CHRISTIAN AID NEWS Issue 52
s You go that extra mile for Christian Aid Week s Your support helps secure campaign win
HUNGRY FOR JUSTICE
We can feed the world, so why are nearly one billion people still starving? Cover.indd 1
Say â€˜on your bike!â€™ to poverty by riding 360 miles through four countries inÂ four days
LONDON TO LUXEMBOURG BIKE RIDE
Photo: Christian Aid/M Gonzalez-Noda
31 August 4Â September 2011
christianaid.org.uk/cycling or call 020 7523 2248
Photo: Christian Aid/Paula Plaza
LOOK TO THE FUTURE
Join Team Poverty NOW!
Lidia lives in a remote farming area in the highlands of Peru. The glaciers there are melting, and Lidia knows that the region faces increasing poverty as this supply of fresh water disappears. She is determined to protect her communityâ€™s future. Christian Aid partner CEDAP has taught Lidia how to store water and use it efficiently, to irrigate crops and sustain pastureland for livestock. Lidia now teaches the techniques to others â€“ in her own community and beyond. You can also help to change the outcome for some of the poorest people of the world. A gift in your Will can help Christian Aid provide vital training so that communities can help themselves. Please look to the future. Leave a legacy.
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020 7620 4444
Christian Aid News is printed on 100 per cent recycled paper
Christian Aid/Sarah Filbey
THE PHRASE ‘I gave at the office’ is one of the all-time great charity clichés – and usually trotted out as a mumbled excuse for not giving. But this is one time of the year when, for those involved with Christian Aid, the phrase takes on a highly positive ring. And I’m not just talking about money – though if, like me, you were out when your local house-to-house collector called, you may have felt honour-bound to top up your donations at work or wherever you encountered a collection tin. But I’m thinking more about the giving of time, for Christian Aid Week is when our supporters really do stand up to be counted. More than 200,000 of you volunteered to go houseto-house or took part in a sponsored event, whether at work, at your church, school or elsewhere in your community. Your efforts have been magnificent and don’t go unnoticed or unappreciated here. Christian Aid depends on you, our supporters, to a huge extent, and, once again, you have not let us down. On behalf of everyone at the Christian Aid ‘office’ – at home and abroad – well done, and thank you. Roger Fulton, Editor
Distributors prepare to hand out malaria nets as part of the Nets Now! scheme
Q24 LIFE AND SOUL How legacy giving through Will Aid helps our work.
Q4 THE BIG PICTURE One striking image...
Q26 EVENTS Q6 NEWS Including: news of reconstruction work in Pakistan, a happy ending for a community forced off its land in Colombia, and actress Hayley Atwell’s Christian Aid Week visit to Nicaragua.
Q12 CAMPAIGNS News of our drive to persuade the World Bank to abandon fossil fuels, plus a thought-provoking view on tax havens.
Q28 YOUR CHRISTIAN AID Events and stories from your part of the UK.
Christian Aid’s Eric Gutierrez on why it is so hard to tackle corruption.
Q30 LAST WORD The joys – and gloom – of living on £1 a day.
SPECIAL FEATURE Q15 HUNGRY FOR JUSTICE
Meet two of our Team Poverty bike riders and make some dates for your challenge diary.
Christian Aid is a Christian organisation that insists the world can and must be swiftly changed to one where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty. We work globally for profound change that eradicates the causes of poverty, striving to achieve equality, dignity and freedom for all, regardless of faith or nationality. We are part of a wider movement for social justice. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance where need is great, tackling the effects of poverty as well as its root causes.
From commodity trading driving up food prices, to the population issue: a new report highlights the problems of food security.
UK registered charity number 1105851 Company number 5171525 Scotland charity number SC039150 Northern Ireland charity number XR94639 Company number NI059154 Republic of Ireland charity number CHY 6998 Company number 426928. The Christian Aid name and logo are trademarks of Christian Aid; Poverty Over is a trademark of Christian Aid. © Christian Aid June 2011. The acceptance of external advertising does not indicate endorsement. If you wish to receive this magazine digitally, go to digitalcan.christianaid.org.uk
Q Front cover Helping women’s groups in Andhra Pradesh, India, to cultivate land now feeds thousands. Photo: Christian Aid/Chiara Goia Q Pictures Matthew Gonzalez-Noda Q Sub-editors Caroline Atkinson, Sophy Kershaw, Louise Parfitt Q Circulation Ben Hayward Q Design and production Becca Higgins/Syon Publishing, 020 8332 8400 Q Christian Aid head office 35 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7RL Q Tel 020 7620 4444 Q Fax 020 7620 0719 Q Email email@example.com Q Online at christianaid.org.uk
THE BIG PICTURE
Christian Aid/M Gonzalez-Noda
THE FROTH OF GOD!
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Christian Aid/M Gonzalez-Noda
THE BISHOP of Southwark Rt Rev Christopher Chessun worked up a head of steam for Christian Aid Week when he went behind the counter in Southwark Cathedralâ€™s Refectory to try his hand at being a barista. The unusual role was part of an effort by 22 bishops and ministers in England, Scotland and Wales to raise awareness of how small-scale coffee farmers in Nicaragua have been able to work their way out of poverty with the help of Christian Aid through our support of a cooperative called Soppexcca. The project, which began working with 65 coffee producers in 2001, now works with 700 farmers and its social fund benefits more than 4,000 people. Profits from coffee sales are invested back into the community, helping to fund projects such as the building of schools and health centres. Bishop Christopher commented: â€˜This is an inspirational scheme which gives people income and self respect. This Christian Aid Week there has been a great link with coffee, which is the urban drink of choice. I hope it will get people to think through where it comes from and about the people and families who grow it.â€™ s9OU CAN READ MORE ABOUT THE CLERICAL COFFEE MAKERS IN THE !ROUND THE 2EGIONS SECTION ON PAGES
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A cyclone of support THREE YEARS AGO, Burma’s worst cyclone in living memory crashed into the Irrawaddy delta, destroying hundreds of thousands of people’s lives, homes and livelihoods. Since Cyclone Nargis struck, Christian Aid partners have been working hard to ensure that the £2.6m generously donated by our supporters has helped about 200,000 of the most vulnerable people affected not only to recover but also rebuild their lives in ways that are stronger and more resilient to future disasters.
HERE’S HOW YOU’VE HELPED: 17,000
fishing and farming families were able to recover their tools, livestock and equipment
disaster resilient homes have been built, all equipped with sanitation and waterconservation facilities
vulnerable people have established stronger, more resilient livelihoods households have been trained in disaster management and preparedness coastal villages have replanted their mangrove trees to protect them against future storms people living with disabilities resulting from the cyclone have received care, treatment and equipment.
In addition to all this, Christian Aid’s support has helped partners grow in confidence and expertise. As a result, government authorities now ask our partner organisations to work with them to coordinate the response when other disasters occur.
APPEAL FUNDS TARGET LONGTERM RECOVERY NEARLY A YEAR after vast tracts of Pakistan were devastated by the worst floods in the country’s history, Christian Aid has been back to the region to see how recovery work is progressing. In July and August last year, intense monsoon rains resulted in floodwater covering an area the size of England. Almost 20 million people were affected – more than the combined number affected by the 2004 tsunami and the Kashmir and Haiti earthquakes. A staggering 120,000 food parcels were delivered to flood-affected areas, and 120,000 families received household items to replace what they had lost. In the worst-affected province, Sindh, Christian Aid provided 3,000 households with tents and plastic sheets.
Now, however, longer-term recovery work has taken over from the emergency response. The money from Christian Aid’s appeal, which totalled £5m, will be spent carefully over a period of three years, ensuring that families are firmly back on their feet. Christian Aid is working through ACT Alliance partners Church World ServicePakistan/Afghanistan, Norwegian Church Aid and Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, plus partner Muslim Hands, to deliver longterm support to the most vulnerable flood-affected communities. Following a visit in May, communications officer Susan Barry said: ‘Some 90,000 people have benefited from our livelihoods recovery programme, after the floods devastated
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CAMBODIA Christian Aid/Susan Barry
Call for rethink on ‘restrictive’ law Katya Levin/DCA
Building new homes in flood-affected Pakistan
their means of making an income. Families are now in a positive position to restart or establish a small business enterprise, such as a small shop. ‘We are also providing vouchers to farmers to buy seeds, tools and fertiliser. Each farmer was given the dignity of making their own decisions about what they required. They planted their seeds earlier this year, and are now able to harvest their wheat, sugar cane and cotton crops, making a huge difference to them and their families. ‘A further 6,000 young men are learning a trade – becoming plumbers, electricians, welders, masons or carpenters. Each student receives a toolkit at the end of the three-month course, and their new skills will be vitally important as the country begins to rebuild, with the construction trade providing long-term work opportunities.’ She added: ‘In a country that more frequently hits the headlines because of terrorist activity and political unrest, it can be easy to misunderstand the real needs of the people of Pakistan. But the fact is that the majority of flood-affected communities live in desperate, grinding poverty, and it is these people our work is reaching.’
CHRISTIAN AID IS BACKING partners in Cambodia who are fighting to stop the introduction of a repressive new law that would stop them – and others – from speaking out and holding their government to account. The Cambodian government has published a new draft Law on Associations and NGOs, which local and international organisations believe undermines fundamental rights and freedoms of Cambodian civil society. The new law would allow the government to control and restrict all civil society action in the country. Christian Aid is urging the European Union to use its influence to persuade the Cambodian government to redraft the law, making it easier for local organisations to register and operate. In a letter to the EU, signed by Christian Aid and its sister agencies in Europe, Rob van Drimmelen, General
Secretary of APRODEV (a European network made up of 17 development organisations associated with the World Council of Churches), warns: ‘The law puts at risk the progress made in Cambodia. Savings and self-help groups, village committees and rice banks will no longer be able to exist without registration if the draft is approved. Small NGOs and community-based organisations, now providing basic services to the poorest populations in remote areas, will not be able to meet the requirements entailed in registering.’ Amanda Farrant, Christian Aid communications officer for Asia, said: ‘While the shoots of democracy are pushing through around the Middle East and north Africa, worryingly there are many people elsewhere in the world experiencing increasing restrictions on their ability to speak out.’ On International Labour Day on 1 May, our partners in Cambodia marched through Phnom Penh with other organisations and individuals to voice concern about the erosion of human rights in the country. Human rights groups have set up a Facebook campaign to oppose the current draft of the law. See on.fb.me/dWjrDl
Election delay welcomed CHRISTIAN AID partners in Zimbabwe have tentatively welcomed rumours that general elections scheduled to take place this summer may be postponed until late 2012 or early 2013. Christian Aid’s Harare office reported that the mood of the people prior to anticipated elections has been ‘depressed, fearful and uncertain’. Programme officer Tapiwanashe Hoto explained: ‘They want to see a situation where the constitution is in place and the media is independent and
non-partisan.’ With widespread belief that existing conditions are not conducive to free and fair elections, Christian Aid’s partners have been working with communities to help reduce the likelihood of a recurrence of the politically motivated intimidation and violence on the scale that followed the 2008 elections. Partners working on governance issues have been reporting increasing limitations to their work and a heavy increase in security forces in rural areas.
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Christian Aid/Sarah Filbey
Sending nets and saving lives
Net distributors in Nigeria
EVERY YEAR, there are nearly 250 million cases of malaria and one million deaths. In Africa, it accounts for one-fifth of all childhood fatalities, killing a child every 45 seconds, according to World Health Organization figures. We know that chemically treated mosquito nets are one of the most effective ways to tackle malaria and yet so many people in Africa still don’t have one. Christian Aid believes it is outrageous that so many people are dying from an easily preventable disease. And that’s why, this month, we are launching Nets Now! The aim of this 12-month project is to send as many mosquito nets as possible to the families who need them most, as well as raising global awareness of malaria. It will cost just £3 to provide a lifesaving mosquito net through the NetsNow.org website. During the 12
months we guarantee that every penny given through the site will be spent on community health projects, which include mosquito net distribution in Africa. What you can do Nets Now! is aimed at people who have not previously supported Christian Aid. But we’d love you to spread the word about the scheme among your family and friends. The Nets Now! website is packed with updated photos, videos and articles, so there’s always plenty of interesting stuff to share through Twitter and Facebook. And the more people who sign up, the more nets we’ll send and the more lives we’ll save. s4O lND OUT more visit NetsNow.org
THOUSANDS RESPOND TO POVERTY OVER MESSAGE CHRISTIAN AID’S Poverty Over message has had a great reaction from the thousands of people who have watched the films, joined in the webchats and read the information published in The Guardian and online. More than 40,000 visits to Christian Aid’s website christianaid.org.uk/ povertyover have been logged, and Poverty Over content has been shared more than 17,000 times on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Analysis of the responses is ongoing, but people were clearly angered at the injustices they saw. In the webchat after the food and agriculture film, one wrote that: ‘the need to develop a new economic system that restores a living balance, a living economy we could call it, is urgent.’ Many expressed the belief that ending poverty is such an overwhelming task that there is little that we, as individuals, can do to help. So how can we convince people that an end to poverty is possible? According to Christian Aid’s campaign manager Helen Collinson, the answer lies partly in campaigning for change. She said: ‘In just two years, Christian Aid’s tax campaign has made huge leaps in raising public awareness of this issue and changing politicians’ views on this. The previous Labour government came out in favour of a new accounting standard that would require multinational companies to declare their profits made and taxes paid in every country where they operate. We have also seen a big change in attitude from the private sector.’ So change can and does happen. As Christian Aid’s chief policy adviser, Alex Cobham, said: ‘There has been criticism of international development charities – including Christian Aid – that they have, over the years, overemphasised the doom and gloom of the situation, and so contributed to a public feeling that we can’t actually end poverty. ‘The Poverty Over work is an effort to communicate more widely our belief that poverty eradication is possible through political change.’ s 3EE ALSO )NPUT AND #OMMENT PAGE
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Glad to be home: the Las Pavas families enjoy their land
IN A MAJOR victory for a Christian Aidspearheaded campaign, the 123 families in Las Pavas, Colombia, forced off their land at gunpoint two years ago, have won the legal right to return to the land. The Colombian Constitutional Court has ruled that the Ministry of Agriculture must re-open their case for legal title to this land, the ownership of which was under dispute when it was sold to a company that wanted to exploit it for palm oil plantations. Christian Aid partner the Development and Peace Programme of Magdelena Medio (PDPMM), has been advising the community from the outset. Following the court ruling, Banessa Estrada, a PDPMM lawyer, said: ‘It is a good ruling and the direction we were hoping for.’ This is an emblematic case for displaced people that Christian Aid hopes will lead to an extensive process of land restitution in Colombia. It began in July 2009, when Colombian riot police forced the community of Las Pavas off the land they had been living on, leaving them no time to harvest their crops, and
telling them that the land had been sold to a palm oil company. Christian Aid discovered that Daabon – the Colombian company in the consortium that obtained the court order to throw the farmers off their land – was also a significant supplier of palm oil to The Body Shop. We raised the issue with The Body Shop and it co-financed an independent review into the case, which ruled that Daabon had no excuse for being ignorant of the legal dispute surrounding ownership of the land. The Body Shop gave Daabon two months to contact the farmers and begin to negotiate a settlement. When the deadline passed with no contact, The Body Shop ended ties with the company.
Land victory for AfroColombian communities In a separate case, Afro-Colombian communities in Chocó – one of the poorest regions of Colombia – will this month finally receive collective titles for their ancestral land after an 11-year wait. Despite the Colombian constitution formally recognising their land rights, it’s taken a long legal battle to win the titles, with Christian Aid partner Diócesis de Quibdó pushing the process forward and lobbying on the communities’ behalf. About 3,200 families – 12,000 people – of African descent live in 172,000 hectares of land. They have occupied this area for 500 years, making a living mostly through rudimentary gold mining. Economic interests by multinationals, especially mining companies, have got in the way, putting communities’ livelihoods at risk.
AFGHANISTAN Campaign urges push for peace Christian Aid has pledged its support to Together Afghanistan, a joint interagency campaign, launched earlier this year.
The campaign is calling for: s 5+ SUPPORT FOR A COMPREHENSIVE PEACE process s BETTER PROTECTION FOR CIVILIANS s USING AID TO MEET PEOPLES NEEDS NOT political objectives.
To find out more and to get involved, visit togetherafghanistan.org
Partner wins fight to end manual scavenging A CHRISTIAN AID-backed campaign to end manual scavenging in India has achieved its ultimate aim – a pledge by the Indian government to end the degrading practice once and for all. The outcome follows years of intense campaigning by our partner organisation Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA) – highlighted in previous issues of Christian Aid News – culminating in last year’s mass rallies throughout India. And the government pledge has been backed with hard cash: it has increased its 2011-2012 budget to support manual scavengers in finding alternative livelihoods, from just over £600,000 to £13.3m. It has also set up various task force groups to work with SKA, to identify existing manual scavengers, destroy all existing dry latrines and to review the 1993 law, which banned the practice yet was never really enforced, to make it more effective. Since SKA began, just over 10 years ago, more than a million women have thrown down their brooms, and vowed never to engage in manual scavenging again. The campaign trained young people to lead in each state and inspire their communities to stop the practice. They worked at many levels, filing a case in the Supreme Court, carrying out surveys to monitor the numbers of manual scavengers, and campaigning to raise awareness about the issue nationally and internationally.
Christian Aid/Cathy Bouley
Ousted families win right to go home
Demolishing a dry latrine
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Christian Aid/Lee Thompson
It’s all about the coffee for Hayley
Drive to protect domestic workers
CHRISTIAN AID is working with partners in the Middle East, Asia and the UK to increase support for a new International Labour Organisation convention to protect domestic workers. Many domestic workers are migrants, often sending money home to families from their meagre wages. Too often, these workers are exploited and abused, and because their work takes place in private households it is hard to regulate. They can also face tough choices between slave-like employment or imprisonment as they can be reliant on their employer for their visa, particularly in regions such as the Middle East. Christian Aid has
worked closely with domestic worker groups, trade unions, and other nongovernmental organisations, to increase support for the proposed convention. Together we’ve campaigned for all domestic workers to be covered by any new convention, and for important rights on pay, conditions and access to social security to be included in the draft law. As Christian Aid News went to press, governments, employers and employees at the International Labour Conference were due to vote on adopting the new convention. To find out how they voted, visit: christianaid.org.uk/ protectdomesticworkers
COMIC RELIEF CASH BOOSTS HIV WORK COMIC RELIEF has pledged £830,000 of support to help Christian Aid partners reach people living with and affected by, HIV and its related illnesses in Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Christian Aid will also contribute £92,000 towards the People Living Positively initiative, which aims to benefit more than 23,000 people living with HIV and their families, mostly in Sierra Leone’s western area and the Plateau State in Nigeria. We will help a network of partners to ensure that HIV-related stigma and denial is challenged and that people living with HIV have sustainable access to quality care and support.
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Christian Aid/Lee Thompson
Main picture: Hayley looks at the coffee crop with Soppexcca farmer Beatriz Alvarez. Inset: Hayley puts her back into a shift at Soppexccaâ€™s coffee mill
MOMENT OF JOY FOR HAITI INSPIRED BY the activities of other overseas offices, Christian Aidâ€™s Haiti team organised a football match to mark Christian Aid Week. The game was played between Christian Aid and Haitiâ€™s ACT Alliance team, and given everything that the Haiti staff have been through in recent times, this event was truly inspirational. Country manager Prospery Raymond commented: â€˜It was a good moment of solidarity, sharing and joy. At the end of the game, all the participants were crying: â€œMesi, mesi, mesiâ€Ś.â€? [thanks, thanks, thanks] in gratitude to all Christian Aid supporters who gave to Christian Aidâ€™s earthquake appeal.â€™
AS A COFFEE DRINKER for pretty much every day of her adult life, actress Hayley Atwell thought she knew what coffee meant to her. A job at 18 for a coffee chain in west London helped finance a RADA Shakespeare course and a trip to find an agent in Los Angeles. That investment has paid off as Hayley â€“ who will appear on the big screen in the forthcoming summer blockbuster Captain America â€“ has since worked with Woody Allen, Ralph Fiennes, Keira Knightley, Colin Farrell and Emma Thompson in movies such as Brideshead Revisited and The Duchess, and been nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in TV drama The Pillars of the Earth. She also starred in the BAFTA award-winning Any Human Heart. Now a visit to Christian Aid partner Soppexcca in the northern Nicaraguan region of Jinotega has changed her perspective on coffee again. Soppexcca
is a collective of coffee-farming cooperatives that previously struggled to access a fair price for their beans. Christian Aid has supported them since 2001. Some villages, for example in Los Alpes, have benefited hugely with a school, which was built by parents on the back of proceeds from coffee. Other children, such as those in La Paz del Tuma, are currently educated in a storage unit once used to house chemicals. The community in La Paz have just started to work with Soppexcca four years ago, and plan to build a school of their own with proceeds from what they grow. Soppexcca also bought a coffee mill, which provides employment for thousands, including many women whose status has improved because of their employment. Hayley did an afternoonâ€™s work at the mill and returned to write an article for the BBC news website, discussed her trip on Radio 5 Live and was featured in Hello! during Christian Aid Week. She said: â€˜I never thought when I was working in a coffee shop in my late teens that I would see for myself how important coffee could be to poor communities in Nicaragua. Iâ€™ve seen how Christian Aidâ€™s approach to helping people work their way out of poverty can make a dramatic difference to their lives. The people I met did not want handouts, just help to get their own business off the ground, the profits from which they have used to benefit the whole community.â€™ s 3EE CAWEEKORG
Support for returning migrant workers CHRISTIAN AID and our partners in Egypt are leading an emergency response programme to support more than 1,700 families of Egyptian migrant workers returning from Libya. Since the conflict in Libya started, more than 100,000 Egyptians working there have returned home to Egypt, where unemployment has risen due to the decline in tourism and other industries, since the overthrow of the Mubarak regime in February. In coordination with the ACT Alliance, our partners will be organising improvements to public spaces, including tree-planting, and repairs to street lighting, enabling returning
workers to earn money for their labour. Our partners in Egypt are also helping marginalised communities promote their needs in the new uncertain Egypt. For example, our partner the Christian Evangelical Organisation for Social Services (CEOSS) is expanding the work of its Forum on Intercultural Dialogue. This forum brings together Muslim and Christian leaders and opinion makers, to address incidents such as the recent violence between communities, and call for legal accountability. Their activities have included a candlelit vigil and peaceful march, and they plan to hold workshops on how to rebuild community trust.
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WORLD BANK CAMPAIGN SCORES SUCCESS by Clare Groves
WE’VE HAD SOME GREAT SUCCESS in our campaign to stop the World Bank investing in fossil fuels since the last issue of Christian Aid News. Christian Aid supporters have sent more than 26,000 messages to Andrew Mitchell, the international development secretary, and the UK’s representative on the board of the World Bank. This has raised a lot of attention within government, and our message is getting through. Thanks to your campaigning, the World Bank indicated in April that it plans to stop investment in coal-fired power stations in medium-income countries such as Brazil, South Africa and the Philippines. This means that in the future a coal-fired power plant such as the one built by Eskom in South Africa would not get funding from the World Bank. While this is a step in the right direction, the campaign doesn’t end here. We want the World Bank to confirm this ban on coal and extend it to all developing countries. There are also no plans to limit funding for gas and oil,
meaning that fossil-fuel investment could continue to rise, worsening climate change and driving the poor even deeper into poverty. We’re calling on the Bank to end fossil-fuel investment and instead provide the clean, reliable and affordable energy so urgently needed by the world’s poor. The coming weeks are crucial. The World Bank will review its energy strategy at its international board meeting in July, so we’re running out of time to make our demands heard. The UK is a key member of the World Bank and will be contributing its recommendations to the strategy. Help us to keep up the pressure by writing to your MP this month, and ask them to raise this issue with the secretaries of state for international development and energy and climate change. Check out our new video and take action on our website at christianaid.org.uk/clean-energy Together we can ensure that this issue stays at the top of the government’s green agenda.
TELL CHANCELLOR TO END TAX HAVEN SECRECY by Laura Trevelyan
Our End Tax Haven Secrecy campaign is gathering pace, with thousands of postcards and emails being sent to David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, who is chairing the G20 this year. To support the actions, our campaigns team recently paid the French embassies in London and Dublin, a visit to remind France of the crucial role it can play in lifting people out of poverty at this year’s G20 meeting. Although our campaign is aimed at the G20 heads of state, who are meeting in November, there are other important
meetings in the run-up that we need to influence. The G20 finance ministers’ meeting in September is crucial to getting effective action on financial secrecy onto the agenda for the November meeting, so in this issue of Christian Aid News we are targeting the Chancellor, George Osborne. Please sign and send the postcard in this issue today. To request more G20 postcards, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7523 2264. s Opposite: read the views of tax justice writer Nick Shaxson on the link between tax havens and poverty
Campaigners call on G20 leaders to unlock tax haven secrecy
BAPTIST UNION ENDORSES TAX CAMPAIGN by Alasdair Roxburgh
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â€˜Until we understand tax havens, we will never understand why so many countries remain poorâ€™ Nicholas Shaxson is a leading authority on tax justice issues. His latest book, the highly acclaimed Treasure Islands, exposes the central role of tax havens in the global financial system. Here he shares his views on the link between tax havens and global poverty
Christian Aid/M Gonzalez-Noda
At the start of May the Baptist Union of Great Britain voted in favour of a resolution endorsing Christian Aidâ€™s Trace the Tax campaign. It follows a similar move by the Church of Scotland and is a major boost to the campaign. The resolution commits the Baptist Church to raising concerns over
corporate tax dodging with the coalition government â€“ a fantastic move in itself. But more importantly, itâ€™s a significant boost to our efforts to build a movement to end tax dodging, which costs the poor so much. s &OR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR TAX CAMPAIGN VISIT CHRISTIANAIDORGUKTAX
SIX YEARS AGO I flew to Moscow to interview Arkady Gaydamak, a wealthy financier who had set up a deal to restructure and repay Angolaâ€™s US$5bn Cold War debts to Russia. A Swiss magistrate had frozen some payments under the deal after hundreds of millions disappeared into mysterious company accounts in an array of tax havens. Gaydamak told me that these companies were simply trading entities â€“ and that Russia still got paid properly. Was he telling the truth? I could not check. My investigations hit a wall of offshore secrecy. All I can say for sure is that the impenetrability of the scheme created massive incentives for embezzlement. This episode was just a footnote to a far bigger story. In January this year LĂŠonce Ndikumana, research director at the African Development Bank, estimated in a study of 33 African countries that their stock of capital flight accumulated between 1970 and 2008 stood at US$944bn: more than four times their combined public debts. So Africa is a net creditor to the world. The problem, of course, is that while the assets are in private hands, typically in tax havens such as Britain
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CAMPAIGNS or Singapore, the debts are borne by the African public in the form of degraded public services, more reliance on foreign aid, and financial impunity for élites. All this shatters the social contract and undermines efforts to improve governance. My book Treasure Islands explores how huge the offshore system has grown. Today it is at the heart of the global economy. Half of world trade, on some measures, passes through them. The biggest havens today are not all small, palm-fringed islands such as the Caymans, as many people suppose, but include the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Ireland: all big Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries or their dependencies. Consider how many wealthy Nigerians stash their wealth in London, hidden from their home tax and criminal authorities. Now ask how many British people stash their wealth in Lagos? The answer is clear. The big beneficiaries of secrecy in the global financial secrecy infrastructure are rich-world financial centres – typically tax havens in their own right – while the losers are developing countries. It also helps explain why OECD countries have claimed to be cracking down on offshore secrecy – while doing almost nothing in practice. Global Financial Integrity in Washington estimated that more than US$1.2 trillion in illicit financial flows left developing countries for wealthy nations and tax havens in 2008 alone: for every dollar in aid, more than US$10 flowed out under the table. Jeffrey Owens, tax director at the OECD, puts it plainly: ‘Tax havens have a bigger impact on developing countries than on developed countries.’ He estimates the drainage at 7-8 per cent of GDP – a colossal hit. Tax havens must now be placed at the forefront of debates about development. Offshore helped cause every debt crisis since the 1970s. Loans flooded in – then money sluiced out offshore, leaving behind public debts. Until we understand tax havens, we will never understand why so many countries remain poor.
BEARING WITNESS TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND GLOBAL POVERTY South Africa. He is also an ex-President of the South African Council of Churches. He will preach on how the global church and Christians can lead action on climate change. As the United Nations climate talks will be held in South Africa later this year, it’s especially exciting that a South African activist will be joining us.
Be a climate witness
Prof Tinyiko Maluleke (inset) will preach in Manchester Cathedral
ON SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER, the eve of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Christian Aid, Cafod and Tearfund will be in the city to lead a day of learning, campaigning and worship on the issues of climate change and global poverty – and you can join us. Hear from inspirational speakers and discuss global issues during an afternoon of workshops and talks, before an ecumenical service in the Anglican Cathedral. We will then form a procession to the conference venue and hold a vigil asking the government not to forget the world’s poor. A guest preacher is Professor Tinyiko Maluleke, a leading African theologian, and the Director of Research at the University of
The world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are already suffering the worst impacts of climate change – despite doing the least to cause the problem. We are witnesses of this injustice. Be part of the church’s response by acting and praying for strong and fair action to tackle climate change and global poverty.
Speak out to our leaders. We welcomed David Cameron’s promise that this would be the ‘greenest government ever’. It’s now time to remind the government of this pledge. We will call on it to go further by showing ambitious leadership leading up to and at the upcoming UN climate talks in South Africa.
Register now to save your place Places for this day are limited. You can register your interest on our website at christianaid.org.uk/bearingwitness or call us on 020 7523 2158 and we’ll get back to you. You can email info@ christian-aid.org for further information.
GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES CONSULTATION ON CARBON REPORTING THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT, Food and Rural Affairs has just launched a consultation asking if companies should be required to report their carbon emissions to an agreed standard. This legislation is important because transparency is the first step to reducing the 12-15 per cent of global carbon emissions for which UK-listed companies are responsible. More than 60,000 Christian Aid supporters have already called for mandatory carbon reporting and we need to make sure our voices are heard at this crucial consultation. To take our urgent action go to christianaid.org.uk/greenest If you want to respond in more depth contact the campaigns team at email@example.com or call 020 7523 2264.
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WHY DO NEARLY A BILLION PEOPLE GO HUNGRY EVERY DAY? Hunger, a scourge as old as humankind, has many causes â€“ some the work of nature, others entirely our own fault. Today, with enough food in the world for everyone, hunger should be history. So why are nearly one billion people still starving?
Christian Aid/Les Stone
Market day in Jocotan, Guatemala. Many indigenous people come in from the mountains to sell their produce
In a powerful new report, Hungry for Justice: Fighting Starvation in an Age of Plenty, Christian Aid examines the major causes of hunger, including climate change, land grabs, changing consumption patterns and conflict. In particular, it highlights growing suspicions that international commodity trading is a major factor pushing the price of food beyond the
pockets of the poor. The report, which has had extensive media coverage, also identifies what needs to change so communities can feed themselves. You can read or download the full 104-page report at christianaid.org. uk/hungry-for-justice but over the next six pages we look at three of the highlighted issues â€“ commodity trading, sustainable agriculture and population.
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Are pension funds helping to cause global hunger? Christian Aid news and campaigns editor Andrew Hogg examines the role the financial markets play in pushing up the price of food
IT WAS NO MORE than a 262-page rider to a much larger document. But since its enactment in the dying days of the Clinton administration, the US Commodity Futures Modernization Act 2000 has gained a notoriety that belies the lack of fanfare surrounding its launch. The legislation allowed US banks,
broker-dealers and other financial institutions to develop, market and trade a variety of unregulated financial products. Its impact was huge. The Sunlight Foundation, which campaigns in the US for greater transparency in government, commented recently: â€˜Tucked into a
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Scott Olson/Getty Images
The frenzy of the trading floor – commodity brokers are now accused of pushing up food prices, to the detriment of the poor
bloated 11,000-page conference report as a rider with no consideration and no time for review, this bill would be viewed only eight years later as part of the failure of our political system abetting a financial storm that brought the world to its knees.’ Today, as well as precipitating the global financial meltdown of 2008, the Act also stands accused of helping to drive millions of poor people in developing countries into extreme poverty. For the deregulation it offered allowed pension funds – with all their massive wealth – access to commodities markets. The sheer volume of money
that then poured into the market is now thought by many to be responsible for pushing the price of food beyond the pockets of the poor. This year, record prices were recorded in February when an index of the real prices, taking inflation into account, of 55 food commodities compiled by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) stood 23 points above the previous record levels reached in June 2008. Although prices fell back slightly in April, cereal prices, of crucial importance to the world’s poor, remained at an all-time high, with the FAO recently saying that one billion people now live in ‘chronic hunger.’ While the causes of hunger are myriad, some of them natural, such as cyclones and tsunamis, and some unnatural, such as war and errant economic policies, suspicions are hardening that commodities trading also plays an important role. In the new report, Hungry for Justice: Fighting Starvation in an Age of Plenty, Christian Aid says it is not the hedge funds that are leading this investment – something that will come as a surprise to many. There have been some well-publicised cases in which hedge funds have tried to corner the market in a commodity but that is not the issue here. More pertinent are the activities of institutional investors such as pension funds looking for a safe place in which to let their money grow following the bursting of the dotcom bubble, and, more latterly, the collapse of the property boom. The scene was set for institutional investors to enter into the commodities market in 1991 when Goldman Sachs created an index of 18 commodities, including various foods, in which people were invited to invest. As well as providing diversity in the form of different types of commodities – from oil to metals to foodstuffs – that would perform differently, the index would also offer diversity at a broader level to those with investments in traditional assets such as shares and bonds. Business built up quickly, only to turn into an avalanche once the Commodity Futures Modernization Act was passed. Crucially, it allowed more heavily regulated investors to enter the commodities market.
Pension funds, for instance, are forbidden in the US from speculating on commodities futures themselves because that involves leverage, or the use of borrowed money. However, the Act gave them access to the index funds. And they have money – lots of it. An illustration of the kind of funds at their disposal is the fact that the combined value of the world’s 13 largest pension markets is around US$26.5trn, higher than the combined GDP of China and the US. Every index-linked investment they make tends to produce a related investment in the ‘futures’ of the individual commodities on the index by whichever bank or finance house is managing their business. The index-fund managers make such bets to cover themselves in terms of prices moving up and down. And they too, particularly with extra money flooding into the system through quantitative easing, have a lot of money to invest. It is these underlying trades in the commodities futures that are now thought to be distorting prices. This is because the money is invested with relatively little heed to factors such as consumer demand and whether harvests have been good or bad. ‘Price discovery’, as the process is known by which the market sets the price of a commodity through assessing such factors, has been eclipsed, so the argument goes, by the huge amounts of money sloshing around in the system. As a result, the signals that producers receive about whether to up production, or reduce it, are unclear. In the short term (most of the past 10 years) the prices of major foodstuffs have been driven unnecessarily high, with knock-on effects for world hunger. In the longer term, we are at risk of locking in inefficiencies that will prevent the planet from providing for its growing population.
Recommendations Research into the links between food price rises and commodity investment is at a nascent stage. Policy makers, however, must investigate urgently the way in which the former now mirrors the latter. In addition, policy makers should commit to a detailed assessment of the potential human impact of any further significant regulatory changes before they are implemented.
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Sustainable solutions: a farming revolution The Hungry for Justice report identifies sustainable farming practices as a means of improving food security in poorer countries. One of the projects it looked at was the Deccan Development Society in India. By Andrew Hogg IN A HUNGER-PRONE Indian state – where not too long ago a stampede of farmers at a subsidised seed distribution point became so frenzied that police opened fire – a quiet revolution is now taking place. This not only ensures there is food all year round for the community involved – dalits, a section of society so marginalised they were once known as ‘untouchables’ – but also provides them with power over their lives, particularly the women, who have emerged as the driving force behind the changes. Several hours’ drive from Hyderabad, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Medak district sits on the Deccan plateau, a geographical feature of southern India characterised by shallow soil, hard, stony ground and low rainfall. Medak was once so impoverished that the late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi chose it as her constituency in a key election to signal her support for the rural poor in return for theirs. In recent years, however, it has become home to the Deccan Development Society (DDS), a collective that Christian Aid helps support, which now covers some 70 villages over a 20-mile radius with a population of 200,000. DDS has helped to transform farming methods; it has established a ‘green school’ to provide youngsters with both an education and livelihood skills; it has
trained health workers in traditional medicines and midwifery; and launched a community radio station. There is also a DDS-subsidised food distribution system to help the very poor. And where once dalit farmers were forced to depend on rich landowners for handouts of seeds in return for work, it is they who now own the seed banks. In the nearest town, the presence of a restaurant claiming to be the only one in India specialising in millet dishes hints at what lies behind the transformation. Largely eschewing water-intensive cash crops such as rice and sugar cane, DDS farmers have instead reverted to traditional, more drought-resistant varieties of grain – millets and sorghum. These crops – supplemented by a biodiverse mix that includes pigeon peas, chick peas, lentils and amaranth, sun hemp, green gram and black gram – are key to the way the area is now able to feed itself. The collective began life in the mid1980s when the term ‘climate change’ had barely been coined. It was the brainchild of a group of urban professionals from Hyderabad – led by television journalist PV Satheesh – who were interested in development, and wanted to help the poor in the area help themselves. ‘This is an extremely harsh land, not much rainfall, with the kind of
temperatures and soil quality that make it difficult for people to survive,‘ says Satheesh today. ‘The rains used to be regular, but now they are erratic. Drought is always just around the corner.’ Satheesh explains that the initiative really took off when the group saw the contribution that women wanted to make. ‘That was the defining moment,’ he says. Under Indira Gandhi, says Satheesh, a ceiling had been put on the amount of land the rich could own, and the rest had to be given to those in need. The land handed over, however, tended to
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Christian Aid/Chiara Goia
Bidekanne village, Andhra Pradesh, India. Samamma is the leader of a sangham or women’s group. The Deccan Development Society has helped such women obtain and cultivate land that now feeds thousands
be the poorest and least fertile. DDS women began transforming the landscape, using soil from a reservoir bed, and planting a variety of crops. Within a short time yields increased from 50kg to up to as much as 400-600kg. The women then mapped land in their villages that had been left uncultivated and negotiated with the owners, offering to make it productive again for a share of the produce. India’s Public Distribution System, which provides subsidised rice and grain to the poor, had long before helped speed the demise of millets and
sorghum, which are coarser grains that need more preparation. However, they are not only drought-resistant, but also don’t need the fertiliser required by the hybrid seeds that the government subsidises. DDS has encouraged biodiversity, suggesting that every farmer plants diverse crops to be harvested at different times, ensuring new supplies of food throughout the year. Seeds can then be exchanged to help other farmers diversify. ‘Today,’ says Satheesh, ‘no one is hungry, and we have food security, health security and nutritional security.
Compared to rice, millets are storehouses of nutrition, [with] more calcium and more protein.’
Recommendations Support for such an agroecological approach that allows small farmers to increase and secure food production is essential, says the Christian Aid report. It calls on national governments (and donors) to support sustainable development, and says the underlying power imbalances that affect the predominantly female smallholder farmers must be addressed.
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The population is expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050, but it is ‘rich country’ consumption patterns that really threaten the planet
How over-consumption is destroying the planet Will the world be able to produce enough food to feed a growing population? Andrew Hogg looks at the issues surrounding this highly emotive question EARLIER THIS YEAR, a UK governmentbacked report The Future of Food and Farming: Challenges and Choices for Global Sustainability issued a stark warning. Compiled by Professor Sir John Beddington, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government and head of the Government Office for Science, it was distilled from the work of some 400 scientists in 35 countries, who had looked at the future and been alarmed at what they saw. ‘There is urgency in taking what may be very difficult policy decisions today relating to the diverse challenges facing the global food system…’ said the report. ‘It is imperative that the need for rapid action is realised by all concerned.’ Concentrating Professor Beddington’s mind, and those of the scientists who worked on the report with him, is the fact that there will be an extra 2 billion mouths to feed by 2050. Until now, when anyone has asked how many people the planet can sustain, and how best we can do it, the reply has often been – stop breeding. With hunger most manifest in poor and marginalised communities, where families also tend to be larger, the message has been implicit – people living in poverty should stop having so many babies.
Hungry for Justice, however, points out that it is the current consumption patterns of those with money to spare that are unsustainable, a situation worsening as more and more people in emerging economies join the middle classes and live the sort of lifestyles that we in the rich world take for granted. Based on projections published, but not necessarily endorsed by, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), meat consumption per person per year is expected to rise from 37kg at present to 52kg in 2050 as the world’s population reaches 9 billion. To meet this demand, annual meat production will need to rise more than 200 million tonnes to 470 million tonnes, and there would also have to be substantial increases in the production of ‘animal concentrate feeds’. For example, some 80 per cent of the additional 480 million tonnes of maize produced annually by 2050 would be for animal feed, and soybean production would need to increase by 140 per cent to 515 million tonnes in 2050 for the same reason. The global cattle population may have to increase from 1.5 billion to 2.6 billion between 2000 and 2050, and the global goat and sheep population from 1.7 billion to 2.7 billion.
As a result, grazing intensity is projected to increase, resulting in considerable intensification of livestock production in the humid and sub-humid grazing systems of the world, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean. The challenges facing us, therefore, are threefold. How do we ensure that everyone – including people in poverty – gets the food they need, now and in the future? How do we produce sufficient food to feed 9 billion without destroying the natural environment? And are the well-off, whose numbers are increasing, capable of adopting diets – never mind entire lifestyles – that are environmentally sustainable? Experts who met recently under the auspices of the FAO agreed that feeding 9 billion would be possible, but certain conditions had to be met, and policy decisions taken. Increased research and development for sustained productivity growth, and a focus on environmental services and sustainable resource management are essential. It is also important that policies do not simply focus on supply growth, but also on the access of the world’s poor and hungry to the food they need. Ensuring food security will be closely tied to improved stewardship of the earth’s natural resources. The Future of Food and Farming report states: ‘Although the challenges are enormous, there are real grounds for optimism. It is now possible to anticipate a time when global population numbers cease to rise; the natural and social sciences continue to provide new knowledge and understanding; and there is growing consensus that global poverty is unacceptable and has to be ended.
Where does Christian Aid stand? Christian Aid is often asked where it stands in the population debate. In brief, we reject any approach to population that involves coercing couples to have fewer children than they want. We believe that women and men should have an effective choice over the number and timing of their children, which millions currently do not. Prerequisites for such choice include access to contraception and wider reproductive healthcare, including healthcare for women during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as women’s access to secondary education and protection of their right to control their own bodies.
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Inspired? Enraged? Send your views to: The Editor, Christian Aid News, 35 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7RL or email firstname.lastname@example.org Some of your letters and emails responding to the Poverty Over manifesto, our CO2 emissions campaign and criticism of Gordon Brown
EMITTING SCEPTICISM A layman in both science and economics, I am inclined to share your correspondents’ scepticism over Christian Aid’s CO² campaign (Input, Issue 51). Emissions and global warming are multi-faceted issues where factors must be considered on a cost/benefit basis and there are no simple answers or clear moral and ethical codes that can be applied across the board. Take agriculture as an example: in the developed world this is fundamental to our material advantage allowing us a much greater chance of enjoying ‘life before death’ than our brothers and sisters born elsewhere. It frees the average Westerner from the life of constant toil described in Genesis chapter 3 and underpins the fact that the world produces sufficient to feed all, regardless of population expansion and equitable distribution issues (Issue 51, page 16). Yet, laying aside sophisticated biochemical techniques, as an observer I can see that our new Eden is universally and necessarily powered by diesel engines and thus reliant on industrial manufacturing processes. A raft of ethical issues floats on the biofuel debate and nuclear is the only serious alternative energy source for large-scale engineering production, so both facets will remain fossil-fuel dependent for the foreseeable future. Ewan Rutherford’s letter highlights the core problem with renewables in serious industry and again I can imagine the environmental issues associated with the construction of energy storage systems on the scale he alludes to. How then, in all conscience, can we condemn China for exploiting her coal reserves or mercilessly badger the World Bank in relation to fossil fuels? I do not doubt that CO² emissions are a contributory factor in global warming but does this wholly outweigh the mass benefits accruing from sectors
such as modern agriculture? Global warming may have grasped the modern popular conscience, and governments and others are perhaps justified in exploiting this strategically and politically to encourage both technological progress and conservation. No Christian would argue against good stewardship of the earth’s resources but for Christian Aid to adopt such a dogmatic stance on this complex question risks compromising key values of honesty and integrity and leaves it open to allegations of hypocrisy. Sandy Boyd Longniddry, East Lothian
PIOUS WISH? Much as I support the general aims of Christian Aid, I feel that the central concept of the Poverty Over campaign is both naïve and misleading. While we can do many things to secure a more level playing field through fairtrade and Trace the Tax campaigns, sadly, ending – or even seriously alleviating – poverty is not going to be one of them. Your articleThe Root Causes of Poverty significantly fails to mention one of the real reasons for African poverty, and that is corruption and the wholesale theft of aid by kleptocratic governments. Indeed an argument has been advanced that all that Western aid has done for Africa is to entrench these kleptocratic elites. By the same token, your interesting History of Poverty fails to address the point illustrated by a recent TV documentary which showed that after the Second World War Singapore and Gambia had the same GDP. Since then Singapore’s has risen by more than 3,000 per cent while Gambia’s has remained unchanged. Nor do you appear to factor in the influx of huge Chinese trading ‘investment’. None of these are reasons not to make intelligent and compassionate interventions where it lies within our power, but raising living standards involves a whole range of cultural issues as well as learning to integrate technology. To express the pious wish that the actions of Christian Aid
supporters could effect what has eluded the best intentions of those who have held the levers of power since the end of the imperialist era is simply delusional, and I cannot see what honest purpose is served by it. No less an authority than Jesus said ‘the poor are always with you…’ and there is no proposal in your magazine that gives me any confidence that you have understood how to remedy a situation where the ‘man-made’ element is represented by intractable vested interests. Michael Maxwell Steer Tisbury, Wiltshire
CORRUPTION IS KEY... Your summary of what Christian Aid is doing through its partners overseas, (The Root Causes of Poverty), indicates that of all the problems, corruption is possibly the biggest, yet the least is being done to help eradicate it. I guess this is because it is just so difficult to tackle. I wonder if you might run a longer article some day, or suggest ways we can write to people in the UK and overseas, that might help others to overcome corruption. Russ Naylor, via email Editor’s reply: ‘See Comment, page 23’
...AND ECONOMICS A few years ago I decided to become a Christian Aid supporter because I appreciated the way you work on the ground with grassroots organisations while also lobbying for change. It appeared as if you dealt not only with the symptoms of poverty – you were serious about the causes. However, having seen your new Poverty Over campaign, which promises to make a ‘fundamental and lasting difference’ to the lives of the most vulnerable people, I am deeply disappointed and also angry. Here was an opportunity to raise awareness about the key drivers of poverty – but nowhere among the eight key issues do you mention free-market economic policy. I don’t disagree with the emphasis you place on health, climate change and so on. These are all important. But if your campaign is really about tackling the root
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INPUT causes, then how can you ignore the elephant in the room? The free-market economic policies of the past few years have created environmental destruction, exacerbated climate change, increased tax evasion, emasculated governments, displaced thousands of people from their land, created resource wars and increased corruption. An economic system which constantly needs to grow and increase its profits means a world where there will always be winners and losers, and where the true costs of production will always be offset onto the environment and the poor. The neo-liberal laissez-faire economic policies of the past 30 years have widened, not narrowed, the gulf between those at the top and those at the bottom of society. The principles of shareholder value maximisation, and those around it (the bonus culture, legitimacy of tax havens, the importance of light-touch regulation), are at the heart of the economic and environmental crisis. Perhaps Christian Aid feels it can’t comment on the economic system as doing so would be too ‘political’. Fine, but don’t then insult our intelligence by telling us that you’re focusing on the key causes of poverty and miss out the most obvious one! It could even be argued that you’re facilitating the continuance of an unsustainable system, by kidding people that it’s possible to end poverty without changing that system. Isn’t that rather misleading and dishonest? If it’s too hot a potato to deal with the role of economics in creating and maintaining poverty, perhaps you should call your campaign something honest like ‘Poverty Ameliorated’. Kirsten Downer via email
...AND POPULATION I was very disappointed to see that you failed to include population growth in your list of the eight causes of poverty. Population growth places pressure on a country’s ability to feed itself, so that an ever-increasing proportion of its food requirements must be imported; on land use, leading to deforestation, land degradation and sometimes flooding; on energy requirements, which can no longer be met from local resources; on water supply, where local fresh water becomes insufficient; on housing, leading to slum development on the
edges of cities. The list goes on… Critics argue that as poverty reduces, population will stabilise: perhaps so, but this is a long-term process and, meanwhile, much further growth is to be expected! They also argue that making this point in some way takes away from the responsibilities of us in the West to reduce consumption. Not so – you have, after all, listed eight other causes, all of which still stand; but population growth deserves to stand alongside them. Andrew Burnett Lee Common, Buckinghamshire I read the article on the causes of poverty with interest and agreement. I think one more factor should be considered – the high birth rate in many underdeveloped countries. I know this is a difficult and delicate subject, but it should be considered rather than just waiting in the hope that, with rising living standards, the trend to smaller family units sorts things out in two to three generations. Elizabeth Moore via email Editor’s reply: ‘See our special report on food security on pages 15-20’
APOCALYPSE NILE It seems Patrick Hanley (Input, issue 51) wants to decry Malthusian mythmakers who spread apocalyptic nightmares with relish! This is misguided. Consider but one scenario: the population projection for countries dependent on the Nile for water is an increase of 200 million by 2050. A figure made even more startling given that the president of one of these countries aspires to a national population the size of Russia! Yet the Nile is already over-stressed with its tributaries dwindling. The possibility that such an iconic river that has born the aspirations of humanity since the dawn of history could become, as a result of those aspirations, no more than a fetid ditch is a situation almost too shocking to contemplate: it would be a fitting symbol of what we have done to the planet. Dominic Kirkham Manchester
BROWNED OFF Ken Allison was shocked to read the interview with Gordon Brown and I was shocked to read his unnecessary and biased outburst (Input, issue 51).
Christian Aid is working to end poverty and stand up for the oppressed and I always understood Gordon Brown supported our work and certainly spoke out on many issues on development and was receptive to our campaigns. Deborah Darnes Sandbach, Cheshire While I am no defender of Gordon Brown; calling him ‘leader of the worst UK government in living memory’ is stretching things too far. Mr Allison may be much younger than me but my ‘living memory’ is more haunted by the government of Mrs Thatcher with its fostering of mass unemployment, the destruction of so many of our working class communities and the encouragement of a culture of greed. Perhaps Mr Allison is listening too much to the propaganda of the Conservativeled government, with its ideological programme of cuts aimed at the poorest and most vulnerable, but in terms of who is responsible for the financial crisis, I blame the banks not Mr Brown. Rev Dr Noel Irwin via email I was amazed at Ken Allison’s attack on Gordon Brown. The debt crisis is global, not one only affecting this country. Gordon Brown was not representing ‘a government which did more than any other to marginalise Christianity’. I hope you receive many more letters challenging Mr Allison’s views. Joy Hicks Melksham, Wiltshire Editor’s reply: ‘We did, Joy, we did. Christian Aid News is impartial on this matter. We were happy to publish Ken Allison’s letter and we are just as happy to publish this selection of the many replies from readers leaping to Gordon Brown’s defence.’
WONDERFUL WEEK A PS from Deborah Darnes, above: I enjoyed reading John Lane’s tales of being a Christian Aid Week collector in Sevenoaks (Last Word, Issue 51). I agree with him that Christian Aid Week is a powerful act of witness and I have found it a positive experience meeting many wonderful people wanting to contribute to the work of Christian Aid, with very few not willing to donate.
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HOW DO YOU FIGHT CORRUPTION? Eric Gutierrez, Christian Aid’s senior adviser on accountable governance, highlights the challenges facing organisations – and individuals – in confronting corruption
A protest rally in India targets corruption
fact, making relevant information easily accessible is often the defining moment in any anti-corruption campaign. In this regard, the internet is proving to be an increasingly important space. In Kenya, for example, Mwalimu Mati set up the non-profit Media Analysis and Research Service Group (marsgroupkenya.org) way back in 2005 to publish online pieces of evidence – budget documents, bidding rules, project profiles, etc. These not only allowed the media to report more substantively on cases, they also provided the impetus for prosecutors to pursue cases against powerful politicians. In Angola, journalist Rafael Marques turned to the internet, after newspapers he wrote for were bought off by companies bent on keeping his critical anti-corruption reports from the public domain. His website (makaangola. com) has led to the multinational Daimler AG withdrawing from a joint venture with an Angolan general, and has put the oil company Cobalt under the scrutiny of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, among others. The value of Mati and Marques’ initiatives increase when linked and eventually put in the service of citizens’ movements. MARS Group went on to
Reuters/ Mukesh Gupta
WHEN NEGOTIATIONS for a global convention against corruption began in 2002, the United Nations considered not adopting a definition of ‘corruption’ at all. This is because acts considered corrupt in one country may not be in another. For example, in more mature democracies, corruption can bring down a government. But in fragile states where armed challenges exist, corruption may actually be necessary to consolidate a government’s hold on power. Rebel groups and criminal gangs are often enticed to ‘behave’ if they are given a piece of the pie. Hence, if government ‘allows’ them to engage in their illicit trade (smuggling, drugs, and so on), they become more preoccupied with making their money than in causing disruption. It may also seem strange that there are actually corrupt politicians who enjoy more public support than ‘clean’ politicians. In the Philippines, for example, a president who was deposed by an uprising and convicted for corruption went on to obtain the second highest number of votes, after he was pardoned, when he ran anew for office in 2010. Needless to say, corruption is a complex phenomenon. Dealing with it requires greater understanding of the context, more innovative tools and a determination to change power relations. Christian Aid and its partners’ basic approach is to confront corruption from the grassroots. When citizens themselves mobilise for change, they will be better placed to shape decisions, and influence the structures that make those decisions. However, the ability of citizens to confront corruption is often seriously limited by the lack of information. In
spearhead the Partnership for Change, a non-violent campaign to ‘end the impunity of corrupt politicians’. In Angola, more internet-based anticorruption campaigns have emerged in the work of Christian Aid’s partners, such as Omunga (quintasdedebate.blogspot. com/); SOS Habitat (angolaresistente. net/); Radio Radio Ecclesia and News-site O Apostolado (radioecclesia.org/ and apostolado-angola.org/); and Action for Southern Africa’s Angola Monitor (actsa. org/page-1499-Angola_Monitor.html). The risks and challenges faced in these countries are serious. Mati and Marques have both been imprisoned and are used to being harrassed. MARS Group has temporarily closed its site, after hackers broke in. Marques is unable to maintain a server and web manager outside the country – a necessity for security reasons. Nevertheless, they move on, happy that more like them are breaking new ground. While the trade-offs and dilemmas around fighting corruption remain, the United Nations’ Convention Against Corruption is now in force in some 150 countries. Along with the growing number of citizens’ campaigns, aided by the emergence of tools such as the internet, this gives cause for optimism.
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LIFE AND SOUL The way we lead our own lives can have a tangible impact in the fight to end poverty. By â€˜doing the right thingâ€™ we show we have a commitment to a sustainable lifestyle that places a high value on helping others
Christian Aid/M Gonzalez-Noda
Paul Andre is the coordinator of a network of grassroots community organisations made up of peasant farmers in rural Haiti. After the quake, our partner Gramir provided funding for seeds and fertiliser in time for the planting season. Legacy funding helps Christian Aid to fulfil long-term commitments in the region
WILL AID BREAKS FUNDRAISING RECORDS Christian Aidâ€™s head of legacies Colin Kemp reports on the continuing success of the Will Aid scheme AT A TIME when money is tight and many charities are finding fundraising difficult, Will Aid 2010 well and truly bucked the trend. Thanks to the selfless efforts of more than 1,139 solicitors throughout Britain, 19,000 Wills were written and the magnificent sum of ÂŁ1,509,428 was raised to be shared by the nine charities involved. Christian Aid will receive more than ÂŁ200,000. Itâ€™s not only the donations that people generously gave that will benefit Christian Aid and the other charities, many people also took the opportunity to include Christian Aid in their Will. Christian Aid international director Paul Valentin explains how important legacy income is to us: â€˜Legacies make a substantial difference to the work we can undertake. The legacies we receive could fund all our work in Latin America and the Caribbean, where we support 152 partner organisations in 11 countries.
â€˜Legacies support the full range of our work. Without the generosity of people who leave a gift to Christian Aid in their Will, thousands of people would lose essential support. Legacies help us to transform lives.â€™ Naomi Pinder is the Christian Aid Week organiser for Woolton, Gateacre and Netherley and works for Quality Solicitors Jackson & Canter in Liverpool city centre. Naomi is passionate about the work of Christian Aid and has been
Legacies make a substantial difference to the work we can undertake. The legacies we receive could fund all our work in Latin America and the Caribbean involved with Christian Aid for as long as she can remember. It was her support for Christian Aid that led her to become involved in her professional capacity as a solicitor with Will Aid. â€˜I am passionate about the need
for people to have a Will and Will Aid enables me to reach more people and encourage them to write a Will,â€™ she says. â€˜It is important to me that Christian Aid is part of Will Aid because I know the money I raise will be used by Christian Aid to help people living in desperate poverty. â€˜It is a blessing to be involved with Christian Aid and to use my God-given skills to help raise even more money for Christian Aid through my work with Will Aid. The more the better.â€™ Here at Christian Aid, we are now planning for the November 2011 Will Aid. Please help us make it another great year. If you are a solicitor, please consider being a Will Aid solicitor this year. It can help you gain local publicity, find new clients and makes a real difference to the work of Christian Aid. Another way anyone can help is to publish an article in your church or parish magazine this autumn to promote Will Aid in your area. s4O LEARN MORE OR GET AN ARTICLE FOR YOUR MAGAZINE CALL #OLIN +EMP ON OR EMAIL CKEMP CHRISTIAN AIDORG
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FIVE WAYS TO FUNDRAISE OVER THE PAST YEAR, our new corporate fundraising team has been focusing on the different ways you can help us to fight poverty through your lifestyle choices and through the company that you work for. Below are details of five things you can do to help make a huge difference to the lives of the world’s poorest people.
contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Recycling your old ones is a great way to combat this and to raise money for Christian Aid’s work around the world. Why not organise a collection among fellow staff and customers? If you’d like us to arrange a free collection, visit recyclingappeal.com/christianaid
1. CHOOSE CHRISTIAN AID LIFESTYLE PRODUCTS With this edition of Christian
4. HOLD A STAFF FUNDRAISING EVENT By organising an event at work, no
Aid News is a short booklet that will enable you to raise money simply by choosing to purchase the products described in it. Every purchase will generate a donation to Christian Aid. So, if you’ve been looking for a greener electricity supplier, a more ethical credit card or a new place to buy your Fairtrade produce, use this booklet and take advantage of all the great discounts! Visit christianaid.org.uk/affinity to find out more.
matter how small, you can help us get a step closer to ending poverty. How about a quiz, a dress-down day, or a Souper Soup Lunch? Or how about joining us for a marathon, a bike ride or a weekend trek? Our Events Fundraising team will help with ideas, advice and resources so you are well prepared and organised. For more information, visit christianaid.org.uk/events
2. DONATE VIA PAY AS YOU EARN Payroll giving supplies Christian Aid with a vital source of regular income, enabling us to plan with confidence. It’s a tax-effective way to give to charity and more than 10,000 UK employers currently take part. To learn more, contact email@example.com
5. GET YOUR COMPANY TO FUND A PROJECT At any one time we work on more than 600 development projects, as well as providing humanitarian aid. Why not convince your employer to help fund our work? We can provide your company with regular updates, which can help to motivate employees, build relationships with customers and improve brand reputation.
FREE RESOURCES TO ORDER Collection boxes for loose change. Can be used in churches, schools or at home. Multiple boxes can be ordered for congregations and groups. Church action pack with DVD and information on getting your church involved in prayer and action. Free harvest resources Focusing on our work in Bangladesh: everything you need to get your church or school involved. More resources for services and assemblies available at christianaid.org/harvest To order: call 0870 078 7788 quoting A012065, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form below and return it to Christian Aid, PO Box 390, Grays RM17 9DG
YES! PLEASE SEND ME: Please fill in the quantity required in the box:
Collection box F1937 Church action pack F1938
(Please tick. Only one pack will be sent)
T T T T
Harvest poster F1960 Harvest leaflet F1959
3. DONATE OLD INK CARTRIDGES AND MOBILE PHONES As well as worsening landfill problems when they are dumped, mobile phones and ink cartridges
Fools’ errand! APRIL FOOLS’ DAY may not be the most appropriate day to set off on the country’s most famous long-distance journey – or is it? Nicknamed the ‘End to End Fools’, 13 people in seven different groups did exactly that, leaving Land’s End on 1 April, bound for John O’Groats. John and Nancy Eckersley, Christian Aid supporters from Yorkshire, led the way and are walking the famous route to celebrate their retirement. For them,
s )F YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ANY OF THE ACTIVITIES here or would like help getting started, contact Brendan Brosnan on 020 7523 2474 or email email@example.com
Giving envelopes F1951 Children’s activity sheet F1961
Please fill in your details:
1 April was the perfect day to begin. ‘Some people will think we’re nuts and some may think it’s a joke,‘ said Nancy, ‘so we thought it appropriate to start on April Fools’ Day.’ John and Nancy will complete their 1,280-mile journey by the end of August and are aiming to raise £10,000 for Christian Aid’s Partnership Scheme, supporting projects in Sierra Leone. Through the scheme, this money will be matched by funds from the European Union, making it worth an amazing £45,000. ‘So are we fools?’ asked John, as they set off. ‘Ask me in five months’ time!’ You can follow the couple’s progress at johneckersley.wordpress.com/blog/ and you can find out more about the Partnership Scheme at christianaid.org. uk/partnerships
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EVENTS We work with some of the world’s poorest communities. They face huge challenges every day, so why don’t you challenge yourself? Have fun while fighting poverty: join one of our events or do your own fundraising
Christian Aid/Alison Gage
BISHOP TAKES LEAP OF FAITH A BISHOP AND A VICAR were among supporters who went over the edge in March during one of Christian Aid’s sponsored abseils. Relying on just a length of rope and a harness, the Bishop of Repton Humphrey Southern (above) abseiled from the roof of the Leicester Tigers Stadium. After descending the 80ft drop he reflected: ‘It felt pretty scary at first but once I got going it was wonderful.’ The Rev Peter Lillicrap, vicar of Acton, described his experience of abseiling from the top of the Velodrome in Manchester, as nerve-wracking: ‘I hadn’t done a free abseil [without a wall] before so I was quite nervous. You’re teetering on a six-inch ledge and then you’re told to take a sitting position as you go over the edge. That moment was the worst!’ Chgeck out other sponsored abseils at christianaid.org.uk/abseil
MONEY HAS BEEN pouring in from Super Soup lunches held across the UK in March – the event has been a huge success in getting people together, raising money and fighting poverty. If you held a Super Soup Lunch among friends, family or colleagues, please remember to send us the money you raised. Find out how to do this at christianaid.org.uk/super-soup-lunch
PARIS HERE WE COME On 20 July, 100 adventurous Team Poverty cyclists will be setting out on the five-day 2011 Christian Aid London to Paris Bike Ride, which, it is hoped, will raise a staggering £150,000 to help us fight poverty. About 90 of the team are embarking on their first ride with Team Poverty, including Gill and Simon Perks, for whom the ride represents their biggest personal challenge. Christian Aid News asked them how they came to be involved Why have you decided to cycle 300 miles from London to Paris for Christian Aid? Simon: Well, to celebrate my 50th birthday we thought we could do something a bit adventurous and raise some money for Christian Aid. Gill: I saw the ad in Christian Aid News and thought it would appeal to Simon. It’s going to be a great experience and we are doing it to help somebody else, so it just ticked all the boxes. How are you raising money? Gill: A combination of things, through the workplace and also through Simon’s birthday party – instead of bringing presents people are going to be asked to bring their cheque books. Simon: The invitations I sent out included links to Christian Aid videos because I am keen that people understand what it is we are asking them to give money to. Have either of you done anything as challenging as this before? Gill: In a word, no! I have done a sponsored swim before but nothing as
challenging as this. Simon: I did a few 10K runs when I was 40 and last had a crisis about my age! What are you most looking forward to? Both: Getting to the end! Gill: The route passes through the village we live in and we hope that the local pubs, friends and neighbours will come out and cheer us on as we pass through. After 25 years together you must know each other’s strengths and weaknesses pretty well, so how will you be supporting each other on the ride? Simon: Gill needs to manage my biggest weakness, which won’t be on the road, it will be socialising in the evenings! We wish Gill, Simon and all the Team Poverty riders the best of luck on their ride. To sponsor Gill and Simon (left), visit justgiving.com/GillPerks or justgiving.com/Simon-Perks You can follow all the riders’ progress on Twitter: @ca_events
26 Christian Aid News
Christian Aid/M Gonzalez-Noda
STEP OUT FOR POVERTY AND MARCH FOR JUSTICE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE are striding, strolling or even stumbling across Great Britain in one of Christian Aid’s sponsored walks to raise money, which will support communities across the world to lift themselves out of poverty. About 80 walkers literally got together to raise more than £1,500 in Lose a Leg for Lent, a threelegged sponsored walk on 26 March through the beautiful grounds of Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. And there was spectacular scenery for the many supporters who repeatedly walked back and forth across the Humber Bridge on 7 May. There are various walks like these happening nationwide – to find out how to join one please visit christianaid.org.uk/walks
Looking ahead, October sees the first in a series of marches and rallies in 25 states across India in preparation for the 2012 March for Justice, calling for land rights reform. Campaigners from our partner organisation Ekta Parishad will travel from region to region, covering 60,000km in 12 months. Here in Britain, we will be standing in solidarity with the marchers, so Christian Aid is organising a series of March for Justice sponsored walks around the country. Ekta Parishad is aiming to raise more than £100,000 to support the Indian people in their protest. You can find out more about walks in your area at marchforjustice2012.org and in our Around the Regions section overleaf.
Running towards your fundraising goals
EVENTS FUNDRAISING CALENDAR 2011/2012 OFFA’S DYKE NIGHT HIKE 18-19 June 2011 HADRIAN’S WALL WEEKEND TREK 1-3 July 2011 LONDON TO PARIS BIKE RIDE 20-24 July 2011 LONDON TO LUXEMBOURG BIKE RIDE 31 August4 September 2011 JURASSIC COAST WEEKEND TREK 9-11 September 2011 QUIZAID 12-18 September 2011 HOLY ISLAND NIGHT HIKE 17-18 September 2011 BUPA GREAT NORTH RUN 18 September 2011 ROYAL PARKS HALF MARATHON 9 October 2011
Christian Aid/Patrick Lundin
SANTA DASH 5K FUN RUNS December 2011
A Team Poverty runner crosses Tower Bridge in the 2011 London Marathon
BRAVE TEAM POVERTY runners faced the early scorching temperatures of April during the Virgin London Marathon this year. Despite the heat, all 14 of Christian Aid’s runners crossed the finish line, raising a combined total of about £25,000. They included Lynn Chambers who, at the Team Poverty celebratory reception later, described her day: ‘I took a taxi from my hotel to catch a train to the start line in Greenwich. I got into a conversation with the taxi driver about the marathon and running as part of Team Poverty. When I explained about the work of Christian Aid, the taxi driver refused to take
a fare and insisted on donating it to Christian Aid. Running the marathon was such a challenge: I hit the wall early at mile 10 and so the only thing that kept me going was the sponsorship I knew people had given. The amount I had raised equated to £50 per mile and so each mile meant £50 going towards the amazing work that Christian Aid does and I kept this thought with me throughout the race.’ Are you inspired to give poverty the run-around? You don’t have to run a marathon for us – to find out more about other runs you can take part in for Christian Aid visit christianaid.org.uk/running
THE BIG CHRISTMAS SING 9-11 December 2011 BURNS SUPPER 21-28 January 2012 SOUPER SOUP LUNCH 30 March 2012 BRIGHTON MARATHON Sunday 15 April 2012 VIRGIN LONDON MARATHON Sunday 22 April 2012
For more details go to: christianaid.org. uk/events
AROUND CENTRAL ENGLAND
FROM CAKE STALLS and concerts to sponsored walks and electric scooter time-trials; our region has had an eventful Christian Aid Week 2011! One of the earliest events was the ‘barista bishops’ which saw the Rev David Perry, Rt Rev Paul Butler and Rt Rev Alastair Redfern swapping cassocks for aprons and becoming baristas for the morning to raise awareness of Christian Aid Week (see below). There were sponsored walks galore across the East Midlands, including
Nottingham, Oadby, Loughborough and the Humber Bridge! The Loughborough Christian Aid group sponsored walk saw more than 100 people walking a choice of either 20km or 12km around the beautiful Charnwood countryside. The Mayor of Charnwood (left) made a special visit to start off the 12km walk, and members of the Loughborough Christian Aid group, dressed as waiters and waitresses, served coffee to walkers. Singing and scooting The East Midlands hills came alive with the sound of music at various fundraising concerts, while another exciting Loughborough sponsored event was the famous ‘Scoot for a Hoot’! This event, which won ‘Most Original Christian Aid Week Event 2010’, tested competitors’ driving skills on motorised scooters and wheelchairs! Smelling the coffee MPs from the West Midlands met Christian Aid supporters who lobbied and presented and bags of partnerproduced Fairtrade coffee to their elected
representatives. The meetings gave supporters a chance to explain what they were doing for Christian Aid Week, and challenge the MP to take action. Local supporter Hugh Brocklebank met Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell and engaged him in a challenging discussion about climate change. People of all ages were invited aboard the Big Green Bus (below) to encounter principles of poverty and justice, when it stopped at Hall Green school, Birmingham. The school’s eco-group presented local MP Roger Godsiff with a bag of coffee from our Nicaraguan partner Soppexcca and lobbied him to take action for a fairer future for all. We would like to thank everyone who got involved this Christian Aid Week. Christian Aid/John Cooper
Christian Aid/M Gonzalez-Noda
Christian Aid Week 2011
FROTH’S UP FOR THE BARISTA BISHOPS BISHOPS FROM around the Midlands region became baristas for a morning, making and serving Fairtrade coffee. Also taking part was the chair of the Lincoln and Grimsby Methodist District, Rev Dr David Perry, who said: ‘I had a brilliant time, it was a lot of fun and everyone was so welcoming. The cappuccino was the most difficult to make; my first one ended up looking like a Jackson Pollock painting!’ The inspiration for this year’s Christian Aid Week is the story of small-scale coffee farmers in Nicaragua and the support given to them by Christian Aid partner Soppexcca. This has helped them form a cooperative, which enables them to get a fairer price for their beans, improve their communities and work
their way out of poverty. The Bishop of Nottingham and Southwell Rt Rev Paul Butler said: ‘It was nice to be able to get involved in the activities of one of my local parishes; it was great to meet the volunteers who work at the coffee shop and to do my bit in raising awareness of Fairtrade and Christian Aid Week.’ Customers and staff alike gave their new baristas top marks. The barista at the Lincoln Stokes Café even remarked: ‘Rev Perry could be a potential threat to my job, he was so impressive!’ The Rt Rev Bishop Alastair Redfern, Bishop of Derby, said: ‘Serving coffee creates a little community of its own – we are creating communities here to help the communities in Nicaragua.’
A clerical cappuccino served up by Rev Dr David Perry
Chjristian Aid/Judi Perry
It was all about the coffee as cafés and coffee shops were taken over by the region’s bishops and ministers, who turned baristas to raise awareness of this year’s Christian Aid Week.
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Step out in support of India’s landless poor IN 2007 more than 25,000 people walked 200 miles across India to demand land rights for the dalit people. The Janadesh march prompted government officials to promise a lot for this marginalised class, but progress has been slow, so Christian Aid partner Ekta Parishad is mobilising people to take to the streets again – but it also needs you to step out in solidarity. There are four walks planned, each raising funds for Ekta Parishad and other social exclusion projects in India. In Norfolk participants will follow a scenic 15-mile route along the River Yare on Saturday 1 October. They will finish at Norwich Cathedral where they will be welcomed with refreshments before being invited to participate in evening prayer. In Suffolk participants are invited to join a three- or eight-mile walk, which will end in St Edmundsbury Cathedral, in Peterborough a walk on Saturday 1 October ends with a service in the cathedral at 5.30pm and in Worcestershire and Herefordshire walkers will cross the picturesque Malvern Hills on Saturday 1 October. Contact the Peterborough office 01733 345755 for further details of the Peterborough walk; call Eldred Willey on 01603 620051 for further details of the Norfolk and Suffolk walks, and call Jill Smith on 0121 200 2283 for further details of the Malverns Walk.
Poverty Over tour CHRISTIAN AID’S Poverty Over exhibition came to Ely Cathedral last month, giving supporters and schools in the East of England a chance to learn more about our work and the issues behind poverty. The exhibition will visit Worcester Cathedral from 7 November to 9 December, and will be at Peterborough Cathedral from 13-26 January and Norwich Cathedral from 3-16 February.
EVENTS IN CENTRAL ENGLAND EAST MIDLANDS MONDAY 20 JUNE – SUNDAY 26 JUNE Celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible Derby Cathedral, 18-19 Iron Gate, Derby DE1 3GP. The Cathedral is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible by holding a sevenday public reading of it, lasting about 80 hours! The readings will begin with the Bishop of Derby at 9am on Monday. SUNDAY 26 JUNE Loughborough Christian Aid Simple Lunch 12.30pm, St Mary’s Church, Nanpantan. SUNDAY 26 JUNE The Bishop of Leicester’s thank-you garden party 2.30-4.30pm, Bishop’s Lodge, 12 Springfield Road, Leicester LE2 3BD. Bring a picnic and join us in the Bishop of Leicester’s beautiful grounds. It’s a chance for us to say thank you to supporters as well as enjoy live music by local jazz band Lazy Alligators. Invitations have been sent
out, so if you have received yours and would like to attend, please call the Loughborough office on 01509 265013 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
SUNDAY 25 SEPTEMBER Loughborough Christian Aid Simple Lunch 12.30pm, All Saints Church, Thorpe Acre, Loughborough.
MONDAY 27 JUNE Christian Aid Week evaluation meeting and cream tea 4-7pm, Charles Street Methodist Church, Newark NG24 1RN. This is your chance to tell us what you thought of Christian Aid Week 2011 and help feed into the plans for 2012. Sessions are either 4-5pm or 6-7pm with a cream tea in between. To confirm attendance, please call 01509 265013, or email email@example.com
WEST MIDLANDS THURSDAY 30 JUNE Thanksgiving service 7pm, All Saints Church, Church Street, Broseley, Shropshire TF12 5DA. Service for Christian Aid supporters, fundraisers and collectors, led by Reverend Michael Kinna. To confirm attendance, please RSVP to the Birmingham Christian Aid office on 0121 200 2283 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
THURSDAY 30 JUNE Christian Aid Week evaluation meeting and cream tea 4-7pm, St Nicholas Church, Lawn Ave, Allestree, Derby DE22 2PE Details as above. To confirm attendance, please call 01509 265013, or email email@example.com
SATURDAY 2 JULY Fun in the Park 2pm, Riversley Park, Coton Road, Nuneaton. Sponsored walk, stalls, games and fun for all the family. Contact Anne Vincent on 024 7635 0737 firstname.lastname@example.org
SUNDAY 31 JULY Loughborough Christian Aid Simple Lunch 12.30pm, Good Shepherd, Park Road, Loughborough.
TUESDAY 4 OCTOBER Church Service 7.30pm, Lichfield Cathedral. Service providing inspiration and reflection to enable your church
to engage with the issue of climate justice. SATURDAY 8 OCTOBER Sponsored walk 1pm, Kingsbury Water Park. Family-friendly sponsored walk around the lake amid beautiful autumn scenery. Dogs on leads welcome and path is suitable for pushchairs. Pedestrian entrance to the park is free but there is a car park charge of £3.50. SATURDAY 15 OCTOBER Cannock Quiz Aid 7pm, St Luke’s Church and Community Centre, Cannock £5 for a team of four. Contact: Ruth Isitt, on 01543 466562 or email: email@example.com EAST OF ENGLAND SATURDAY 30 JULY Sponsored canoe ride 10.30am-3pm, Sudbury to Bures. Canoeing on the River Stour to support Burkina Faso. Sponsorship will be quadrupled by the European Union. Cost £15. Participants must be over 18 but no previous experience is required. To book a place, contact Eldred Willey on 01603 620051.
Christian Aid News 29
AROUND NORTH ENGLAND
Christian Aid/Dave Hardman
Main picture: Bishop Mark Davies of Middleton shares a coffee with Ann Mummery outside Manchester Cathedral. Insets, from top: our Trans Pennine cyclists and Bishop Richard Blackburn of Warrington; collecting at Darlington station; barista John Packer, Bishop of Ripon and Leeds
in Lymm and Blyth were highly successful. The Yorkshire paper quiz was adopted by the North West and North East with nearly 1,000 quizzes sent in. Meanwhile, thousands of volunteers walked thousands of miles knocking on doors to deliver and collect envelopes and some even went on sponsored walks as well, such as the annual Humber Bridge crossing. This year we had seven bishops and a Methodist chair being baristas in Fairtrade cafes across the North. Bishop Richard of Warrington even managed to combine it with supporting the three Christian Aid staff who cycled the Trans Pennine Trail in grim weather, raising more than £1,100. Congratulations and thank you.
ray Christian Aid/Peter Mur
ALL OVER THE north of England supporters and staff walked, ran, sang, sold, cajoled, quizzed, ate and cycled their way through Christian Aid Week. There are just too many achievements to mention them all but here are a few highlights: Christian Aid Week shops opened their doors for the week in Sedburgh and Wooler with people queuing up to get in and raised several thousand pounds. Volunteers collected and busked in stations and streets from Carlisle, Manchester and Newcastle to Leeds, Darlington, Sheffield and West Kirby. Plants were sold from Runcorn to Westerhope where the sale of books and plants raised more than £1,000. A coffee morning in Alsager raised £1,066 and quiz nights
Christian Aid/Becky Hurst
Christian Aid Week 2011: take a bow, all of you!
28 Christian Aid News
EVENTS IN NORTH ENGLAND EVENTS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AND YOUTH GROUPS SATURDAY 25 JUNE One Summer Knight 6-10pm, Camelot Theme Park, Chorley, Lancashire. An inspirational evening of extreme fun and extreme challenge for young people and youth groups, co-sponsored by Christian Aid. Tickets £13, from urbansaints.org/ onesummerknight FRIDAY 8 JULY – SATURDAY 10 JULY Spree North at Bramhope, Leeds. An action-packed weekend, held in conjunction with Urban Saints and Warrington Youth for Christ, for young people and youth groups (aged 7-16). There is a programme for leaders too. For details, contact spreenorth@ sky.com or call 07740 432570.
SPONSORED WALKS SATURDAY 2 JULY Sheffield Night Hike A 17-mile sponsored walk from Lodge Moor out in the Peak District and back again. To register, go to sheffieldmidnighthike.org.uk; contact Alex Jones 01132444764; email firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian Aid/Alex Jones
SUNDAY 11 SEPTEMBER Sponsored walk St John’s Church, Yeadon, Leeds. Distance is approx six miles. Contact Alison Lockwood on 0113 250 8469 or email email@example.com
SATURDAY 24 – SUNDAY 25 SEPTEMBER March for Justice Frodsham, Cheshire. A 34-mile sponsored walk along the Sandstone Trail, from Frodsham to Whitchurch, Shropshire. Overnight accommodation in Tarporley. For details, contact the Warrington office on 01925 573769 or email firstname.lastname@example.org SATURDAY 8 OCTOBER March for Justice 10am, Ripon. Two circular walks ending up at Holy Trinity. For details, contact the Leeds office on 0113 244 4764 or email email@example.com SATURDAY 8 OCTOBER Bede’s Way sponsored walk 10am-5pm, St Peter’s, Monkwearmouth. 12-mile walk, supporting March for Justice, from St Peter’s, Monkwearmouth, to St Paul’s, Jarrow – plus a four-mile walk from Jarrow in the afternoon. Contact the Newcastle office on 0191 228 0115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
CHALLENGE EVENTS SUNDAY 18 SEPTEMBER Great North Run Not only are places available through Christian Aid if you wish to run, but we are also looking for volunteers on the day. If you’d like to cheer or serve refreshments, please contact the Newcastle office on 0191 228 0115 or email newcastle@ christian-aid.org To run, visit christianaid.org.uk/run
SOCIAL EVENTS SATURDAY 2 JULY Voices in Harmony 7pm, St James’ and St Basil’s Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 9UU. Newcastle Male Chorus and the Gibside Singers present a varied and entertaining programme of choral music. Tickets £8. Contact the Newcastle office on 0191 228 0115 or email email@example.com SATURDAY 9 JULY Flanders and Swann concert 7.30pm, Allhallowgate Church, Ripon. Contact Michael Montgomery on 01765 605276 or email firstname.lastname@example.org WEDNESDAY 13 JULY Annual coffee evening 7.30pm, Holy Cross Church Hall, Park Rd, Timperley, Manchester. Contact Doris Robinson on 0161 7407547. SATURDAY 17 SEPTEMBER A Transport of Delight 7.30pm, St Andrew’s Community Hall, Bruntcliffe, Morley. An evening of the music of Flanders and Swann, with a little Gershwin thrown in. Contact Hazel Rennison on 0113 2535107 or email email@example.com SATURDAY 22 OCTOBER Harrogate Band concert 7.30pm, HolyTrinity Church, Ripon. Optional two-course meal at 6.30pm. For details, contact Michael Montgomery on 01765 605276 or email littlethorpe@ btinternet.com
Poverty Over Cathedrals Tour
THE POVERTY OVER TOUR is aimed at provoking debate about how Christians can best meet the demands of their faith by challenging poverty around the world. It features a stunning sculpture of enamel and steel by artist Mel Howse and as part of the tour, school visits, clergy study days and other events are being planned. Saturday 22 September – Wednesday 5 October, Manchester Cathedral, Victoria St M3 1SX Thursday 6 – Saturday 26 October, St Nicholas Cathedral, Mosley Street, Newcastle NE1 1PF Thursday 26 October – Wednesday 11 November, Wakefield Cathedral, Westmorland Street, Wakefield WF1 1PJ The tour will visit Durham, Carlisle and Blackburn Cathedrals in February and March 2012. Contact your local office for details
If you would like us to include your event in the next edition of Christian Aid News please contact your local office
Christian Aid News 29
Christian Aid Week 2011: Scotland does it by the book!
Introducing… the moderator’s mocha! WITH BARISTA BISHOPS all the rage for Christian Aid Week, the team in Scotland had to come up with a suitably Scottish slant in demonstrating our support for coffee farmers in Nicaragua. And so the moderator’s mocha was born! Described by The Scotsman newspaper as the new coffee king in town (move over skinny latte!), and served up in cities across Scotland – Christian Aid was delighted to receive the support of the Moderator of the United Reformed Church, Rev John Humphreys, and the outgoing Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Rev
John Christie (pictured below). The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Most Rev David Chillingworth, also joined us in Perth as our very own barista bishop.
Christian Aid/Keryn Banks
IT WOULDN’T BE Christian Aid Week in Scotland without stumbling across a good opportunity to buy a few worthy reads and donate funds for the cause. This year’s book sale at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church in Edinburgh attracted attention once again with its wide range of unique books, art and collectables. Book lovers queued up round the block ahead of the opening. Scots national poet Liz Lochhead, this year’s patron, was joined by other Scottish poets for the launch, and the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh also stopped by with the Lady Provost to enjoy some of Walter Scott’s works. Sale convenor Lady Mary Davidson and her team work tirelessly to ensure the sale’s smooth running, and this year offered more books than before, including exciting items such as a rare 19th-century photo album of Scottish pictures and one of the most important works in the history of medical science, a 1649 text by William Harvey entitled The Circulation of the Blood. The hard work and dedication of all involved resulted in what will be a significant sum to add to the £2m already raised since 1974, when the sale was first held. Elsewhere in the city, it was also a good year at the Holy Corner Christian Aid Book Sale, which took on a new look in 2011, relocating to the sanctuary at Morningside United Church. A new feature was the advocacy area, where a Christian Aid democracy exhibition introduced passers-by to a range of current global issues between browsing. On opening day there was a coffee morning offering refreshments from Nicaragua – a reminder of Christian Aid’s focus this year on the work of partner Soppexcca, and the week got off to a great start with the visit of Kathy Galloway, head of Christian Aid Scotland, who preached and sang at a joint service. The result to date? £10,118 from the sale of books – an increase of 24 per cent on last year. In Aberdeen too, the book sale at Queen’s Cross Church was a huge success, raising more than £20,000 – definitely the year of the book!
28 Christian Aid News
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A BIG THANK YOU to all who turned up in the wind, the rain and even sunshine to take part in this year’s annual sponsored walks across the Tay, Erskine and Forth bridges (pictured below). Fantastic spirits were maintained throughout by our wonderful walkers, who attended with dogs, prams, and some in brilliant fancy dress. Thank you to the team of volunteers who helped make the day possible and for encouraging the walkers throughout the day. We couldn’t do it without you!
SINCE THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT elections in May, Christian Aid has been working hard to ensure that the issues of global poverty and climate change remain on the political agenda. Even before the new MSPs were sworn in, Kathy Galloway, head of Christian Aid Scotland, was lobbying at the parliament in Edinburgh alongside other voluntary organisations as part of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition. We are keen to ensure that our new parliamentarians act on commitments made before the election and we will use any opportunity to remind them that they have a responsibility to tackle both the symptoms and causes of global poverty – especially in relation to climate change and tax justice. We are grateful for the role that so many of our supporters played during the campaign. Many people contacted their candidates through letters, emails, hustings events and climate cafés. Some even logged on to the very first online debate that Stop Climate Chaos coordinated. Now that the elections are over, it is as important as ever that our voice is heard. If you would be interested in inviting your MSP to meet you, whether they are new or have represented you for a while, then get in touch with Diane Green, our campaigns officer, on 0141 241 6136.
Emma Boyd Photography
National poet Liz Lochhead (centre) at this year’s Edinburgh book sale
EVENTS IN SCOTLAND SATURDAY 18 JUNE Cumbrae Challenge sponsored walk 10am, Cumbrae Slipway, Isle of Cumbrae. Choose from three routes of varying lengths, with stunning views around the island. To register, contact Amy Corcoran on 0141 241 6138, or visit christianaid.org.uk/walks MONDAY 20 JUNE Christian Aid Contextual Bible Study 7pm, Lansdowne Parish Church, 416 Great Western Road, Glasgow G4 9HZ. For details, contact Wendy Young
on 0141 241 6137, or email firstname.lastname@example.org FRIDAY 24 JUNE – SUNDAY 26 JUNE Solas Festival Christian Aid is again delighted to partner with Scotland’s newest celebration of music, film, literature, theatre and art. For details, contact Wendy Young (as above) or visit the Solas website: solasfestival.co.uk SEPTEMBER Autumn Roadshows – dates for your diary The team goes around the
country working with local churches and committees to run roadshows, as well as to facilitate events for churches thinking about working together for Christian Aid. If you would like the team to visit you, get in touch with Val Brown using the contact details below. Saturday 3 September 10am-12.30pm, Kilmarnock. Tuesday 6 September 7-9pm, Fraserburgh. Friday 9 September 7.30-9.30pm, Cupar. For more information, contact Val Brown on 0141 241 6134, or email email@example.com
Maverick Photo Agency for Stop Climate Chaos Scotland
A fresh opportunity to be heard!
Fighting poverty step by step
Christian Aid News 29
AROUND SOUTH AND WEST
FROM ITS LAUNCH BY the ‘barista bishops’ in Gloucester and Swindon through to the presentation ceremony of the People of Exmouth awards, Christian Aid Week in the south and west was filled with a fantastic line-up of events and collections. This year the focus was on Nicaraguan coffee producers and the Bishops of Swindon and Gloucester gained a lot of publicity by learning to be baristas in local coffee shops. The Bishop of Gloucester was also joined by two visiting Indian bishops who served Fairtrade tea to customers. Ashleworth Manor opened its beautiful gardens and held a plant sale that raised more than £1,500. Shops sprung up in church halls across the region and, together with cake, plant and other sales, raised thousands of pounds. Wimborne staged a football match between Christian Aid and Clergy United and Bournemouth-based Hope FM played ‘The BigMixUp’. Churches in Purton and West Coker held breakfasts before their services. Supporters in Southampton met John Denham MP, the shadow business secretary, to lobby him about Christian Aid’s tax campaign. Meanwhile, phone calls with donations from all over the country were taken by our special team at Valldata in Melksham. Music to our ears The list of events was bewildering, including curry nights, car washing, fashion shows, walks, cycle rides, bell tower tours, choral concerts and even a Mamma Mia! singalong evening! Meanwhile, Christian Aid staff and
volunteers raised more than £800 collecting at Bristol’s Temple Meads rail station. Buskers were to the fore with Charles Birch playing his homemade fiddle in Somerset and Daphne Tomlinson and Angelika Roth playing harp and flute in Gloucestershire. Saturday 21 May saw the 44th annual sponsored walk at Newton Abbot Racecourse. Walkers of all ages took to the racecourse to walk up to eight laps in memory of Sydney Williams, who had organised and participated in the walk for an incredible 42 years, before sadly passing away last year. Local talent from Coombeshead College and Kingscare Chorus provided live music throughout the day. From the recently elected Mayors of Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton, to the long-standing supporters of Christian Aid who have been taking part in the walk since its inception, all enjoyed a special occasion. Heroes and tomatoes The week came to a close with the presentation of the first People of Exmouth awards to some unsung local heroes who were recognised for their work to improve the life of their community, with the proceeds of the evening going to Christian Aid. And finally, Sheelagh Wurr, our organiser in Warminster, took a primary school assembly during the week. She picked up a Christian Aid envelope and asked, ‘What is small and red and can help people?’ One little boy gazed at it and then said, ‘A cherry tomato?’! Our grateful thanks go to all of you who have been part of such a wonderful effort again this year.
Neil Edbrooke/image-release.com Christian Aid
Walkers on the 2007 Janadesh march in India
28 Christian Aid News
Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Rev Michael Perham was joined by the Bishop of Karnataka Central and the Bishop of Dornakal to serve Fairtrade coffee and tea at Gloucester Cathedral coffee shop and launch Christian Aid Week
Join the March for Justice IN OCTOBER 2012, 100,000 people from across India will march for just over a month, to Delhi, to take part in one of the country’s biggest ever non-violent protests to demand land rights for the landless poor. The march is being organised by Christian Aid partner Ekta Parishad, which says that land reform would mean that 400 million poor people in India would be able to feed themselves. This October, 1,000 people in Kerala will kick off the first in a series of marches and rallies in 25 states across India in preparation for the 2012 March for Justice. Here in the UK, we want to stand in solidarity with the marchers, so Christian Aid is organising a series of March for Justice sponsored walks. The route of our Severn Way Walk on Saturday 1 October will be 13 miles and stretches along the beautiful River Severn, between Tewkesbury Abbey and Gloucester Cathedral. Refreshment breaks will be hosted by churches along the route. Watch out for news of another possible walk nearer the south coast – details later from our Southampton office. You can register online at christianaid.org.uk/walks or call your Christian Aid office. Christian Aid/Simon Williams
WHAT A WEEK THAT WAS!
YOUR LOCAL OFFICE BRISTOL OFFICE (Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire) 57 High Street, Thornbury, Bristol BS35 2AP. 01454 415 923 firstname.lastname@example.org facebook.com/ ChristianAidWest SOUTHAMPTON OFFICE (Channel Isles, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight) 106 Shirley High Street, Southampton SO16 4FB. 02380 706969 email@example.com
Luke’s been living below the line LUKE HARMAN, our student and youth coordinator based in Bristol, recently challenged himself to live on £1 a day for a week as part of our Live Below the Line initiative run in conjunction with the Global Poverty Project. Luke’s £1 a day had to cover all of his food: he was unable to accept gifts, or use anything already in his cupboard! Globally, 1.4 billion people live in extreme poverty and that £1 a day must cover all their living expenses. ‘The challenge was a really great way to open up discussions with people about the issues of poverty,’ said Luke, who was able to raise awareness in our region through local radio interviews. ‘Even in a week you can begin to see how your health could suffer from a lack of proper nutrition and variety. I take my ability to eat what I choose absolutely for granted and this week made me experience
what it’s like to not have that luxury. ‘But poverty is also about lack of opportunity and lack of power to change your own circumstances and it’s important for me to remember that my week of living below the line only scratched the surface of what it is like for some people in this world every day.’ See also The Last Word, page 30. Luke with his weekly shop
EVENTS IN SOUTH AND WEST WEDNESDAY 15 JUNE Ecclesiastical Insurance sponsored abseil St Barnabas Church, Stroud Road, Gloucester. Ecclesiastical Insurance staff and Christian Aid supporters will abseil 100ft down the church tower. Funds raised by the staff will be matched by the company. Take on the challenge for just £15 registration fee and a minimum of £30 sponsorship. For details, contact Helen Burgess on 01395 222304 or visit christianaid.ork. uk/abseil MONDAY 20 JUNE Exmouth Christian Aid Quiz 8pm, The Clipper, The Strand, Exmouth. Quiz evening organised by Churches Together in Exmouth. For details, contact southwest@ christian-aid.org or tel 02380 706969. SATURDAY 25 JUNE Strawberry Cream Tea 3-4.30pm, Methodist Church, Scalwell Lane, Seaton. £2.50 for a cream tea featuring
real strawberries. For details, contact southwest@christian-aid. org or tel 02380 706969.
until 14 July. For details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 02380 706969.
SUNDAY 26 JUNE Thank-you picnic 1.30-3.30pm, Truro Cathedral Gardens, St Mary’s Street, Truro. Free event, bring a picnic. For details, contact southwest@ christian-aid.org or tel 02380 706969.
9-18 AUGUST Soul Survivor Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet. We need volunteers to help staff the Christian Aid stand at both weeks of this popular Christian youth festival. For details, contact Bianca Parry on 020 7523 2209, or email email@example.com
MONDAY 27 JUNE Thank-you tea in the Palace Gardens 10am or 2pm, Bishop’s Palace, Exeter Cathedral, The Cloisters, Exeter. Booking essential. For details, contact southwest@ christian-aid.org or tel 02380 706969. THURSDAY 30 JUNE Launch of Christian Aid Poverty Over Exhibition 7.30pm, Cathedral House, Anglican Cathedral, St Thomas’s Street, Portsmouth. Exhibition featuring specially commissioned sculpture by Mel Howse. Drop in anytime
THURSDAY 22 SEPTEMBER Global Forecast 12.30pm (tbc), The Meteorological Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter. Free ticketed event. For details, contact southwest@ christian-aid.org or tel 02380 706969. SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER Faith to Make a World of Difference conference 10am-4pm, Albemarle Centre, Albemarle Road, Taunton. Day conference on the
Millennium Development Goals organised by the World Mission Group of Bath and Wells Diocese. Speakers: Suzanne Matale (Christian Aid partner Council of Churches in Zambia), Very Rev Charley Thomas (Dean of Lusaka Cathedral), Rev Rachel Carnegie (Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for International Development). Worship: Liz Baddaley. Admission free, but please register in advance. For details, contact Elizabeth Perry on 01935 850326, or email firstname.lastname@example.org SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER March for Justice – Severn Way Walk 9am-6pm, Tewkesbury Abbey to Gloucester Cathedral via The Severn Way. Sponsored walk to raise money and awareness for Christian Aid partner Ekta Parishad’s work with landless people in India. See story opposite. For more details, tel: 01454 415923 or visit christianaid.org. uk/walks
Christian Aid News 29
AROUND THE SOUTH EAST Regional news and events in Beds, Berks, Bucks, Herts and Oxon
Christian Aid/Simon Williams
Join the March for Justice
SATURDAY 18 JUNE Voice in concert for Christian Aid 7.30pm, Church of Blessed Hugh, Faringdon. The young a cappella trio, Voice, return with a programme including a new work by Marcus Davidson entitled The Ziggurat Builders – a collaboration with oud player Khayam Allami and cellist Tara Franks. Tickets: £10/£8 (concessions) – all profits to Christian Aid. Contact Julia Burn on 01367 240670 or email email@example.com THURSDAY 30 JUNE The Mikado 7.30pm, Witney Congregational Church. A performance, in costume, of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado by Kennington Church choirs. Free entry, with collection for Christian Aid. Contact Pip Cartwright on 01993 703717 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WEDNESDAY 6 JULY 2011 Supporting political prisoners 7-9.30pm, Friends Meeting House, St Giles, Oxford. Hear from Addameer, a partner working with Palestinian political prisoners in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. Contact Amy Merone on 01865 246818 or email email@example.com SATURDAY 3 SEPTEMBER – SATURDAY 17 SEPTEMBER Poverty Over Cathedral Tour St Albans Abbey, Herts. A spectacular new work of art about global poverty, along with a photographic exhibition of Christian Aid’s work. Open all week. Contact Abi Knowles on 01865 246818 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Wikimedia Commons
IN OCTOBER 2012, 100,000 people from across India will march for just over a month to Delhi, to take part in one of the country’s biggest ever protests to demand land rights for the landless poor. The march is being organised by Christian Aid partner Ekta Parishad, which says that land reform would mean that 400 million poor people in India would be able to feed themselves, instead of being dependent on welfare handouts or charity. This October, at least 1,000 people in Kerala will kick off the first in a series of marches and rallies that will take place in 25 states across India in preparation for the 2012 March for Justice. Here in the UK, we want to stand in solidarity with the marchers and raise money for our partners’ work, so we are organising our own March for Justice sponsored walks. On Saturday 8 October we will be walking from Abingdon to Oxford along the Thames Path (about nine miles). The walk will finish at Wesley Memorial Church with a curry evening and an opportunity to hear more about our partners’ work in India and the March for Justice. We would like as many people to join us as possible. For more details, contact Amy at the Oxford office on 01865 246818 or email email@example.com
Find out more
Would your church or Christian Aid committee be interested in finding out more about the work of Christian Aid partner organisations in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory? If so, Amy Merone has recently returned from a visit to the region, and would be happy to speak to your congregation or committee. Contact Amy on 01865 246818 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian Aid/Adrian Arbib
We’ve had lots of great reports of everything you have been getting up to in Christian Aid Week, from plant sales to coffee mornings and more besides, of course not forgetting the all-important house-to-house collections. Hundreds of you have taken part in Walk the Country and the Christian Aid Walk. Thank you for all your efforts; the money you raise makes a real difference to the work of our partners. We’re hosting a series of thank-you cream teas and evaluation sessions on the dates below, and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible. The teas will be from 5-6pm and the feedback sessions from 4-5pm and 6-7pm. 23 June – Quaker Meeting House, Oxford 29 June – The Well at Willen, Milton Keynes 7 July – Tyndale Baptist Church, Reading For more details, contact email@example.com
Barista for a day, Rt Rev John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, said: ‘The story of the coffee farmers in Nicaragua shows how our actions can help to support thousands of people around the world to work their way out of poverty’
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Regional news and events in London, Essex, Surrey, Kent and Sussex
CHRISTIAN AID WEEK 2011 Rev Mervyn Roberts ANOTHER CHRISTIAN AID WEEK has come on his sponsored and gone, and with it a whole host of diverse Bible-reading and successful fundraising events, kicked off
with our Barista Bishop launch (see page 4). Starting off on a good foot were sponsored walks over a range of distances, from the hundreds of people taking part on the 5.5-mile Circle the City walk, (featuring the pearly King and Queen of Bow Bells), to gorgeous countryside treks in Alfriston and Meopham, and fantastically physical supporters in Bexley, who walked 100 miles to mark the week. Stepping out in style were Churches Together in Ruislip, who raised well over £3,000 from a sale of ladies’ fashions. No one could have said a bad word about
Campaigning: a call to act justly LONG TO SEE AN END to extreme global poverty? Feeling inspired to challenge injustice, but not sure how? At Christian Aid we know the value of campaigning and the real difference it can make to those living in poverty. Challenging the structures and systems that keep people poor is the only way to get rid of extreme poverty for good. From sending text messages and signing campaign postcards to going on marches and lobbying MPs, there are many creative ways to voice your support for our campaigns and we’d love to tell you about them! Are you part of a church or group interested in campaigning? We can come and share with you the background to the tax and climate campaigns, stories from our partners, what we’re calling for and how you can get your community involved. s For more details, please contact Jo Marshall on 020 7523 2120 or email LSE@christian-aid.org
the very successful silent auction organised by the Great Sampford committee, where a tasty ploughman’s supper accompanied an evening of great lots. At the opposite end of the speaking spectrum, Mervyn Roberts, a vicar in Godalming, was sponsored to read aloud the whole of the Bible! Of course, across the region hundreds of similar events were taking place, as well as the vitally important house-to-house collection. Thank you to all of you who took part! The ingenuity and generosity of your fundraising is testament to the fact that Christian Aid supporters never stop thinking of new ways to combat poverty. Spurred on by your commitment and passion, neither will we!
EVENTS WEDNESDAY 15 JUNE Christian Aid Week thank-you and evaluation From 3.30pm, Inter-Church House, 35-41 Lower Marsh, London, SE1 7RL. If you’ve been involved in Christian Aid Week, we’d like to say ‘thank you’ and hear what you thought about the resources. There will be two separate evaluation meetings with tea, cake and an opportunity to meet other Christian Aid supporters and staff. It’s not too late to let us know you’re coming! 3.30-5pm for first evaluation. 5-6pm for thank-you tea. 6-7.30pm for second evaluation. THURSDAY 30 JUNE Surrey Christian Aid Week thank-you 7.30pm, Cranleigh Band Rooms, Village Way, Cranleigh. Do you live in Surrey? Were you involved in Christian Aid Week? Come and join the Cranleigh Christian Aid Week group and others for a meal and an afterdinner talk about the work of Christian Aid in Cambodia. For
catering purposes, please let us know if you are coming. THURSDAY 14 JULY – TUESDAY 26 JULY Christian Aid Poverty Over Exhibition Chichester Cathedral. The touring exhibition includes a stunning new sculpture by renowned British artist Mel Howse and a wonderful photo exhibition featuring the work of Christian Aid partners. SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER Richmond Park sponsored walk 10.30am, Cambrian Centre, 1 Grove Road, Richmond TW10 6SN. Enjoy the beautiful autumnal surroundings of Richmond Park on this 3.5- or 6.5-mile walk, which starts with coffee and croissants! Please register in advance to receive your sponsorship pack. Call 020 7523 2321 or visit christianaid.org.uk/ walks SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER March for Justice A 12-mile sponsored walk for
church leaders through beautiful Hyde Park, along the Regent’s Canal and finishing in Victoria Park. For background, see story opposite. SUNDAY 9 OCTOBER Royal Parks Half Marathon Put yourself up for the challenge and join Team Poverty in London’s most picturesque half marathon. Starting and finishing in Hyde Park, this 13.1-mile course will take you through four of London’s Royal Parks past Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. Registration is £35, minimum sponsorship £300. See christianaid.org.uk/runs To register or find out more about any of these events call us in the London and south east Office – 020 7523 2321 for London and Surrey, 020 7523 2105 for Essex, Kent and Sussex. Christian Aid’s London and south east Team are available to come and speak or preach at services, church meetings, fundraisers or other events.
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A TASTE OF CHRISTIAN AID WEEK IN WALES!
Jeremiah’s House… in west Wales!
Christian Aid/Jeff Williams
Christian Aid/Aled Pichard
Bishop Dominic of Monmouth turns barista for a day. Inset: our Mastermind winner, Dan Collins
WITH COFFEE BEING the focus of the 2011 Christian Aid Week, it’s no surprise that the coffee morning was much in evidence this year. Shoppers and church stalwarts called in for a cuppa in Tabernacle Church, Cardiff city centre. St David’s committee in Pembrokeshire combined their coffee morning with a stall on the square, and the Radyr committee invited people to a coffee morning to drop off their little red envelopes. A new twist on the coffee morning was Bishops as Baristas, with three Welsh bishops taking part. Following a quick demonstration by the staff of the Rainbow Centre cafe in Chepstow, Bishop Dominic of Monmouth proved that he could whip up a mean mocha! His message to customers was, ‘Christian Aid Week is a wonderful opportunity for Christians and people of goodwill to offer hope for those in greatest need. Please be generous.’ As an alternative, Caerleon committee arranged a tea party in the town hall with entertainment by local schoolchildren. The people of Pontypool enjoyed a bowl of delicious homemade soup, and light lunches
were on the menu at the Llanelwy Christian Fellowship in north Wales. Sponsored walks were also popular, with two west Wales committees making their walks a lesson in local history. Cynwyl Elfed supporters followed some traditional pathways and Llandysul walkers stopped at sites of local interest. Brecon walkers had plenty of time to admire the scenery around Llangorse Lake and from the top of Yr Allt! Supporter David Collins organised a fun Mastermind Quiz in a Cardiff pub, with the winner specialising in the Back to the Future films, and Rev Paul Harris of Neath held a sponsored scripture readathon. Christian Aid benefited from the Mayor’s Sunday Service collection in Carmarthen, thanks to Tom Defis, staff member and incoming mayor, and guest speaker at the Porthcawl service was Steve Dubé, a reporter with the Western Mail, who travelled to Nicaragua last year with Christian Aid. Finally, along with other committees, Llangattock/Llangynidr find it increasingly difficult to keep up the traditional house-tohouse collection. This year, therefore, they will hold three big fundraising events in June – a car-boot sale, quiz night and a garden party.
A REPLICA OF A SLUM dweller’s home in Matopeni, Kenya – featured in Christian Aid Week 2010 – proved to be a popular attraction on the Christian Aid stand at some of Wales’s summer events last year. So much so, that as part of Celebrating RE month in March this year, it was decided to rebuild Jeremiah Muli’s house in the vestry of Capel Heol Awst in Carmarthen, with local schools invited to participate in activities designed to teach them about life in Matopeni and the work of Christian Aid. After watching two short films in which Jeremiah talks about the challenges of daily life in Matopeni, the pupils were given a tour of the home, gaining an idea of what it would be like to live there. They were asked to consider what they thought Christian Aid should do to help, before discovering what we are doing there today. In all, 525 children from 20 schools took part and teachers were full of praise: ‘The experience was an excellent opportunity for the children to see the films come to life and really appreciate the severity of the problems,’ said one.
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EVENTS IN WALES – DIGWYDDIADAU YNG NGHYMRU WEDNESDAY 22 JUNE Cardiff Christian Aid Organisers and Supporters Meeting 7pm, City URC Church, Windsor Place, Cardiff. Share your views of Christian Aid Week 2011 events, resources and collections in Cardiff. Please contact Robin Samuel on 029 2084 4646 for further details. MERCHER 22 MEHEFIN Cyfarfod Trefnyddion a Chefnogwyr Cymorth Cristnogol Caerdydd Capel City URC, Windsor Place, Caerdydd am 7yh Dewch i rannu’ch profiadau o Wythnos Cymorth Cristnogol 2011 - yr adnoddau, y casglu a’r digwyddiadau yng Nghaerdydd. Mwy o fanylion gan Robin Samuel ar 029 2084 4646. MONDAY 4 – SATURDAY 9 JULY Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod St John’s Church, Llangollen. Christian Aid will be supporting Denbighshire Fairtrade group on their stand during the week. Full details and volunteering opportunities from Anna Jane Evans on 01248 353574.
SUNDAY 10 JULY Songs of Praise 6pm at Bridgend United Church, Tondu Road, Bridgend. Take some popular hymns; a four-part harmony; a desire to praise God; a passion for justice, a collection for Christian Aid and you have a recipe for an evening of enjoyment and inspiration. Details from Rev Valerie Davies on 01656 654120. FRIDAY 15 – SUNDAY 17 JULY Art for Africa Friday: 6-9pm; Saturday and Sunday: 10am-6pm, Bridges Community Centre, Drybridge Park, Monmouth NP25 5AS. This annual art sale for Christian Aid is moving to Monmouth Town Centre, and will be raising funds to support food and water projects run by Christian Aid partners in Sierra Leone. For details, contact 01600 715 638 or 01600 860 264. MONDAY 18 – THURSDAY 21 JULY Royal Welsh Agricultural Show RWAS Showground, Builth Wells, Powys.
Christian Aid will be at the Churches Together stand. Come along for a chat and if you would like to volunteer to spend some time on our stall, please contact our Carmarthen office on 01267 237257. FRIDAY 9 SEPTEMBER Local Talent Evening 7pm at Tabernacle Chapel, Derwen Road, Bridgend. Songs, sketches and musical items performed by members of the town’s churches in support of the work of Christian Aid. Details from Dr Peter Speakman on 01656 776973. SADWRN 3 GORFFENNAF – SADWRN 6 AWST Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru, Wrecsam a’r Fro Maes yr Eisteddfod, Wrecsam. Fe fydd staff Cymorth Cristnogol Cymru ar ein stondin ar Faes yr Eisteddfod ar hyd yr Wythnos. Galwch heibio am sgwrs; i weld ein harddangosfa; casglu adnoddau a phrynu nwyddau Masnach Deg. Os oes gennych ddiddordeb mewn gwirfoddoli yn ystod yr wythnos, cysylltwch â’n Swyddfa
Eifion’s art of change THIS PAINTING, ENTITLED Red Dancer, is one of a series of artworks created by Welsh Platform2 returnee Eifion Sven Myer. They were recently featured in Christian Aid Wales’s I Am the Change exhibition at Y Ganolfan, the base of Arad Goch Theatre Company, in Aberystwyth. Eifion is studying for his BA in animation at the University of the Creative Arts, Fareham, Surrey, and his artwork was inspired by the 10 weeks he spent with an environmental project in Kenya, which aims to preserve forest areas threatened by degradation. Many of his paintings highlight issues such as community and westernisation.
‘My experiences provoked a number of mind-set changes in my life, including a real interest in how humans live within the natural environment, especially alongside animals. It was scary but quite exciting to share these experiences with the people of Aber!’ Christian Aid has been working with Platform2 returnees encouraging them to use their skills, talents and creativity to translate the development issues they witnessed into a voice for change. As well as art exhibitions, there have been films, poverty monologues, a CD of original songs and spoken word, and a book of poetry and photographs. s If you would like more information about Eifion and his work, or are interested in hosting an exhibition of the paintings, please contact Mari McNeill on 029 2084 4646 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
ym Mangor ar 01248 353574. MAWRTH 9 – MERCHER 10 AWST Sioe Môn, Maes y Sioe, Gwalchmai, Ynys Môn Eleni eto fe fydd Cymorth Cristnogol yn cefnogi’r grwp Masnach Deg lleol ar ei stondin yn y sioe boblogaidd hon i’r teulu cyfan. Am fwy o fanylion a chyfleoedd gwirfoddoli cysylltwch ag Anna Jane Evans ar 01248 353574. SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER Bearing Witness – Act and Pray for Climate Justice 12 noon-7.30pm, Manchester. A day of workshops, service and vigil during the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. See Campaigns, page 14. For details of transport from north Wales, contact 01248 353574.
EICH SWYDDFA LEOL – YOUR LOCAL OFFICE BANGOR (Gogledd Cymru/ North Wales) 106 Stryd Fawr, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 1NS. Tel/Ffôn: 01248 353574 email@example.com CAERFYRDDIN/CARMARTHEN (De Orllewin a’r Canolbarth/ South West and Mid) 75 Heol Dwr, Caerfyrddin/ Carmarthen SA31 1PY. Tel/Ffôn: 01267 237257 firstname.lastname@example.org CAERDYDD/CARDIFF (Cenedlaethol/National Office) 5 Station Road, Radyr, Caerdydd/Cardiff CF15 8AA. Tel/Ffôn: 029 2084 4646 email@example.com
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LAST WORD A reflection on playing a part in the fight against poverty, and living life in the wider family of Christian Aid
‘We were eating for the sake of nourishment and all enjoyment was gone’
Christian Aid/Claire Meeghan
CUSTARD IN TEA, reheated cheese on toast and cream cheese in porridge – you might find these unappetising and you would be right, but when you are living on £1 a day it’s the sort of thing you resort to. I was living below the line – and I was desperate! This new fundraising initiative (see box) challenged supporters to spend just £1 a day for five days on all their food and drink. Inspired by the challenge, I and three other members of Christian Aid’s PR team decided to take part. We made it through the five days, but our ‘diet’ took a surprising toll on our wellbeing and normal sunny moods. It had seemed so simple during the run-up. We all became obsessed with what we were going to eat, comparing different supermarket prices and inventive menus to get us through the week. Foraging for wild berries was allowed, but difficult to do when you’re living in London and I couldn’t bring myself to go foraging in the bins behind supermarkets. The rules also meant we could not accept gifts – even a well-meant cup of tea would have disqualified us, if the tea bag and milk had not been bought as part of our rations. The main shopping item for me was to be a kilo of frozen vegetables for 65p, but, unfortunately, I was unable to find it in the shop. This was a blow to my plan and I definitely missed vegetables in my diet. After doing my ‘weekly shop’ with £5 in hand, thankfully I had £1.22 left over to spend on extras, which ended up being carrots, celeriac and more bananas. I felt elated when I found a chunk of ginger on a market stall for just 3p, but grumpy when I had to do without salt. One of my colleagues had a few pennies left over, too, but her craving
Christian Aid/Matthew Gonzalez Noda
In May, Christian Aid’s media support officer, Melanie Marks, joined colleagues and supporters in a new fundraising challenge – Live Below the Line. It wasn’t plain sailing, but it was pretty plain food
Melanie with her Live Below the Line breakfast of porridge
was sugar and so she went for a bumper pack of ‘value’ Rich Tea biscuits. Her mood completely changed once she had them to munch on and I think they really got her through her five days. I was really surprised by how difficult I found the challenge. Food is one of my passions and I promised myself that I would still make my ‘meals’ interesting. The staple foods of my diet were mainly carbohydrates and I realised that ‘interesting’ just didn’t apply. At work we were eating for the sake of nourishment and all enjoyment was gone. I felt tired, moody and bloated. I work in the world of development, but taking part in this fundraiser really made me think about the millions of people around the world who are malnourished and what a luxury it is for us to be able to enjoy food. I really felt inspired by this fundraiser as food is part of my day-to-day life. And although the challenge affected me physically and mentally, it was nothing compared to what people go through around the world. Between the four of
us, we raised £1,134 while, overall, Christian Aid supporters raised more than £26,000. I am proud to have been part of it and happy that the money will be going towards helping people who live below the line for a lot longer than five days.
LIVE BELOW THE LINE s -EL TOOK PART IN ,IVE "ELOW THE ,INE n A new campaign run by the Global Poverty Project and fronted by actor Hugh Jackman. Its aim was to recruit people across the UK to take up the challenge of spending just £5 in five days on all their food and drink. Globally, 1.4 billion people live below the poverty line, surviving on just £1 a day to cover all their living expenses. Christian Aid joined forces with The Global Poverty Project to raise money towards our work to end poverty in the developing world. Nearly 250 Christian Aid supporters and staff took part, raising more than £26,000. To find out more visit livebelowtheline.org.uk/christianaid
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MAKE YOUR MONEY GO FURTHER IN THE FIGHT TO END POVERTY You can help fight poverty in Africa by becoming part of Christian Aid’s Partnership Scheme. If your church, business or school joins the Scheme and raises at least £5,000 in the next two years, we can match your giving with grants from the European Commission. For every pound you give, at least another £3 goes to a specific project, which hugely increases the impact of your donation. The people of Sierra Leone are struggling to recover from the effects of a civil war that ended a decade ago. Now, with Christian Aid’s help, they are increasing their harvests, improving their water supplies and strengthening their health services. The result? Less hunger, less poverty and healthier children. Christian Aid/Karen Hedges
To find out more about the Partnership Scheme and how you can help bring change to Africa, call Max Khanna on 020 8123 7523 or visit christianaid.org.uk/partnerships Photo: Ibrahim Tucker (in foreground) is a rice farmer and public relations officer for his local village development committee. Christian Aid partner the Methodist Church of Sierra Leone is encouraging such committees as a means to help communities have more say in decisions by local authorities
HOW WILL YOU CELEBRATE A LIFE? A gift in memory is one of the most thoughtful gifts you will ever give. It’s your chance to look back on a ORYHGRQH·VOLIHDQGKRQRXUWKHPZLWKDÀWWLQJWULEXWH
Celebrate a Life gives you the special opportunity to choose which area of work your gift will support – our education, water, or disasterpreparedness projects. Or you could simply allow us to use
your gift wherever it is most urgently needed. For example, your gift could help give a child like Jonathan, in Nicaragua, the chance to get a better education and work their way out of poverty. But no matter what you choose, you can be certain that your gift will mean your loved one, and their memory, touch many more lives around the world.
For more information on how to make your gift, call Colin Kemp on 020 7523 2173, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in and return the form.
Christian Aid/Paula Plaza
And when you remember your loved one with a gift in memory to Christian Aid you’ll also help change the lives of people in poor communities.
Yes, please send me more information on how to Celebrate a Life Title
Home address Postcode Telephone (where we can contact you) Email (where we can email you) UK registered charity number 1105851 Company number 5171525 Scotland charity number SC039150 The Christian Aid name and logo are trademarks of Christian Aid; Poverty Over is a trademark of Christian Aid. © Christian Aid 2011
Please complete if you are happy to be contacted about Christian Aid’s work. Please fill in your details above and return this form to: FREEPOST, Colin Kemp, In Memory Giving team, Christian Aid, London SE1 7YY
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Neale Jones Campaigns
Proof date 27/5/11 Feedback due 27/5/11
ACT AND PRAY FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE
Christian Aid/Amanda Farrant
BY JOINING A DAY OF WORKSHOPS, SERVICE AND VIGIL IN MANCHESTER ON SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER
Be a climate witness Listen to accounts from our overseas partners, who are living on the frontline of a changing climate.
Register your interest in this event at:
Speak out for strong government action, challenging injustice and being a voice for the voiceless.
christianaid.org.uk/bearingwitness or call us on 020 7523 2264. For more information, email email@example.com
Pray in solidarity with our global neighbours for a fairer future for all.
Help people in poverty out of poverty UK registered charity number 1105851 Company number 5171525 The Christian Aid name and logo are trademarks of Christian Aid; Poverty Over is a trademark of Christian Aid. ÂŠ Christian Aid 2011 Printed on 100 per cent recycled paper