founder member of the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute. Dwijen Mallick, from Bangladesh – climate change researcher for the Bangladesh Centre for Geoff Davies Advanced Studies. Demosthenes Raynera, from the Philippines – deputy coordinator at the Social Action Centre of Real, Infanta and Nakar, an organisation that implements relief, rehabilitation, and development programmes. Chirhalwirwa Murhambo, from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – emergency officer for Christian Aid. Gracia Matondo, from the DRC – a major in the Salvation Army Mahesh Pandya, from India – an environmental engineer and social activist, based in Gujarat.

STOP PRESS: DRIVER WANTED! Christian Aid is urgently seeking a driver to accompany all or part of the march. You will drive an electric van – one of two support vehicles – travelling at about 4mph, either in front of or behind the marchers. If you would like to volunteer for this vital role, please call Ele Ramsey on 020 7523 2264. Christian Aid News

p10-12 Campaigns.indd 3

11

5/6/07 14:33:20


can: Focus

Where ‘education, education, education’ is more than a politician’s mantra Rampant inflation is undermining traditional Zimbabwean values of education, thrift and hard graft, writes international editor Judith Melby Zimbabweans. With an inflation rate of more than 3,700 per cent rendering salaries worthless, students are now questioning the value of pursuing an education which leads to a professional position. Why bother getting a degree when one deal on the black market can result in more money

Aid-supported umbrella organisation of religious leaders which is seeking a peaceful transition to democracy. ‘Zimbabwean society is very polarised; we are a divided society and as a result we have become very suspicious of each other,’ says Jonah. ‘People are

than a professional earns in a month? The official bank rate is 250 Zimbabwean dollars for US$1, but on the black market in May this year US$1 fetched more than 30,000 Zimbabwean dollars. A Zimbabwean education was once among the best in Africa, but the disappearance of the traditional belief in education, thrift and hard graft is a constant theme among parents here. The future of young people like Mqondisi and Mduduzi worries Jonah Gokovah, the coordinator of Christian Alliance, a Christian

finding all sorts of ways for surviving economically and that is turning a large number of our people into criminals.’ Through new partners such as Christian Alliance, Christian Aid is increasing its work in advocacy and good governance, which is vital in rebuilding this fractured society. Christian Alliance hopes to contribute to the mediation efforts of South Africa’s president, Thabo Mbeki, who was entrusted with the task by southern Africa’s governments. It says civil society must be involved in rewriting the constitution

Picture: Christian Aid/Judith Melby

THE PLIGHT of two young boys orphaned when their mother – a programme manager for a Christian Aid partner in Zimbabwe – was killed in a car crash, stands as a poignant example of the worsening crisis afflicting this troubled country. Lucia Ndhlovu worked for Zimpro, an organisation involved in HIV prevention and water conservation projects. Last October she was travelling from her home in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city, to the capital Harare when her car was involved in a horrific collision with a lorry. A colleague travelling with her managed to text friends and colleagues in a desperate attempt to get help; petrol shortages mean it is very hard to get emergency aid. Some two hours later a fire brigade truck set off but, less than half a mile from the crash scene, it broke down and was unable to summon a replacement. Lucia bled to death, her last words a plea for her sons’ education to continue. Thanks to Lucia’s circle of friends and colleagues in Zimbabwe and the UK, the boys – 13-year-old Mqondisi and Mduduzi, 11 – are able to attend boarding school. But boarding schools now expect their pupils to shoulder much of the cost, including their own food. Lucia’s sons are covered. But their situation highlights a dilemma facing many

to restore trust in government institutions, the police and the judiciary. The Rev Useni Sibanda, director of the Christian Alliance, says Zimbabwe must follow South Africa’s post-Apartheid example in healing: ‘We are looking at a truth and reconciliation-type process where there could be national healing. A lot of people here have been hurt by what has been happening and we believe our first port of call will be a process of national healing, where people could forgive each other, and talk about issues that have happened.’ Mqondisi and Mduduzi miss their mother’s wisdom; she believed that ‘two heads are better than one.’ Mqondisi hopes to become a nurse so he can help people, while his younger brother wants to be a teacher and take care of their grandmother who is elderly and infirm. If ‘education, education, education’ is an overworked mantra among British politicians, it’s crucial for the future of this chaotic African nation. A post-Mugabe Zimbabwe will need young people like Lucia’s children.

Christian Aid formed a partnership with the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance in 2006, and has given £20,000 to fund work raising awareness of issues around coming elections. Christian Aid News

p10-12 Campaigns.indd 5

13

7/6/07 17:05:28


Campaigns extra

EPA protest at embassies

Gleneagles two years on – why are we waiting? TWO YEARS AGO this July, 250,000 anti-poverty campaigners took to the streets in Edinburgh for the biggest demonstration in Scottish history. A few days later in Gleneagles, the G8 – the world’s richest countries – made equally big promises on global poverty. Earlier this month, attention again focused on the G8 – this time in Germany. On 2 June, thousands of campaigners took to the streets once more – in London, Germany and across the world – with an urgent call to action: the world can’t wait any longer for the G8 to

12

Africa into poverty’. Germany was a key target because as the current holder of the EU presidency, it can use its influence to ensure the new trade deals – due to be completed this year – don’t undermine development. Campaigners then split up to visit other EU embassies, the Department of Trade and Industry and the European Commission’s London office. Similar actions took place in more than 30 countries as campaigners, farmers and workers rallied against the potentially

Christian Aid/J Cabon

A THOUSAND TRADE justice campaigners gathered in London on 19 April to tell Europe to stop pushing unfair trade deals onto poor countries. Campaigners delivered their trade justice message to all 26 European Union (EU) embassies in one day, setting a record for the first-ever simultaneous lobby of all EU embassies in London! The protest was against the free trade deals – known as Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) – that the EU is negotiating with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. Christian Aid, which organised the event with the Trade Justice Movement, says these deals risk locking millions of people into poverty. Campaigners gathered near the German embassy in Belgrave Square to hear a rallying call from Christian Aid director Daleep Mukarji and listen to speeches by trade unionists and activists from the UK and Africa. A small delegation then made its way into the embassy to deliver the message: ‘Europe: don’t lock

damaging impact of EPAs. Christian Aid campaigners also held events around the UK and Ireland – in Dublin, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and Middlesbrough. Paul Brannen, Christian Aid’s head of campaigns, said: ‘Once again our supporters have shown their commitment to trade justice, coming together to show how widespread the concern is about the EU’s unfair trade proposals. ’European Union officials and the UK government must listen to the concerns voiced by poor countries and realise they can’t push free trade deals onto them.’ Next, all eyes will turn to Portugal as it takes over the EU presidency from Germany. Take action at www.pressureworks.

make good their promises. So, two years on, what is left to deliver? Drop the debt: The G8 promised that all countries which had already received debt cancellation would have this extended to debts owed to the IMF and World Bank. Although this has been largely delivered, many more countries still have debts they cannot pay. More and better aid: The G8 promised to increase aid by US$50 billion by 2010. The UK is on course to meet the 0.7 per cent target by 2013. However, overall aid levels from G8 countries actually fell between 2005 and 2006. This makes the US$50 billionpledge unlikely to be met. Trade justice: The G8 promised

Left: Young supporters make their point at the embassy protest rally

poor countries more flexibility to choose the most appropriate economic policies to cut poverty. However, the G8 and other rich countries are still forcing through self-interested policies, attaching economic conditions to aid and loans, and drawing up free-trade agreements that are harmful to poor countries (see above.) ‘The UK government must show more leadership at the G8 to ensure that the promises from 2005 do not simply sit gathering dust,’ says Martin Gordon, Christian Aid’s international campaigns manager. ‘They cannot pick and choose which promises to keep, if they are serious about making poverty history.’

Christian Aid News

p10-12 Campaigns.indd 4

5/6/07 13:18:04


Human Tide: the Real Migration Crisis The latest emergency appeal to help the victims affected by the tragedy of Darfur highlights one of the greatest humanitarian crises in the world. But, as a new Christian Aid report warns, this could be just the beginning of an even greater catastrophe

A world of many more Darfurs Head of media John Davison explains why urgent action is needed to cope with an emerging migration crisis, and, overpage, we report on how conflict, land grabs and climate change are fuelling the problem THERE IS now scarcely a week that goes by without some aspect of the migration debate making headlines in the media. Disputed figures, housing debates, economic arguments and concern over the legitimacy of asylum seekers revolve with predictable regularity. What characterises most of these stories is that they are about the situation in Britain and Europe. The emphasis is on how these issues impact on us – here. What they do not talk about is the far more serious migration and displacement crisis that is gripping large parts of the developing world – where tens of millions are being forced from their homes every year by conflicts, natural disasters and large-scale development projects. Nor do they talk about how, with the expected impact of climate change, this other crisis is about to get a lot worse. Christian Aid, then called Christian Reconstruction in Europe, was founded to help address the huge refugee crisis that existed in Europe in the aftermath of the second world

14

war. So when it came to deciding on a theme for a report to mark the 50th anniversary of Christian Aid Week, this ‘real migration crisis’ seemed an obvious, and important, choice. The more research we did, the more it became clear that urgent action is needed by the world community to alleviate some of the worst aspects of this emerging crisis. Otherwise, we concluded, it threatens to dwarf even that faced by the war-ravaged world all those decades ago. The report was duly released on the Monday of Christian Aid Week, carrying a stark prediction. On current trends, we said, a further one billion people will be forced from their homes between now and 2050. On this basis, forced migration is now the most urgent threat facing poor people in developing countries. The real migration crisis, then, is happening a long way away and largely unnoticed. It really is not about us. Principally, it involves some 155 million men, women and children who have had no choice but to flee their homes and seek refuge

elsewhere in their own countries. They are, in the flat jargon of international classification, ‘internally displaced persons’, or ‘IDPs’. Millions are escaping war and ethnic persecution; millions more have literally had their homes swept away by the increasing number of natural disasters. A staggering number of people are being pushed aside to make way for dams, roads and other large-scale development projects. Most are in the world’s poorest countries, often among their poorest people. Their already harsh lives are made worse by being forced to move, sometimes repeatedly. Unlike the relatively small numbers of dictionary-definition ‘refugees’, who have struggled across a border to escape persecution, they are also largely

Above: Displaced people at Dereig camp, south Darfur

Christian Aid News

p14-19 IDP.indd 2

5/6/07 13:20:05


can: campaigns

Christian Aid/David Rose

TIDE COMES IN TO PARLIAMENT voiceless. They have no status or protection under international law and no international agency is responsible for their welfare. They are nobody’s problem, apart from their own governments’. And those governments are often responsible for their plight in the first place. The number of IDPs is expected to rise dramatically in the coming decade. And those already displaced look likely to be joined by at least equal numbers of people forced from their homes because of climate change. Security experts fear that this new migration will fuel existing conflicts and generate new ones in the areas of the world – the poorest – where resources are most scarce. A world of many more Darfurs is the increasingly likely nightmare scenario. So what can be done? Christian

Aid is calling on the international community to respond with the same vision and imagination it showed after the second world war. This must start with an overhaul of the current UN system for dealing, or not dealing, with IDPs. Existing codes of conduct relating to displacement caused by development programmes such as dams or roads must also be effectively enforced. To address the looming crisis of climate change, the polluter must pay. Governments of rich states, such as the UK and Ireland, must accept their countries’ responsibility for the growing harm and suffering that global warming will bring – and pay to alleviate it. The alternative is a desperate situation that could destabilise whole regions, plunging them further into poverty and conflict.

The Human Tide report received substantial coverage in the print and broadcast media at the beginning of Christian Aid Week. It was launched, and welcomed, by some of the world’s leading experts on forced migration and displacement – including Dennis McNamara, special advisor to the UN emergency relief co-ordinator. The report’s authors were subsequently asked to address the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee. To download a copy of Human tide: the Real Migration Crisis, go to www.christianaid.org.uk/ indepth/705caweekreport/index.hym To order a hard copy for £5 call 01375 484561. Christian Aid News

p14-19 IDP.indd 3

15

5/6/07 13:20:25


Human Tide: the Real Migration Crisis

Mali: The absent generation Sarah Wilson visits a country where climate change is forcing many to leave their homes in search of water and work

One by one my children asked permission to leave. Every time they didn’t come back it was a shock

Above right: Ibrahim and Oumou Karembe with seven of their grandchildren outside their stone hut in the village of Solo-Joy, northern Mali. Left: some of the women and children left behind

16

Christian Aid News

p14-19 IDP.indd 4

destroying or drastically reducing their crops. Just outside Solo-Joy, there is a small dam which the community built in 1992 with tools and materials provided by Action for Human Promotion (APH), a local charity supported by Christian Aid. This dam used to catch enough water to allow the community to grow onions, lettuce and other salad greens in the dry season. The income from these crops helped them survive until the rains returned. But for the past three years the system has failed: the dam did not trap enough water and without irrigation, the onion crop was tiny. A study published last year by the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research found that extreme drought is liable to affect a third of the planet by 2100. Places which are already suffering periodic droughts and unpredictable rains will get progressively drier, and the Sahel will eventually become uninhabitable. This change in rainfall patterns is creating a new wave of migrants, who are being driven from their homes in search of water and livelihoods, leaving behind the very old and the very young to cope as best they can. Already the third-poorest country in the world, the fragile Malian economy is facing yet another shock.

Christian Aid made a grant of £20,000 in December to fund the work of the Mali Folke Centre, which was set up in 1999 to focus on clean energy projects and environmental protection. One of its most innovative projects is the cultivation of plantations of jatropha bushes, the seeds of which can be ground into a clean oil to fuel generators.

■ HU N TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE

them all to stay here,’ he says. Ibrahim and Oumou live in Solo-Joy, a village of 400 people on the Dogon plateau about 700km north of the capital, Bamako. The village lies in the Sahel region, which stretches across Africa from Senegal on the Atlantic coast to Somalia on the Indian Ocean. It is a semi-arid area, nestled between highly fertile land and the desert, where agriculture depends on irrigation for much of the year and is therefore very vulnerable to changes in rainfall patterns. Mounting evidence suggests that the effects of global warming are already being felt throughout the Sahel – changing a delicate balance between humans and their environment that has endured for thousands of years. Over the past 30 years, the rainfall has lessened dramatically and become more erratic. There was a time when farmers here could predict the rains and plant accordingly. Now they report rains drying up in the middle of the growing season,

VILLAGE LIFE IN Mali has always been tough. After dark, the only light available comes from kerosene lamps and all the water for drinking and washing has to be carried by hand. There is no power for machinery to till the soil, sow the seeds, harvest the crops or grind the millet into flour. But for Ibrahim Karembe and for a whole generation of elderly villagers, a difficult existence has become harder still. Ibrahim, 79, has four sons and four daughters. More than enough to look after him and his wife Oumou in their old age, he thought. But two years ago the last of their sons was forced to leave their village because lack of rain meant he could no longer afford to feed his family with what he was able to grow. ‘One by one my children asked permission to leave. Every time they didn’t come back it was a shock. But with the changing climate it would be difficult for

5/6/07 13:21:09


can: frontline

Burma: Dams, lies and statistics Thousands are being forced to flee their homes in Burma as their villages are destroyed and their land seized, reports Anjali Kwatra A NEW OFFENSIVE by Burma’s military government to make millions of dollars from large dams and commercial agriculture has intensified the refugee crisis on the country’s eastern border. At least 3,500 Burmese have crossed into Thailand since the end of 2005, arriving with nothing but the clothes on their backs and harrowing stories of executions, torture, landmine injuries, robbery, forced labour and the destruction of their villages by the army. The conflict in eastern Burma between the army and ethnic

Karen rebels seeking greater autonomy is the world’s longestrunning civil war. It has displaced hundreds of thousands of people since the 1970s, including more than 150,000 who live in refugee camps in Thailand. However, the latest offensive is largely motivated by the junta’s desire to clear land to make way for logging, dams, plantations and mines. Since the end of 2005, the government has renewed its efforts to systematically destroy some villages and enslave others, as it seeks to exploit abundant natural resources to prop up its repressive rule. The largest project is a series of

Mali: Christian Aid/Sarah Wilson; Burma: Christian Aid/Anjali Kwatra

N TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE

■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUM

continued on page 18 Christian Aid News

p14-19 IDP.indd 5

17

5/6/07 13:21:25


The Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC), a Christian Aid partner which works in the refugee camps, says that 200 villages in eastern Burma have been destroyed in the past year. It estimates that there are at least half a million internally displaced people in eastern Burma, including around 27,000 who were displaced in 2006 by the new offensive. ‘As the economic and humanitarian situation worsens, the Burmese government appears to be in denial that there is any problem, choosing instead to believe its own rhetoric

Picture: Christian Aid/Anjali Kwatra

up to five dams on the Salween River which will provide cheap electricity mostly for export to Thailand, generating huge cashflows for the Burmese government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). At least one is being funded by Thai and Chinese companies. Many of the new refugees who have arrived at the Mae Ra Ma Luang camp – one of nine camps on the Thai-Burma border – come from the Papun district of Karen state which is in the flood zone of one of the proposed dams. Saw No Reh was unarmed and defenceless when he was shot in November last year as he desperately tried to find food for his family who had been hiding in the jungle for six months. He managed to escape, but his cousin was shot dead in front of him. ‘I had to leave his body behind as I was running for my life,’ says Saw No Reh. ‘My family and our neighbours were hiding in the jungle because the army had burnt down our village. We had no houses, no blankets: we slept on the ground. Many people got sick from malaria. We had little to eat except bamboo shoots so one night I went back to the village with my cousin to find supplies of rice that we had buried in secret places. That was when the army saw us and tried to kill us both.’ ‘The planned dams have resulted in massive displacement with countless numbers tortured or killed,’ says Saw Karen of Karen Rivers Watch, an umbrella organisation of rights groups, which include Christian Aid partners. ‘Villagers are being forced to give up their land and move elsewhere with no prospect of compensation.’

18

Christian Aid News

p14-19 IDP.indd 6

Above: A young girl outside a hut at Ee Thu Hta camp for internally displaced people in eastern Burma that the country is enjoying a development boom,’ says a TBBC representative. ‘Thousands more civilians are likely to be displaced and many will try to enter Thailand as refugees or illegal migrants. It is a desperate scenario which brings little hope that the situation in the border areas will improve in the foreseeable future.’ The Thailand Burma Border Consortium, formerly known as BBC, was set up in 1984. Christian Aid began supporting the organisation the following year. The grant allocation for 2007/08 is £662,433 (with funds from the UK government’s Department for International Development).

Christian Aid/Paul Hackett

continued from page 17

■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN TIDE ■ HUMAN

Human Tide: the Real Migration Crisis

ON THE OCCASIONS when Colombia makes the news, the headlines rarely go beyond tales of drug barons and kidnappings. But there is another story that has hardly been covered; the story of the millions of Colombians who have been forced from their homes, first by internal conflict and now by a massive land grab. It is a startling fact that only in Sudan are there more people living as internal refugees. As many as 3.7 million Colombians have been displaced in the past 20 years, the majority washing up like human flotsam in and around towns and cities, living in vast slums on the outskirts. Massacres, disappearances and death threats have been commonplace in many regions for decades, the hardest being those in remote rural areas – victims of an ideological struggle between left-wing guerrillas and government-backed civilian ‘paramilitary’ groups. Both sides originally forced people from their land to clear

5/6/07 13:25:22


can: frontline

Colombia: Commerce fuels huge land grab Emergencies specialist Dominic Nutt meets a brave man who is taking a defiant stand against violent land seizures that are forcing millions of people to leave their homes alleged ‘enemy sympathisers from contested territory. Then, over time, the combatants started to use the land to make money – for example, by growing coca to make cocaine – to finance their military activities. Now paramilitaries and their allies are increasingly moving into ‘legitimate’ agricultural businesses, using the conflict as an excuse to seize land. Armed groups visit a community and tell inhabitants they need to leave because enemy forces are operating in the area and it needs to be cleared. If the community stays it is accused of collaboration with the enemy. One of the new businesses that the paramilitary groups have moved into is palm oil production, used in many everyday foods and detergents. It is also used to make bio-fuel and demand is likely to increase as the world begins to ‘go green’. The Colombian government recognises this increasing demand and wants to see more

land used for palm cultivation – from 300,000 hectares to 700,000 hectares in four years. What is not clear is how much of this land has been stolen from honest farmers – farmers like Don Petro. Don Enrique Petro, 67, is perhaps one of the bravest men in Colombia. His land has been taken over by paramilitaries, two of his sons were murdered in the same week, he escaped a death squad by sheer good fortune and he still receives death threats. Yet he has returned to his land which he now shares with others from his community. And, with help from Justice and Peace, a Christian Aid partner, the community is fighting back, setting up a ‘Humanitarian Zone’ where they live as civilians and where the presence of armed groups is prohibited. Don Petro said: ‘On my return the paramilitaries threatened me, saying they wanted my land and the surrounding land empty to fight the guerrillas. They were lying. It was so they could get hold

of my land to grow African palm on it and make money. They said that if I didn’t give in they would negotiate a cheap price with my widow. The paramilitaries work for businesses. The business people come to the paramilitaries and ask them to clear the land for them. They all work together – it’s purely about money.’ But Don Petro remains confident. ‘We believe we will have a chance because of the support from the international community. This is our biggest weapon. If I were here alone I would be finished.’ The Justice and Peace group has a strong human rights focus, offering legal advice and assistance to displaced populations. It has been a partner since 2002. Christian Aid currently gives the group US$50,000 a year to fund legal assistance in conflict zones, and has given 1 million euros over three years towards its ‘right to ancestral lands’ project.

Above: Don Enrique Petro stands among the African palms illegally planted on his land by palm oil company Urapalma. He was forced to leave his farm after paramilitaries tried to kill him, but has returned and is working with others in his community to reclaim their land Christian Aid News

p14-19 IDP.indd 7

19

5/6/07 13:25:36


Lemar’s emotional journey

Chrisrtian Aid/Julian Camilleri

The singer talks about his travels to war-torn Uganda to mark Christian Aid Week

20

Christian Aid News

p20-21 Lamar Uganda.indd 1

5/6/07 13:29:33


can: Christian Aid Week

‘I visited displacement camps in Gulu, where they use music and drama to foster reconciliation. They taught me some drumming techniques. I did a mating dance, too, so I have told my girlfriend that I’m probably married to a Ugandan woman by now…possibly two. There was a lot of music and dancing in the camps in general. It was very uplifting.’

FOR BRIT-AWARD-winning singer Lemar, a 2005 trip to Ethiopia with Christian Aid was a profound experience – one he was eager to repeat to help promote Christian Aid Week 2007. This time Lemar travelled to Uganda to see a country in its 21st year of civil war – a war in which the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) abducted 20,000 children and forced them to fight against government troops. Thousands more people fled their homes and now live in camps. Lemar visited peace and reconciliation projects supported by Christian Aid. He saw how partner organisations, such as the Concerned Parents’ Association, encourage families to treat returnee child soldiers sympathetically. He also witnessed how organisations, such as the Teso Diocese Development Office, use music and drama to help the reconciliation process. ‘These help communities process what they have been through. The dramas were particularly graphic, describing guns and attacks. It was a really powerful experience. Some of the women were crying and it was quite emotional. It did get to me. It was easily the most moving part of the trip,’ he explains. In the 1990s, Uganda’s HIV rate reached 30 per cent; Lemar saw how people are being educated about HIV, through partner organisations like Youth With a Mission (YWAM). YWAM pay for HIV orphans to go to school and use, among other things, dance and music to educate around 5,000

children. Lemar joined in when he saw their work at Orungo High School, and reflected: ‘What was so good about the performances was hearing from the horse’s mouth what had happened to them. The lives of these children are so far removed from our lives in the UK. It’s amazing how people can go through such terrible things and survive, forgive and get on with their lives.’ During Christian Aid Week Lemar talked about his trip on GMTV and Songs of Praise and recounted his experiences for several newspapers and magazines including Hello! and the News of the World.

‘This is me with Joseph Onongo who started his own brick-making business with the help of YWAM. Joseph was HIV-positive and his wife had left him but after his business took off, his wife returned and he got his family back. I would describe my brick-making skills as “interesting”, but I got there in the end.’ Christian Aid News

p20-21 Lamar Uganda.indd 2

21

5/6/07 13:30:00


can: Fifty years of Christian Aid Week

years on 50 the doorstep AS ALLIED FORCES advanced across Europe, signalling the beginning of the end of World War Two, British churches began fundraising to help the millions of people made homeless by the conflict. In 1945, Christian Aid – then known as Christian Reconstruction in Europe – was founded, mainly to provide emergency supplies and help resettle refugees. Its

work soon spread further afield, as conflict displaced millions more in Palestine, Korea and China. Meanwhile, the war’s legacy of homelessness and poverty endured. In 1956, the organisation – by then called the Department of Inter-Church Aid and Refugee Service – built a replica refugee camp in London’s St Martin-in-the-Fields

Church, highlighting the plight of the 100,000 people still living in appalling temporary conditions. Then, 50 years ago in 1957, we held the first Christian Aid Week – to raise both money and public awareness. The 200 towns and villages that took part collected a grand total of £26,000. Christian Aid Week became an annual event and was launched in Ireland the following year. By 1964, Christian Aid Week had become so well known throughout the UK that we finally changed our name to Christian Aid. At the end of the 1960s, Christian Aid Week had broken through the £1 million barrier. As well as giving aid to help alleviate crises such as the Biafran war, Christian Aid began to speak out about the causes of poverty. In the 1970s we started to expand our long-term development work, funding more than 100 projects in more than 40 countries. Christian Aid Week celebrated its

Reflection

Fifty not out For the 50th consecutive year more than 300,000 people took to the streets to raise money for Christian Aid. Head of community division Paul Langley reflects on the importance of this annual tradition SOME PEOPLE THINK I’m crazy, but I love going from house to house in Christian Aid Week. You can’t beat standing at a neighbour’s door with the sound of footsteps approaching and not knowing if you’ll be greeted with a smile or a sigh. Fortunately, the evidence shows that people responded as positively in 2007 as they did in 1957 when the first door was knocked upon. Just because people are responding, doesn’t mean it’s ‘easy money’. Going door to door takes commitment and

22

courage. Not all people are as polite as you’d hope. ‘Sorry, I didn’t get an envelope’, or, ‘No thanks’, are among the polite refusals; much stronger responses sometimes emerge from behind the occasional door that remains closed. Yet in all these situations something important has happened. In that brief moment we have offered someone the opportunity to make a difference. The doorstep encounter is priceless and is what makes Christian Aid Week unique – no other charity comes near to this

intimate challenge. It’s amazing, and we need to maintain it as a central part of any future fundraising. Strip away everything else and Christian Aid Week is fairly simple – poverty exists and we can make a difference by collecting money to help eradicate it. Nothing complicated. Over the past 50 years a generation of faithful people have reached out to their community and used this week to express their love for one another. People’s reactions on the door haven’t

Christian Aid News

p22-25 CA Week_Opinion.indd 1

5/6/07 13:59:21


How was it for you? Once again, Christian Aid Week volunteers pulled out all the stops to make its 50th year the most successful fund-raising event yet.

Left: Fund-raising down memory lane. Above: Vintage publicity posters we’ve tried to adapt to changing times and rethink ways of doing the week, but we’ve also worked hard to keep that core of people on the ground.’ ■ Christian Aid is keen to hear from all those collectors who’ve been involved with Christian Aid Week since its inception 50 years ago. If you, or someone you know, has rattled a tin, distributed envelopes or organised events for each of the past 50 years, please contact Beth-Louise Sturdee on 020 7523 2246 or email bsturdee@christian-aid.org

changed much over the years, but what has changed is the world we live in and the multiple ways people can hear about Christian Aid and respond. And while most collectors are motivated by their Christian faith, it’s important to acknowledge that the people who respond by giving money are from many faiths and many cultures. Society has changed, but the commitment to eradicating poverty hasn’t waned and Christian Aid is still deeply relevant. Attending the annual Christian Aid Week services this year reminded me that it is because of the dedication and commitment of the collectors who rose to the challenge 50 years ago that Christian Aid Week is on track for another huge sum this year. Thank you. In a world where you can log on and instantly see what’s happening anywhere in the world, no one can plead ignorance

about poverty and injustice. In a world where Christian Aid Week is visible in every community – in churches, on the web, in schools, on TV and radio, through shops and businesses and on the doorstep – no one can honestly say they didn’t have an opportunity to make a positive difference. As we look to the future with a renewed ambition to eradicate poverty we will need to ensure that Christian Aid Week continues to provide opportunities for everyone to get involved. But whatever the future holds, the truth is that people give money to people – the success of the face-to-face encounter on the doorstep needs to be replicated in all future activities. In 2008 and beyond, we need to reach out to everyone in the community and invite them to use Christian Aid Week to help make poverty history.

Christian Aid/Matthew Gonzalez-Noda

30th birthday by inviting celebrities to ‘weigh in’ for justice. Neil Kinnock, Sir David Steel, Su Pollard and Roy Castle were among the household names who climbed aboard gigantic scales of justice in front of St Paul’s Cathedral. By the end of the 1980s, Christian Aid Week was raising £6 million. While the new millennium brought fresh challenges, much of the money raised during the UK’s longest-running door-to-door fundraising week continues to be spent tackling similar problems to those we were tackling half a century ago. PR manager Kate Wills says: ‘Christian Aid Week is a huge part of what Christian Aid is. Over the years

AROUND THE COUNTRY – and, indeed, the world – many area and international Christian Aid staff planted trees to commemorate this 50th Christian Aid Week, although in the Sudan they actually planted tomatoes instead! Energetic supporters in Exeter (above) set up exercise bikes outside St Stephen’s Church and with more than 70 people – including four vicars, two police superintendents and some Royal Marines – cycling in shifts, they set out to ‘ride’ to Senegal. Working in tandem with other Devon groups they notched up 3,000 miles, which got them as far as Mali. Although this was just short of their target, they nevertheless raised a wonderful £1,800. In Bradford, up to 70 people raised their voices and their glasses for a beer-and-hymns night at the New Beehive Inn. The event raised more than £250 and there are already plans for a beer-and-carols night in December! Up and down the country hundreds of you pulled on your walking boots continued on page 24 Christian Aid News

p22-25 CA Week_Opinion.indd 2

23

5/6/07 13:59:37


India: 60 years of independence continued from page 23

to stretch your legs in one of many sponsored walks – as far apart as the Isle of Wight and Poole in the south to Dundee in Scotland. In Newton Abbot, the 40th Christian Aid Sponsored Walk attracted 472 walkers, young and old. This event, like the 39 before it, was organised by Christian Aid stalwart Sydney Williams. Over those 40 years, Newton Abbot’s walkers have raised more than £250,000. Their success is a wonderful tribute to the hard work of Sydney, a retired headmaster, whose fund-raising efforts throughout the year are legendary. In Northern Ireland, 16 intrepid souls raised at least £10,000 as they took part in a fundraising skydive. In Edinburgh a long queue stretched outside St Andrew’s and St George’s Church for Christian Aid Week’s single largest fundraiser – the book sale. Mary Davidson and a huge team of organisers have helped to ensure that each of the past five sales has raised more than £100,000. One of the most beautiful books to be sold was an edition of Aesop’s Fables with 25 hand-painted colour plates. A signed watercolour, The Winding Road by William McTaggart, that featured on the front page of the catalogue, went for £3,000. In Glasgow fans attending the UEFA cup final at Hampden Park bought pies, sausage rolls and burgers sold by enterprising Christian Aid supporters from Mount Florida Church. Meanwhile, ten women from Castlemilk ran the Glasgow Women’s 10K, and supporters in Peebles raised funds by country dancing. Finally, when keen Christian Aid collector Linda Ross went to live in Gibraltar ten years ago, she realised that churches there didn’t ‘do’ Christian Aid Week, so she decided to organise something herself. Starting with a coffee morning that raised £407, the congregation at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church have gone on to raise an expected £4,000 this year, mainly through distributing envelopes to all the schools in Gibraltar and running a cake stall on Main Street. Linda’s patient advice to anyone who wants to fundraise for Christian Aid is to ‘start in a small way because it’s amazing how it will grow.’

24

We won’t forget the ‘other’ India As India celebrates 60 years of independence, Christian Aid director Dr Daleep Mukarji hails its emergence as a world success story, but reminds us that much remains to be done to achieve a better world for all Indians IN AUGUST THIS year India celebrates the 60th anniversary of its independence. There is much to be proud of – India is the world’s largest democracy, holds regular elections (even voting out a strong prime minister – twice), has a reasonably free press and a large and growing educated and professional middle class. It is recognised as an emerging superpower and a model for a more liberal economy. The world community, free-market enthusiasts and the elite in India and overseas all present the new India as a success story: Indian companies are playing an important part in world markets and are symbols of an awakening elephant. India has become a big player on the world scene and it has ambitions to be a major power – continuing to

press its claim for a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council. Yet it is sometimes easy to forget the other India. While the rich elite and growing middle class are well into the 21st century, the real India – the marginalised majority in the villages and slums – has been left behind. Inequality is increasing – poverty is even growing in many areas. A staggering 330 million people are at the bottom of Indian society, living on less than 50p a day. Child labour and communal conflicts are facts of life. Ethnic and religious minorities live in fear. Discrimination against dalits (the outcasts, once better known as ‘untouchables’), adivasi (the original ‘tribal’ populations) and women are everyday, institutionalised realities. Even today, 2.8 million children die each year as a result of poor nutrition and easily preventable diseases. It is

Christian Aid News

p22-25 CA Week_Opinion.indd 3

6/6/07 11:34:55


can: comment Clockwise from left: Christian Aid projects in India – a women’s self-help group involved in diversification schemes following floods in 2000; pupils at a school for child-labour victims; disaster mitigation training; villagers build new houses for dalit families made homeless by the tsunami; a cash-for-work scheme for dalits in Tamil Nadu whose livelihoods were destroyed by the tsunami Christian Aid/Sarah Moss; Christian Aid/Ramani Leathard; Christian Aid/Tom Pietrasik

a scandal that almost half of all Indian children are underweight for their age – a larger proportion than in Ethiopia. For many in India, the country has not done well in human development terms. In this context, poverty is not simply a matter of income. It is reinforced by the systematic exclusion from opportunities of certain social groups (dalits, adivasi and women). They are discriminated against on the basis of their caste, class, race, religion and gender. Working with these groups has become the priority for Christian Aid’s programmes in the country now. Christian Aid has worked in India for more than 50 years in what is one of our largest programmes. Through our partners we have tackled some difficult problems over the years in development, advocacy and emergency relief – the floods and cyclones on the east coast, the earthquakes in Maharashtra and Gujarat and the recent tsunami. We work on education, mobilisation and empowerment of people’s groups – particularly on dalit rights, bonded labour, child labour and women’s issues. We work on issues from HIV to disaster risk management. We are proud to have more than 60 outstanding local partners – church, ecumenical and secular – who have provided

leadership in development and advocacy. In 2005-2010 we will focus on structural and economic change, addressing social exclusion and inequality, working mainly in central and northern India. Christian Aid’s India programme wants to make a difference – we have many achievements here – but will now focus on challenging the denial of rights and promoting social inclusion. In 1999 Christian Aid set up an office in New Delhi to bring us closer to our work on the ground. The staff here manage Christian Aid’s entire India programme directly, working closely with our partners, the churches, the Indian government and others in civil society. In 2005 the central government lost the election on a slogan of India Shining – Indians had recognised that social justice and the poor had been left out of the nation’s priorities. The people of India want a better world for all Indians – not easy in a country with so many inequalities and years of discrimination engrained into its systems and culture. But things can change. India is a booming economy; now it needs to deal with its mass poverty, illiteracy and inequality. Christian Aid will play its small part in this process, supporting Indian civil society (probably one of the most active

in the world) and our partners to ensure the benefits of growth reach the poor and excluded. This is in keeping with our essential purpose – to expose the scandal of poverty, contribute to its eradication and challenge the structures that keep people poor. India has come a long way, but for it’s poor that’s still nowhere near enough. Christian Aid will not rest until we have helped to build a safer and more just society for all India’s people. Christian Aid News

p22-25 CA Week_Opinion.indd 4

25

6/6/07 11:35:13


Do theing right th

Top tips on green gardening

Project manager Kate Wills passes on some ideas for your own great outdoors from TV gardeners at the Grand Designs Live show THE GARDEN IS a perfect place to extend your greener lifestyle and Christian Aid’s recent exhibit at the Grand Designs Live show at ExCel London highlighted the latest ideas on sustainability. Visitors saw and heard stories of Christian Aid projects overseas, while some of the UK’s top TV gardeners and presenters gave their tips on green living. Here are a few: ‘With summer droughts and hosepipe bans increasingly predicted, it makes sense to wise up to potential water shortages in your garden. A mulch of approximately 5cm deep laid in spring will help to retain precious moisture in the soil during the year, as well as helping to combat weeds. I highly recommend an impressive product for mulching from Dunweedin’ which is made from

26

100 per cent recycled tyres.’ Kim Wilde, Garden Invaders ‘Stressed plants get sick fast. So always plant according to the demands of the plant, not the demands of the gardener! Take time to identify the characteristics and ecology of your plot and pick plants accordingly. Healthy plants get fewer pests and diseases, which in turn reduces the need for pesticides.’ Matt James, The City Gardener ‘Lining terracotta pots with old supermarket carrier bags reduces the amount of water

that naturally evaporates through the porous clay and so cuts down on the amount you use. Prick a few holes in the bottom for drainage. Mulch the soil in the pot with pebbles, chippings, old wine corks, bottle tops – whatever – to reduce evaporation, too.’ Jac Flower, The Great Garden Challenge ‘Get going on producing your own compost: use kitchen waste, grass cuttings and garden waste, let it rot down over the year and once it has reached that lovely dark colour, add it as a mulch to vegetable beds. Organic matter will greatly benefit any soil from clay to

sandy by adding nutrients, helping water retention and aiding natural drainage.’ Hannah Genders, Digging for Victory ‘Let some parts of your lawn go wild and see what comes up. Two square metres of uncut grass produces enough oxygen to supply an adult for a whole year.’ Cleve West, The Garden Makers ‘Reduce food miles (and therefore CO2 emissions) by growing your own. Copy traditional South American gardeners and grow the three sisters: courgettes to suppress the weeds, a tripod of beans to feed the soil and sweetcorn ... a must for the barbecue.’ Dr Jo Elworthy, Eden Project

Top: Kim Wilde; Above left: Jac Flower

Christian Aid News

p26-27 Do the right thing.indd 2

5/6/07 13:40:13


THE WINNERS of the Atlas of Climate Change competition in our Spring issue were: Julie McCarthy, London; Anne Ryan, Sale; Diane Lucas, Salisbury. The 9-5 book winners were Roger Hudson, Kings Lynn; Ben Austin, Grantham; Patricia Watson, Wisbech and Sharyn Cameron, Lisburn, N Ireland, Theresa Baker, Monmouth

Use the virtual world to save the real one CHRISTIAN AID’S internet service provider, Surefish, has launched a new range of broadband services to generate even more money for the fight against global poverty. It has raised more than £500,000 for Christian Aid over six years – now it wants to raise this much every year. It is free to switch to Surefish if you already use broadband and, unlike most other providers, users do not have to commit to a 12-month contract. The new services include 8Mb internet access from £22.50 a month – around a quarter of which goes to Christian Aid once running costs are met – free email addresses and space to publish personal websites. Andy Jackson, editor of the Surefish website, said: ‘The beauty of broadband compared to dial-up is that you get a fast internet service and Christian Aid can generate money for its work in pounds rather than pence. Every internet user who signs up or switches to Surefish broadband can raise up to £8 each month for Christian Aid’s work.’ Visit www.surefish.co.uk/broadband or call 0870 60 70 585 to sign up or find out more. You can also raise 4p for Christian Aid – at no cost to you – by using the Surefish search engine every time you search the internet. Visit www.surefish.co.uk/search

WHY WE’VE SWITCHED IN THE last issue of Christian Aid News we reported on Christian Aid’s link up with Ecotricity to offer you green electricity and the chance to raise money for our climate change work. Some readers have raised questions about Ecotricity’s tariffs and the proportion of renewable energy that makes up your supply. We hope that the following information will help. ■ Ecotricity invests more per customer in new renewable energy than all other UK suppliers put together. However, the demand for renewable energy in this country outstrips supply. Whilst all the electricity generated by Ecotricity’s wind turbines goes to their customers, the company does supplement this by buying energy from conventional sources. ■ Ecotricity offers two tariffs: New Energy and New Energy Plus. New Energy – which matches the standard price of your regional supplier – aims to supply 25-30 per cent from the company’s own turbines with the rest from conventional sources. New Energy Plus has the same proportion from Ecotricity’s own wind generation plus additional green

electricity purchased from elsewhere. This is a 100 per cent green supply tariff but comes at a slight premium of 0.5p/Kwh (about five10 per cent more a year). ■ While other green energy companies do supply 100 per cent renewable energy to all customers, they are forced to pay a premium to buy existing green supply that already goes into the national grid anyway. Ecotricity takes the view that as an electricity supplier, the best way to fight climate change is to build new green capacity. That’s why over the past three years it has invested more than £430 per customer per year building new wind turbines. By signing up with Ecotricity you are increasing the demand for green energy, and contributing to the generation of new green sources. Christian Aid believes that this approach is far more valuable than simply re-packaging existing green energy supplies. For details of how to switch go to www. ecotricity.co.uk/christianaid or phone 0800 0326 100. For every switch, Christian Aid receives £15 which goes towards our climate change work with poor communities.

WIN A SOLAR CHARGER! CHRISTIAN AID is giving away five Freeloader solar chargers, courtesy of Natural Collection. The portable Freeloader (right) uses the sun’s rays to power up allowing you to re-charge most of your gadgets and gizmos on the move. Natural Collection’s award-winning range includes fair trade and organic clothing, homeware, organic cosmetics and ecological cleaning products. PLUS: get 10 per cent* off your first order with Natural Collection: simply quote the code, GD-5104 when you order online at www.naturalcollection.com or by phone on 0845 3677001 ■ TO ENTER: Answer the following question Name any country where Christian Aid is helping communities to tackle climate change. Send your answer, together with your name and address to: Natural Collection Competition, c/o Kate Wills, Christian Aid, PO Box 100, London SE1 7RT, or email pressoffice@christian-aid.org, labelling it Natural Collection Competition. The winners will be the first five names drawn after the closing date of 31 July 2007.

AN AMAZING LEGACY THIS EDITION OF Christian Aid News celebrates 50 years of Christian Aid Week, a record we could not have achieved without the dedication of the 300,000 collectors who are the backbone of the week’s success. But collectors and former collectors are vital to Christian Aid’s work in another, less visible way. Colin Kemp, legacy manager at Christian Aid, explains ‘As I work with information about legacies and the people who leave them, I have noticed a recurring theme. A huge proportion of them are current or former Christian Aid Week collectors. These supporters, who have been committed to collecting door to door, are one of the most generous groups when it comes to leaving part of their estate to Christian Aid.’ Many people are surprised at how important legacy income is to Christian Aid. ‘It’s about £7 million a year – about half as much as Christian Aid Week raises. Let’s put that in perspective: we spend about £5.5 million a year in Latin America and the Caribbean, where we support 149 partners in 11 countries. So just imagine what we could do if more Christian Aid supporters included us in their wills.’ Colin sums up: ‘We are indebted to those who collect in Christian Aid Week, and I cannot thank enough those who plan to continue their support for our good work through a gift in their will.’ For more information, contact Colin Kemp on ckemp@christian-aid.org or 020 7523 2173.

* subject to availability, excluding P&P, valid until 1 September 2007 Christian Aid News

p26-27 Do the right thing.indd 3

27

5/6/07 13:39:59


Inpuatil your m

Climate Changed: your views The launch of Christian Aid’s Climate Changed campaign has drawn a vociferous response from readers. Here, we publish a selection of your letters and emails, along with a reply from head of campaigns Paul Brannen. Also in this issue: some of your thoughts on David Cameron’s opinion piece in Issue 35 and more on the population debate.

Carbon distractions I’m saddened to see Christian Aid nailing its colours so firmly to the ‘cut the carbon’ mast. There’s every good reason to stop polluting our planet, and to confront the effects of global warming. But the science just doesn’t support the argument that human activity has any more than a very peripheral effect on huge natural fluctuations, such as ocean temperatures or solar activity, for example. The ‘cut the carbon’ gravy train is now so big that many thousands of people would lose their jobs if it came off the rails. So yes, there’s a big ethical imperative to cope with global warming and its consequences, and Christians should be out there at the forefront. But we shouldn’t allow the CO2 argument to distract us from that. Dr John Courtie Taunton, Somerset

Wrong emphasis I am concerned at the priority Christian Aid is giving to its climate change campaign (Issue 35). I accept that it is an issue of major importance, and that the effects of climate change (largely caused by rich nations) will be felt disproportionately by poor communities around the world. However, it is not an issue which is unfamiliar to anybody who has even the slightest interest in current affairs – it is in every newspaper every day, even if the consequences for other

28

nations may not be sufficiently emphasised. I struggle to see what practical effect the huge amount of resource that Christian Aid is putting into campaigning and advertising will have. Worse still, some of the advertising seems to suggest that reducing personal use of energy is sufficient in itself to right many of the world’s wrongs. Trade justice, HIV, Darfur and many other equally worthy issues appear to have sunk without trace in Christian Aid’s publicity and priorities. Other charities seem to have found a better balance in their support for action on climate change and, I regret to say, are more worthy of support. While Christian Aid diverts tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds away from more focused campaigning or relief aid, I will be directing my giving to charities which, to my perception at least, are putting funds to better use. Matthew Lee Derby

Scaremongering Andrew Pendleton writes (Issue 35) that ‘scientists have announced fresh perils to our planet from the increasing pace of global warming’, but he doesn’t tell us which scientists or allow us to check the facts for ourselves. Following Channel 4’s TV programme The Great Climate Change Swindle, I believe what you are doing is

nothing but scaremongering dressed up as science. There seem to be climatologists who think the whole thing nonsense, but this was not represented in your magazine. Instead of truth and science, I suggest that you are serving us propaganda. Norman Woods Monifieth, Dundee

Disappointed When I first learnt that Christian Aid was campaigning on climate change, my reaction was: ‘Why couldn’t they stay with trade justice?’ Since watching The Great Global Warming Swindle, I am even more disappointed with the new campaign. I accept that there is climate change. I support helping under-developed countries and our future generations by using the earth’s finite resources as sparingly as possible, but I am unable to support any actions which imply that global warming is caused mainly by CO2 emissions resulting from human activity. Barbara Pratt Etwall, Derbyshire

On the bandwagon In reading Issue 35 and its concentration on climate change I am concerned that Christian Aid is jumping on or hitching trailers to the climate change bandwagon. Scientific ‘could’ and ‘may’ are becoming ‘would’ and ‘will’ and unjustified extrapolations are made to observations.

Like Chris Collier and Paul Hardaker, eminent members of the Royal Meteorological Society, I am anxious that ‘the Hollywoodisation of climate change is fuelling the fire of scientists who claim that the environmental phenomenon does not exist.’ Whether or not climate change will increase the magnitude and severity of droughts and floods in Africa, climate variability – whether natural or induced – needs the response and action which Christian Aid and other organisations such as Water Aid are taking to protect and improve the living standards of the poor. But please do not dilute your message with unjustifiable assertions. David Archer via email

One law for the rich? The spring Christian Aid News (issue 35) rejoices at pedal power providing energy for a rural community in India, helping to run a pump to provide the village with water. Admittedly it only takes 45 minutes of pedalling per week to provide fuel to run the water system for a week, but would we in the wealthy West be prepared to pedal for our water? And how many hours of pedalling would it take to supply refrigerators, ovens, lights, televisions, computers, heating or air conditioning, washing machines, and all the other modern conveniences that we take for granted? Why should we continue to enjoy these luxuries but condemn others to remain in poverty for the sake of the earth as a whole? This would be an appalling situation, even if the climate change theory were accurate. If, however, the eminent scientists who shared their views in The Great Global Warming Swindle are to be believed (and they produced

Christian Aid News

p28-29 Input.indd 2

5/6/07 13:43:30


Inspired? Enraged? Send your views to the editor. Christian Aid News, PO Box 100, London SE1 7RT or email canews@christian-aid.org Enquiries or requests for information should be sent to Supporter Relations at the address on page 3 an enormous amount of evidence to support their claims), then our current approach to climate change has the potential to become a powerful means of maintaining – and possibly exacerbating – the hardship and poverty experienced by millions of people in the developing world. Christine Kinnersly Northampton

Is it realistic? Morrisons is criticised (It’s time to come clean, Issue 35) for not currently counting carbon emissions from its supply chain. But can it be expected to obtain such data – for example, from the

farmer growing cabbages it sells? Even if it did, there would be double counting if the supplier reported its own data. Morrisons can try, of course, to work with its suppliers to reduce their carbon emissions. It is stated that Barclays has made no attempt to look at the emissions resulting from its investments. Again, is this practicable, and what about double counting? The report on Christian Aid’s carbon footprint does not mention emissions resulting from its investments (in the projects it supports). Of course, Barclays – like Christian Aid – can work with its partners to reduce their carbon footprint. It is

stated that International Power’s emissions grew last year. For a power-producing company, such a statement is not meaningful – the company might have been producing more power. There is much to do, but we should be more precise and careful so that our campaigns are worded realistically. Stuart Brewer Henley-on-Thames

Plastic not fantastic Christian Aid News has lots of interesting and useful articles. One question, though: why do you send the magazine out wrapped in plastic? C M Phillips Lyme Regis, Dorset

A REPLY by Paul Brannen, head of campaigns Christian Aid is not part of a global warming swindle; it is not jumping on a bandwagon, nor riding a ‘gravy train’. Neither have we ditched other campaign areas such as trade justice or the issues that inspired Make Poverty History. Indeed, Christian Aid believes that action on poverty and action on climate change are bound together in the DNA of development. If we fail to take account of the impact of climate change and fail to curb the emissions that cause it, we will be undermining our efforts to tackle poverty. We will also be perpetuating an injustice that, as Christians and as an organisation committed to eradicating poverty, we cannot tolerate. Sir John Houghton, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s scientific assessment working group, has described the C4 programme, The Great Global Warming Swindle as ‘a mixture of truth, half-truth and falsehood, put together with the sole purpose of discrediting the science of global warming as presented by the main world community of climate scientists and by the IPCC.’ You can read his detailed rebuttal of the programme’s assertions on www.jri.org.uk We do, of course believe that people in the developing world have the right to develop, to lead lives of dignity and opportunity. But our planet simply cannot sustain another wave of carbon-spewing development. The most recent UN report confirms that only the most stringent of programmes to reduce emissions of C02 and other greenhouse gases in rich countries – by some 80-90 per cent by 2050 – will give us any

chance of keeping global warming temperature increases below 2ºC. That’s the crucial ‘tipping point’, beyond which the likelihood of us being able to manage the impact of climate change would greatly diminish. If the 2.6 billion people who still survive on less than US$2 a day enforce their right to a level of development akin to ours and achieve it by the same means, we can kiss goodbye to the climate and to many of the things we value and view as civilised. A world with more than three or four degrees of global warming will be one in which order, stability and security are hard to guarantee. As our cover story in this issue of Christian Aid News explains, the effects of climate change will deepen a burgeoning global migration crisis. We must support countries such as China and India in their adoption of cleaner technologies as they develop. We must allow the proper transfer of technologies so that poor countries can set themselves on a path towards low carbon growth. Climate change is an object lesson in what happens when we live beyond our environmental means. Instead of foisting the economic policies that got us into this mess onto poor countries, we should consider how we can support them to achieve their human development goals and, along the way, to share out the wealth they create more evenly. Finally, we are investigating the use of a new, clear, biodegradable polywrap for Christian Aid News and hope to be able to introduce this later in the year.

I AM NOT CONVINCED that the problem of poverty lies in the existence of too many people (Input, Issue 35), but rather in the existence of too many people with greedy, self-seeking lifestyles. Regardless of number, when we’re equipped with an attitude that pleases God, thinking of others as more important than ourselves, there will always be enough. Emily Guy, Dorset CONFLICT RESOLUTION and trust-building schemes are working in a variety of countries, backed mainly by charities, yet David Cameron proposes ‘diplomatic muscle… sanctions and even force’ (Opinion, Issue 35). I am sure that Christian Aid will continue to support projects that bring people together, such as creating work for ex-soldiers, rather than interventions which just swap the positions of oppressors and oppressed. Paul Rayner, West Midlands MR CAMERON assumes that everyone in the world wants more money and more power, like we do in the West. They don’t. In India, spiritual values and dignity come way above materialism (except among the minute proportion of rich middle class). Carol Binnie, Surrey DAVID CAMERON’S article is stacked with undefined terms, bald assumptions and contradictions. Implicit is the message that only the extravagant and wasteful western style of development will cure global poverty. Tony Weekes, Belfast Christian Aid News

p28-29 Input.indd 3

29

5/6/07 13:43:43


Events

■ 23 June Sheffield Night Hike St Luke’s Church, Blackbrook Road A 17-mile dusk-till-dawn hike through the Peak District. Contact Sylvia Buckley, on 0114 246 5064 or email richard@buckley.wanadoo.co.uk ■ 23 June The Freedom Walk 9.30am-4.30pm Godmanchester A 13-mile sponsored walk to raise money for work in Burma. Contact Chris Emerson, on 01733 345755 or email CEmerson@christian-aid.org ■ 24 June Harborne Carnival Come and support the Christian Aid Climate Changed campaign. Contact Abi Patterson, on 0121 200 2283 or email APatterson@christian-aid.org ■ 29 June Roodee Walk 10.30am-2.30pm Chester A sponsored walk for primary schools in the Chester area, with activities exploring climate change in support of Christian Aid and CAFOD. Contact Becky Hurst, on 01925 241 222 or email BHurst@christian-aid.org ■ 29 June Justice Junction 7.30pm Emmanuel Pentecostal Church, Lee High Road, London SE12 Annual event for church youth groups in souoth-east London. Games, videos and drama – informing and inspiring action on climate change. Contact 020 7654 5339 or email justicejunction@christian-aid.org ■ 3 July-22 August Music for a Summer Evening 8pm Hawkshead A series of concerts in the beautiful Lakeland setting of Hawkshead Parish Church. Every Tuesday throughout July and August, and Saturday 11 August . Contact Mrs Parker, on 01539 431070.

30

■ 7 July Bradford Mela Visit Christian Aid and Islamic Relief’s joint presence at Europe’s biggest Mela. Contact Alex Jones, on 0113 244 4764 ■ 10-14 July Eisteddfod Llangollen Llangollen Eisteddfod Rhyngwladol Llangollen stondin masnach deg a Cymorth Cristnogol. Os am wirfoddoli Cysylltwch Swyddfa Bangor 01248 353574. Llangollen International Eisteddfod fair trade and CA resources stall. To volunteer please contact: 01248 353574. Also Wales National Eisteddfod, 4-11 August

Christian Aid’s Festivals Team will be out and about over the coming weeks spreading the message on trade justice and climate change at the best of the summer’s outdoor events. Festivals organiser Katrine Musgrave said: ‘We will be grabbing the limelight with a giant art installation; a street theatre team and free mobile phone charging, from our own wind turbine and solar panels. We look forward to seeing you there!’ 22-24 June Glastonbury Festival Somerset Glastonbury is the largest green-field music and performing arts festival in the world. It is best known for its music but also has a long history of campaigning – this year the Christian Aid Festival Team will attend for the first time! 6-8 July T in the Park Kinross, Scotland T in the Park won best festival of the year award in both 2005 and 2006. With a capacity of 80,000 people, it is this year expanding to be a three-day event and its relationship with Christian Aid goes from strength to strength!

■ 11 July Christian Aid coffee evening 7.30pm Holy Cross Church, Timperley, £1 entrance. Bring and buy. Contact Doris Robinson, 0161 973 2882 ■ 14 July-2 October Cut the Carbon march Local events will take place all along the march route. Visit www. christianaid.org.uk/climate or contact your local Christian Aid office to find out what’s happening near you. Picnics, pub quizzes, performances and meals with marchers – whatever’s planned for your area, make sure you’re there! 14 July – Bangor Marina, County Down: wave the marchers off as they sail to Troon to start their 1,000-mile challenge! 21 July – Edinburgh rally 4 August – Newcastle rally 11 August – Leeds rally 27 August – Birmingham rally 8 September – Cardiff rally 15 September – Bristol event, College Green 2 October – The march ends in The City of London – join us outside the London Stock Exchange and then at St Paul’s Cathedral for a final service. See also pages 10-11 ■ 15 July The Big Picture in Taunton 2-5pm A special fundraising event in which, for £50, individuals, groups, schools, churches, shops and businesses can paint or sponsor a section of a giant picture which will be assembled on the day. Contact Elizabeth Perry, on 01935 850849 or email EPerry@christian-aid.org ■ 3-7 August Christian Aid at Soul Survivor Christian Aid will be taking the Cut

21-22 July Lovebox Weekender Victoria Park, London The capital’s much-loved boutique festival is now in its fifth year and Christian Aid will be contributing to a brand new ‘good life’ area – dedicated to eco and healthy living. 27-29 July WOMAD Charlton Park, Wiltshire The World of Music, Arts and Dance moves to the idyllic Charlton Park for 2007, after many years in Reading! Punters at WOMAD warmly welcome Christian Aid’s campaigns and will get stuck in to help us ‘cut the carbon’.

Christian Aid/Nell Freeman

■ 22 June, 13 July Harvest of Hope Powerful songs, moving images and real-life stories, inspired by encounters with Christian Aid partners in Senegal. Contact Penny Hayes, on 01202 840764 or email PHaynes@christian-aid.org 22 June – St Nicholas Church, Buxton Road, Weymouth, 7.30pm 13 July – Beulah URC, Rhiwbina, Cardiff, 7pm

Going out for the summer

24-27 August Greenbelt Cheltenham Racecourse An all-age arts festival with its roots in the Christian faith. We will again partner with Greenbelt to host the Christian Aid Performance café and a unique ‘Climate Changed’ vigil for 2007.

the Carbon message to the first Soul Survivor event at the Cheshire Showground, Cheshire. Contact Becky Hurst, on 01925 241222 or email BHurst@christian-aid.org

■ 3 September Walk the Line Sponsored walk along the Old Deeside Railway Line, organised by the Aberdeen Christian Aid committee. Contact Jean Rutherford 01224 480654

■ 4 August Tenbury Countryside Show Come and support the Christian Aid Climate Changed campaign and meet some of the West Midlands team. Contact Abi Patterson, on 0121 200 2283 or email APatterson@christian-aid.org

■ 6-8 September Art exhibition Fairlie Parish church, Ayrshire Featuring local amateur and professional artists, with 25 per cent of sale proceeds going to Christian Aid. Admission £2. Contact Margaret Keir 01475 568280

Christian Aid News

p30 Events.indd 2

5/6/07 13:50:32


Water is water. One bottled brand is as good for you as the next, isn’t it? Wrong. There is one brand that makes for a much healthier world: AquAid. The money it raises goes towards Christian Aid’s work in improving the lives of people in the developing world. Just 15 AquAid water coolers used for a year would raise £235: enough to pay for a well in Bangladesh. A well that will provide safe water and could save hundreds of lives for years to come. Please, use whatever influence you have to put AquAid in your office, school, church, or home. It makes no difference to you which brand you drink. But we know which brand the poor of Bangladesh are rooting for. To find out more, please call AquAid on 01223 508 109

CLIENT JOB NUMBER STUDIO NUMBER DATE DESCRIPTION SIZE PAGE PROOF NUMBER

Christian Aid

The difference? Hundreds of Bangladeshi lives.

ACCOUNT MANAGER

CAxxxx 002590 23 April 2007

ART DIRECTOR

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

GOOD CALL/AQUAID 300x225

STUDIO

1 of 1 1

MEDIA SCHEDULE

REPRO PUBLICATION

MASTER

SPELL CHECK


Greenbelt Festival 24 — 27 August 2007 Cheltenham Racecourse

Engaged, connected, open, wondering, challenging, welcoming, believing, hoping, dreaming, thinking, committed, campaigning, young and old. This is Greenbelt.

greenbelt.org.uk

07

Music Delirious? Billy Bragg Duke Special Rosie Thomas Coldcut presents Journey by VJ Soweto Kinch Kathryn Williams Over the Rhine Lleuwen Steffan thebandwithnoname Chas & Dave

Talks Tony Juniper Sister Frances Dominica John Bell Ann Pettifor Professors David Ford and Keith Ward John Smith Janey Lee Grace Jewish theologian Marc Ellis James Allison Muslim writer Naima Bouteldja Mark Yaconelli

Plus Performing Arts Media Visual Arts Film Literature Comedy Worship All-age events Children’s Festival Youth programming Bassline Circus Miller’s Ark mobile farm

Christian Aid at Greenbelt In The Performance Café. Plus campaigning onsite on climate change with a late-night Vigil, the eco-house and an all-age carbon-dating game. Also featuring Daleep Mukarji, Bishop Nelson of Uganda, Andrew Pendleton and Nigel Varndell.

See greenbelt.org.uk/lineup for more Book before 31 July and save up to 10% off site prices

G07-Ad-CANews-0607.indd 1

Book online greenbelt.org.uk/tickets Or call the ticket line 020 7374 2760

31/5/07 12:40:02


Christian Aid New 36 - Summer 2007