Christian Aid magazine for supporters
Journey to justice United against the climate crisis
Ida showing off the bottles of baobab juice that she and her fellow Makande Women’s Group members have made.
A Gift of Love Love unites us all – and with a gift in your Will, your love can live forever. These challenging times have reminded us how important it is to love our neighbours as ourselves. Making a Will is itself an act of love, a way of taking care of your family and friends. And by including a gift to Christian Aid in your Will, you can extend that love to your global family too. Your gift could support future generations of women like Ida Lazalo in Malawi. By joining forces, Ida and her sisters are already starting new sustainable businesses that could one day offer a way out of poverty and protection from the climate crisis.
Write your Will with Will Aid This November you can write or update your Will with Will Aid. Rather than charge their fee, participating solicitors will write your Will for a suggested charitable donation, shared by nine charities, including Christian Aid. Visit willaid.org.uk or call 0300 0309 558.
To find out more about the power of Wills, request your free Will Guide by contacting our Legacy Manager Alison Linwood at email@example.com or calling her on 020 7523 2177. Alternatively, visit caid.org.uk/legacies CAM-002134
The journey to justice The vaccine rollout in Britain has been a blessing. I’m sure, like me, that you’re grateful to be able to do more of the things you enjoy and see the people you love. But I’m acutely aware that not all share this privilege. It is deeply unjust that so many people across the world cannot access vaccines. And for some communities, the spread of coronavirus is not the only crisis that they face. The climate crisis continues to devastate lives and livelihoods. As we approach the last few months of the year, we have a unique opportunity to raise the voices of our global neighbours and call for climate justice. In November, the UK will host the United Nations climate talks, COP26. If we truly wish to end poverty, we must seize every opportunity before us to call for justice –
Christian Aid Magazine Issue 17: Autumn/Winter 2021 Editor: Laura Oakley Sub-editor: Natasha Fiala Art editor: Rachel Irwin, Rebecca Gray Design: Rachel Irwin, Rebecca Gray Coordination: John Lamb, Lorna Amahson Published by Christian Aid 35 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7RL 020 7620 4444 firstname.lastname@example.org caid.org.uk Cover story Janet Ben proudly shows the beans she now grows and sells at a market in Malawi.
Christian Aid magazine for supporters
Journey to justice United against the climate crisis
Photos: Cover Christian Aid/Malumbo Simwaka; page 2 Christian Aid/Malumbo Simwaka; page 3 Christian Aid, Christian Aid/Latitude Space; pages 4-5 Christian Aid/Amaru; pages 6-8 Wirestock, Christian Aid, ID Campbell; page 9 Christian Aid/ Latitude Space; pages 10-11 Christian Aid/ Alex Baker; pages 12-13 Christian Aid/Tom Pilston, Christian Aid pages 14-15 Christian Aid/Amaru; pages 16-17 Christian Aid/Haya, Christian Aid/Enddy Ziyera; pages 18-19 Christian Aid/Shuvo Roy, Christian Aid; pages 20-21 Christian Aid/Silvano Yokwe; page 22 Christian Aid, Christian Aid/Elaine Duigenan; page 23 Christian Aid.
starting with COP26, but beyond that too. Creating real and lasting change is a marathon, not a sprint. But together our actions have impact, and together we can sustain one another for the journey ahead. In this edition of Christian Aid Magazine, you can learn more about the climate crisis and the important role you can play in seeking justice.
Pete Moorey Head of Campaigns and UK Advocacy
Contents 4-5 Time for climate justice Explore why climate justice is so central to the work we do.
6-8 Rise to the Moment Join us as we journey to COP26 and call for climate justice.
9 Give thanks for your vaccine See how your gifts of thanksgiving are helping our global neighbours.
10-11 Song of the prophets Discover Song of the Prophets: a Requiem for the Climate.
12-13 Christian Aid Week Find out how people celebrated this year’s Christian Aid Week.
14-15 Harvest Appeal Read about the fuzzy green fruit changing lives in Malawi.
16-17 From where I stand Get a glimpse into the lives of the people we work with and for.
18-19 Love builds hope Remind yourself about the change and hope you bring to the world.
20-21 Christmas Appeal Stand with mums in South Sudan who are facing impossible choices.
22 Remembering loved ones Read about the life of supporter John Eckersley, and our remembrance service for all loved ones.
23 Last Word Meet Rachel Mander from Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN).
Eng and Wales charity no. 1105851 Scot charity no. SC039150 Company no. 5171525. The Christian Aid name and logo are trademarks of Christian Aid. Printed exclusively on material sourced from responsibly managed forests © Christian Aid September 2021 J229969. The acceptance of external advertising does not indicate endorsement.
Time for e c i t s u j e t a clim Janet Ben gestures at a pile of muddy bricks. It’s all that’s left of her old house in Malawi, destroyed by Cyclone Idai. Together we must press on for climate justice.
anet had reached rock bottom. Her family lost everything they owned on that calamitous day over two years ago, including their livestock and only source of income. Cyclone Idai spared their lives, but only just. Homeless and only able to eat once a day, Janet was in a desperate fight for survival – for herself, her husband, and her precious children. Cyclone Idai was one of the worst tropical cyclones to hit the southern hemisphere. Experts believe the destructive power of such storms is only going to get worse because of the climate crisis. Our hearts break when we hear stories like Janet’s. We are stunned by the raw poverty that she faces. We are outraged by the flagrant injustice of her situation, as she confronts the worst impacts of this climate crisis. It’s because we know, deep in our core, that this shouldn’t be happening. Not anywhere, not to anyone. Like you, we believe everyone is equal in the sight of God. That truth has driven us for over 75 years to stand in solidarity with our global neighbours, of all faiths and none. So, we will keep fighting for climate justice alongside our neighbours like Janet.
We’ll keep supporting her in her new business, creating and selling baobab juice with women in her community, so she can feed and clothe her loved ones. We’ll take our fight for justice to the UN climate talks in Glasgow this November, pushing our political leaders to tackle the climate crisis without leaving our global neighbours behind. And we’ll respond quickly as layers of crises – conflict, Covid-19 and climate – increase global hunger, so that women, men and children will not lose their lives. Climate justice has never been more important than it is today, and we are in this battle for the long haul. The truth is that we couldn’t achieve a fraction of this without you, our supporters. So, thank you for standing together with us. Janet’s radiant smile says it all. Her small business has helped her find a way out of poverty: ‘My two older kids now go to school on a full stomach. The vision I have for my family is that we should no longer be poor. I want us to be a family that will inspire others.’ Together we can help more families press on towards climate justice. Thank you Janet, for your inspiration. Turn to page 14 to read more about Janet’s remarkable story.
Janet Ben’s house was destroyed by Cyclone Idai in 2019. This rubble is all that remains.
he climate crisis is a storm we all face, but we’re not all in the same boat. Every day, people living in poverty battle the worst of a crisis they did not create. This is deeply unjust. But a better way is possible. Together we can tackle the inequalities in wealth and power that have led to this climate crisis – starting now. In November, the UK Government will host the United Nations key climate talks, COP26. This is a decade-defining opportunity to impact and influence the decisions made. We must ensure
What is COP26? COP26 is the 26th meeting of world leaders at the UN climate change talks. The conference has been described as the most important gathering on climate change since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015. After being postponed in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, COP26 is due to take place in the first two weeks of November 2021. For many, this conference remains the best, and only, global platform to build consensus on climate justice and action.
Where will COP26 take place? All being well, COP26 will be held in Glasgow. This is a fitting city for such an event. Fondly known as the Dear Green Place, it was once a centre of industrialisation. Now,
our global neighbours are heard. That’s why Christian Aid is joining together with Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN) for Rise to the Moment – a journey of prayer and action in the run-up to COP26. Together we can amplify our prophetic voices and create one unified movement for change. From now on, every moment matters and every action counts in the fight for climate justice. Will you rise to the moment?
the very site where the conference will be held is at risk of being reclaimed by the rising River Clyde. For two centuries, Glasgow has been the birthplace of social movements sparked by injustice. Here’s hoping the warm Glaswegian hospitality and longheld passion for justice will set in motion climate justice for all.
What is Christian Aid’s role? One of the key characteristics of the COP conferences is that people from all over the world are represented, both in official delegations and from civil society. A crucial part we play is ensuring that the voices of our partners and the communities we work with are heard during the conference. We can’t achieve climate justice without involving the people
most affected by the crisis in the discussions and decisions.
What are we hoping for? At COP26, we will be looking for progress on the key issue of climate finance – making sure that those most affected by the crisis are provided with money to help cope with it. In 2009, the world’s richest countries, including the UK, agreed to deliver $100bn a year in climate finance to the world’s poorest and most climatevulnerable countries by 2020. This promise was not fulfilled. We will be pressing this issue alongside faith communities in the UK, partner organisations around the world, and YCCN.
YCCN’s model boat represents our hope that we will rise to the moment and use this year to set sail towards a more just future.
6 2 P O C o t y e n r Jou Support the relay
In the run-up to COP26, we’re supporting an exciting relay with YCCN to push for ambitious action to tackle the climate crisis. YCCN is an action-focused community of people aged 18-30, following Jesus in the pursuit of climate justice. They share Christian Aid’s determination to bring about a fairer world. The relay kicked off in Cornwall after the G7 Summit in June and will make its way across the UK until it reaches Glasgow in November. There are lots of things you can do as an individual, church or community to support the relay and help press for climate justice – and it all starts with a paper boat. Taking inspiration from the model boat YCCN have built to
journey with them on the relay – which represents hope – we’re asking you to create an origami prayer boat. This prayer boat is the start of several ways you can rise to the moment and call for climate justice ahead of COP26: from creating a display of boats in your church, to adding it to our online fleet, to using it to catch your MP’s attention. You can even send your boat to join an installation at COP26, helping us ensure decision makers cannot ignore our calls for action.
Step 2: Write a prayer on your paper There are prayer points and an example prayer in the pack.
Step 1: Download the prayer boat activity pack from caid.org.uk/rise The pack contains all the information you need to know.
You can find out more about YCCN and the relay in the Last Word (page 23) where we speak to relay co-lead, Rachel Mander.
Step 3: Fold your piece of paper into a boat Follow the step-by-step instructions in the pack. Step 4: Set sail for climate justice Look at the options in the pack and choose which voyage your boat will take!
Engaging children and young people Are you a teacher or a youth leader? As children and young people have been at the forefront of calls for climate action, we know you may be keen to talk to them about COP26. We’ve worked together with The Climate Coalition on the Together for our Planet COP26 pack for schools which can be downloaded on Twinkl’s website at twinkl.co.uk/resources/twinkl-partnerships/cop26 There’s also our Letters for Creation project which encourages a creative and spiritual response to climate justice. Through community art making and exhibitions, children and young people can exercise their voices in the run-up to COP26 and beyond. To find out more go to caid.org.uk/lettersforcreation
Get your skates on For those of you based in Scotland, you can get involved in Get your skates on. Inspired by the iconic painting of The Skating Minister by Henry Raeburn, and the race against time to stop this climate crisis, Glasgow-based artist ID Campbell has recreated this masterpiece and invites others to do the same. Get your skates on captures all the activities happening locally in Scotland in the run-up to COP26. Find out more at caid.org.uk/get-your-skates-on
Save the date We know some of you avid campaigners are used to attending COP. But with coronavirus still a part of our everyday lives, nothing is certain. We do hope there will be opportunities to attend events in Glasgow and other satellite cities across the UK to make your voice heard. Plans are still to be confirmed but the main day of action will be 6 November – so save the date and sign up to our campaign emails to ensure you’re the first to know more. Sign up at caid.org.uk/campaignwithus
‘ In our 75-year history, we’ve never taken on easy challenges. The climate crisis may be our biggest challenge yet’ Pete Moorey Head of Campaigns and Advocacy at Christian Aid
Artwork by ID Campbell
Make a commitment beyond COP26 We hope COP26 will deliver the action we urgently need to address the climate crisis. But we must also be prepared to keep pressing for change beyond it. Make a note of one thing you will do as an individual or church after COP26 to help keep up the fight for climate justice. From signing our latest petition to donating to our next appeal, every action counts.
‘ Receiving the coronavirus vaccination is like receiving a blessing. I am so glad to be able to share it’
Dookenger happily holds a hygiene kit that will help her family in Kenya stay safe from coronavirus.
Christian Aid supporter
Giving thanks for your vaccine W hen the vaccine rollout against coronavirus got underway in Britain, many of us felt a sense of relief and joy. Our loved ones would finally have some protection against the virus. But the process also made us starkly aware of the inequality that still exists in our world, especially when it comes to health. One of you in the Diocese of Gloucester felt this so strongly that you got in touch asking for a way to give in gratitude for your vaccine. Seeing you were not alone, our Give thanks for your vaccine appeal was launched.
Giving thanks The appeal allowed people like you to act on that sense of thanksgiving and pass the blessing on, helping others in crisis who have little protection from the pandemic. We have been truly humbled by the response to this appeal. From Wilton Parish Church to the Church of Scotland, you’ve taken part as individuals, churches, denominations, church networks and Christian Aid groups, raising over £300,000. Standout contributors include the 474 members of the United Reformed Church who have helped raise over £30,000. Reading the messages left on our online Wall of Thanksgiving has been both moving and encouraging.
Changing lives All your gifts of thanksgiving are helping our global neighbours stay safe while the vaccine remains out of
reach. What’s more, your support has enabled Christian Aid to expand its work in India where the coronavirus situation has been particularly devastating. Christian Aid has been working with local partners in India since the start of the pandemic, providing 130,000 vulnerable people with support, from life-saving information on the virus, to food parcels. But your solidarity helped us do more, providing PPE to frontline health workers and oxygen concentrators to health centres. We and our partners are grateful to have been able to do more for our sisters and brothers facing such uncertainty.
Looking forward Many communities around the world still face an uncertain wait for a vaccine as questions remain around the cost, timing and extent of a global vaccination rollout. Going forward, Christian Aid will support vaccination programmes in countries where it is operating. This might mean providing data on hard-to-reach populations to local health services, or challenging misleading information about the virus and vaccination. As a member of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, we will also continue to call for a ‘people’s vaccine’ so that everyone, everywhere is able to get a vaccine. We believe this is a matter of justice as well as fairness. Read the Wall of Thanksgiving or give thanks for your vaccine at caid.org.uk/givethanks
Songs of the Prophets
Song of the Prophets In June, Chineke! Orchestra performed the world premiere of Song of the Prophets: a Requiem for the Climate in St Paul’s Cathedral, London. The piece was commissioned by Christian Aid to help raise awareness about the devastating impacts of the climate crisis. Watch the performance online and be inspired as we journey to COP26 at caid.org.uk/song
Christian Aid Week 2021
Another fantastic Christian Aid Week
We’ve been amazed by your creativity and determination to celebrate this year’s Christian Aid Week. We know it wasn’t an easy one to plan for with coronavirus restrictions, but you rose to the occasion beautifully. From the 300,000 steps in May challenge to posting envelopes to bake sales, you’ve done so much to show your solidarity with our global neighbours facing the climate crisis – in Kenya and beyond. Thank you all for your continued support. We hope you enjoy reading about some of the events that happened across the country.
Thank you When we first met Rose in Kenya, extreme weather robbed her of a reliable source of water. Without water, every day was a struggle. Without water, Rose was thirsty and hungry. Your support has given people like Rose the hope that they can stand strong against the elements.
North Yorkshire: A team of walkers (and Keeva the dog) from churches across Northallerton took on the 300,000 steps challenge this year. Michael Webster, chair of the local Christian Aid group, said: ‘In total, at least four million steps were walked or run, despite challenging weather on some days! We’re approaching a total of £3,400.’
West Yorkshire: Creativity is a strong force in Haworth , where villagers ran their first ever Scarecrow Festival. It featured 54 scarecrows and raised over £1,700.
giving pages set up
steps taken in the 300,000 steps challenge
e-envelopes created, raising more than £335,000
Nearly £5m raised. Thank you for your incredible gifts, prayers and action this Christian Aid Week.
Moray: Minister Andrew Kimmitt did a sponsored tour of the River Spey in one day. He ran 15km from Loch Spey to Garva Bridge, cycled 135km to Fochabers, then kayaked the last stretch to Spey Bay. Phew!
Kinross: A water bucket challenge organised by the Kinross Christian Aid group helped engage young people in this year’s appeal stories and raise over £5,000.
Glasgow: The Boys’ Brigade organised a sponsored carwash, raising almost £700.
Northumberland: Inspired by Rose’s story, John McArdle and Tony Brookes from Hexham walked five miles from their home to fetch water from the River Tyne before returning home with it. Their Christian Aid group raised around £2,000.
Lincolnshire: St Thomas C of E Primary School in Boston took on the 300,000 steps challenge this May. Each class walked three laps around their football pitch, raising £192. A fantastic result!
Anglesey: Nan Powell-Davies and Anna Jane Evans completed the 300,000 steps challenge – in just one week! Together they have raised nearly £6,000.
Neath: Father Rhun ap Robert
Cardiff: Llandaff City
from the Church in Wales cycled around his local Afon Nedd Ministry Area (Neath) to raise funds.
primary school in Cardiff raised over £2,000 during Christian Aid Week.
Suffolk: Supporter Christine Stainer sold afternoon tea boxes in her village, raising £200. Each box contained sandwiches, scones, tea bags, and lots of scrummy cakes.
stronger together Janet Ben stands in front of a massive baobab tree in Malawi, holding fuzzy green fruit picked from its branches. It’s this fruit that’s made all the difference to the lives of Janet and her friends.
n Malawi, women like Janet are struggling in the face of the climate crisis. Janet and her family lost everything when Cyclone Idai hit in March 2019. The cyclone destroyed her home and swept her family’s livestock away. Homeless and only able to eat once a day, Janet was in a desperate fight for survival. Hope came from an unusual fruit – and an amazing group of women. Janet knew of the Makande Women’s Group, a collective of local women standing together to change their own lives. ‘I used to admire the women who were already members of the group,’ Janet said. ‘They were able to support their families.’
So Janet decided to join too. Through a project run by Christian Aid and our local partner, Eagles Relief and Development, the women’s group learnt about making and selling baobab juice and received a low-interest loan to get started. Soon the women were making juice from the fruit of the large baobab trees near their homes. ‘Once we’ve made the juice, we take it to the market to sell. After selling, we bring the money together,’ explains Janet. The women make up to 6,000 bottles of juice a month, working in shifts. Their average monthly income has increased tenfold since the beginning of the project. And as more
women join the group, they have learnt valuable skills from each other. They have plans to branch out and supply dried fruit and vegetables across Malawi. Joining the group has changed everything for Janet and her family. With a radiant smile, she shows us her new home and explains how proud she is that her children are at school. Janet now has a reliable source of income from the juice and has also opened her own stall at the local market selling beans. In Malawi and beyond, more and more people like Janet are facing the fallout from extreme weather. But together we can stop this climate crisis.
Janet holds the baobab fruit that is helping to provide a better life for her family.
‘ I want us to be a family that will inspire others’
We are stronger together. It’s not too late to join us this Harvest to help more women thrive in the face of crisis. Donate at caid.org.uk/Harvest or scan this QR code using your smartphone camera.
e r e h w m o r F I stand Christian Aid is learning more and more about the communities we work with thanks to new projects that help people share their own stories. Here are two from Haya and Enddy. Overcoming trauma in Syria Haya took part in a photo-journalism project helping young people in north-west Syria deal with trauma and express their hopes for the future. It’s part of Christian Aid’s Creating Alternative Futures programme, funded by the European Union. This programme helps young people affected by the Syrian conflict catch up on their education, learn new skills and access psychosocial support. Many of these young people have lived through conflict for almost half their lives. Photography allows them to catalogue what they see every day and express themselves.
Haya’s story My name is Haya. I am 20 years old from north-east Syria. After I finished high school, my dream was to go to university, but the circumstances of war and displacement prevented me from achieving this dream. At that time, I felt darkness everywhere around me, as if life had ended – the case for many of my
Haya taking photos of her surroundings.
country’s people. But I finally found light through my camera which expresses my pain and hope at the same time. I love photography because every picture has a beautiful story, different memories, and unforgettable moments. In the past, I took many photos in different places, but when I joined the photography training, I benefited a lot from this experience to improve my photos.
‘ I finally found light through my camera which expresses my pain and hope’ We photograph to understand the meaning of our life. If you cannot feel what you are photographing, you will not be able to make others feel anything when they look at your pictures.
How many people entered this place for quarantine after being infected with coronavirus? Some of them died after they struggled with the disease, and others survived to tell us the story of their suffering and how important it is to adhere to preventive measures.
This road tells us hundreds of stories full of tears and laughter of the people who crossed it – during the journey of displacement and asylum, or in ambulances on their way to the hospital after being infected with coronavirus, or even hikers enjoying the beauty of nature. When I see the bees absorb the nectar from this white and pink flowering tree, it gives me hope, and I feel reassured and secure.
See more photography from Haya and others at caid.org.uk/mysyria
Sharing community concerns Our True Voice is a network of community reporters from Nigeria and Zimbabwe sharing first-hand accounts of the challenges and solutions of social exclusion. It’s part of Christian Aid’s project, Evidence and Collaboration for Inclusive Development (ECID), funded by UK Aid, and is helping to focus support where it is needed most. The reporters are individuals from the marginalised communities the project aims to support: women, people with disabilities and young people. One of them is Enddy Ziyera from Zimbabwe. He has covered stories across a range of topics including health and gender-based violence. These reports are valuable evidence in advocating for improved services and they make sure that people’s voices are heard. Below is one of Enddy’s latest reports.
Enddy Ziyera June 2021, Zimbabwe
Access to clean water remains a challenge for residents of Gimboki Access to clean water remains a pipe dream for many residents of Dangamvura especially those residing in Gimboki. Women and children spend hours in long queues at the two communal water points, to fill up a few containers. Altercations, shouting, and
cursing are a daily ritual as people jostle for a chance to fill up their containers. At these water points, social distancing, wearing of face masks and other Covid-19 safety protocols are not observed. Many women do their laundry by the nearby rocks to take advantage of the water point. This increases the chance for the virus to spread. Some water vendors charge people as high as US$3 to fill up a 200-litre container. But this is very expensive compared to the less than Z$90 (US$0.25) for 1,000 litres of water charged by the local authority. This has increased the levels of poverty and inequalities among residents, especially women whose social status continues to dwindle. It is time that local authorities and developers found a lasting solution to the water problem. Head to evidenceforinclusion.org/our-true-voice or follow #OurTrueVoice on Twitter to see future reports.
e p o h s d l i u b Your love The events of the last few years have been tough. But through it all, people like you have continued to think of others. It is this love you share, even for strangers, that keeps hope alive. You inspire us. And as we face big challenges ahead on our journey towards climate justice, we wanted to remind you of the change and hope you bring. Reaching out to refugees
Thanks to your support of a joint project with the World Food Programme, Christian Aid launched new projects for Rohingya refugees. People like Shomsu Alam have been able to earn an income through a cash for work scheme. Now he can buy books for his children, grow a small garden and keep chickens – all of which will help his children as they grow.
Tax justice win
After more than 12 years of your campaigning to make sure big companies pay their fair share of tax, finance ministers from the G7 countries came to a historic deal. Multinational companies will now have to pay at least a 15% tax rate on their profits in the countries where they operate. While there is more to do, this is still a monumental step forward.
Standing in solidarity
In May, violence spiralled out of control in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. We asked you to write to the British Prime Minister and demand he do all he could to support the ceasefire and support peace with justice. Your solidarity was overwhelming, making this one of the most acted-upon requests we have ever asked of you. William Bell, Head of Middle East Region said: ‘ Thank you very much. I know that all of our partners, Israeli and Palestinian, felt that solidarity.’
Putting pressure on the G7
Politicians failed to deliver the commitments the world needs on vaccines, debt relief and the climate crisis at this year’s G7 Summit. But you showed up. Ahead of the event, you helped amplify the voices of our global neighbours: from the postcards you sent to the Prime Minister, to the Wave of Hope hands you displayed in your window. Let’s take this momentum to COP26 in November.
‘ When I read about the courage of people who don’t have the things we take for granted – and often don’t value – I admire them and know they are truly strong’ Janet
‘ Hope - it’s so much more present than we realise. You may not be able to touch it, but you can see it in the eyes and hear it in the voices of all those who believe in making a difference’ Steve
Award-winning climate campaign Last year, 25 young Christians from our Prophetic Activist scheme launched Stop Fuelling the Fire – a campaign to stop the UK Government financing the extraction and burning of fossil fuels overseas. The UK finally announced they would stop this stream of funding, and the campaign won the ‘David and Goliath’ award from the Sheila McKechnie Foundation.
Sharing messages of hope
Earlier this year, we asked some of you to share what gives you hope. Hundreds of you returned messages to us and we read every single one. Here are two that really resonated. We hope they give you encouragement too.
Dirty water or none at all?
No mum should have to face this impossible choice. But this injustice is a reality for many on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Will you stand with mums this Christmas?
Adut’s family no longer drink this dirty river water. They now drink clean water from a borehole.
or a long time, Adut Mariu had no choice but to give her children dirty water. She knew it wasn’t safe, but she had no choice. ‘We were in desperate need,’ Adut said. ‘To look after my children, they had to drink the dirty river water.’ The River Makadh runs through Adut’s village of Biet in north-west South Sudan and it was the community’s only source of water. It is dirty and unreliable. The river dries up during long periods of drought and it floods during heavy rainfall, polluting fragile water sources, killing crops and destroying homes. Combined with years of conflict and the Covid-19 pandemic, climate chaos forces mums like Adut to make impossible choices for their children. A morsel of food for each child, or a bigger portion for one? School fees, or materials to rebuild the family home? Dirty water, or none at all? Not anymore. Adut now has access to a borehole near her home. That means clean water for her children to drink, whatever the weather.
‘The water from the hand pump is very good. It’s disease free. We drink it with peace of mind,’ said Adut. It means no more upset tummies from drinking dirty water. It means healthier bodies and minds. And it means more family time together, sharing stories and laughter. But while the borehole is life-changing, there are still many challenges ahead. The borehole is being used by around three times more people than it should be. Clean water is in desperate need across the region. Mums on the frontline of the climate crisis face impossible choices every day. But our decision to stand with them is an easy one. Your gifts this Christmas could help build more boreholes, provide seeds and farming tools, and give mums the chance to set up small businesses to take care of their families. With clean water, nutritious food and ways to earn money, mums like Adut in South Sudan and beyond won’t have to make such impossible choices. Life for Adut has been tough, but so is she. She’s lived through displacement, conflict, loss and now the climate crisis. But she is still full of hope for her children’s futures. We all do what we can for the children in our lives, especially at Christmas. Stand with mums this Christmas and help the next generation thrive. Go to caid.org.uk/christmas to donate and find out more.
John’s life in all its fullness John and his wife Nancy on one of their many sponsored walks.
Can you tell us about John? What sort of person was he? How did you meet? John was an energetic person and a lifelong Christian. I first met him in 1969. We met again by chance by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. I was with a friend and both of us were stony broke – we didn’t even have enough money to go to the loo. John fed us both, gave us cash for the toilets and then paid for us all to go up the Eiffel Tower. Five dates later, and – well, what more can I say! We married at St Margaret’s Church in Manchester in 1972.
What sort of fundraising activities did you and John organise? Initially, we fundraised for Christian Aid in a house-to-house
John Eckersley was a fun-loving Yorkshireman who always walked the extra mile for Christian Aid. Sadly, he passed away earlier this year. We spoke to Nancy, his wife of 48 years, about what made John’s life so special. collection in York where we lived. Then while John worked as a teacher, he encouraged all the staff to take part in a sponsored relay by cycling, horse-riding and canoeing. John also loved devising his own long-distance walks, and he wrote eight walking books to raise money for Christian Aid. You can still buy his books online at johneckersley.wordpress.com/ books
You and John walked all over the country together to raise funds. Did you meet many interesting people? We met many, many generous people along the way. Once, we were walking along a quayside in Devon, carrying red balloons, and a group of homeless people in a shelter called out to us, asking
what we were doing. We explained we were raising funds for Christian Aid to help people in Sierra Leone to start fishing. One man took off his hat and went round the whole homeless shelter with it, getting everyone there to donate. It was all copper and silver coins but that £4.84 raised meant so much to us. I still get tearful when I think of it.
What can Christian Aid supporters do to help ensure John’s legacy lives on? Keep walking. Keep viewing raising funds as a joy and not a chore. Keep seeing the good in all people, whoever and wherever they are.
Coming soon… From Darkness to Light: an online service of reflection 5.30pm Tuesday 2 November, 2021 You are warmly invited to a special online service of reflection, featuring Amanda
Mukwashi, our Chief Executive. We have all been through such enormous change and loss during these last two years, especially those who have lost a loved one. The service is a time to come together in a moment of comfort,
hope and solidarity, to remember and reflect. For more details, and to share the name of a loved one that you’d like to see remembered during our service, please visit caid.org.uk/reflection
Rachel Mander from YCCN is co-lead for the Rise to the Moment relay to COP26 (see more on pages 6-8). We spoke to her about the relay and calling for climate justice.
‘ It’s a privilege to be a citizen of the host country of COP26, and I want to use that privilege well’ What is YCCN? YCCN (Young Christian Climate Network) is an action-focused community of 18-30 year olds who are following Jesus in the pursuit of climate justice. Community sustains our action and action builds community.
What is your role? I’m the co-lead for the relay, overseeing everyone helping with the events in 10 UK cities en route and looking after all the comms and campaigning aspects of the relay.
What is the relay about? The relay is about joyful obedience. I always go back to a statement from the Pacific Council of Churches from 2004 which calls on ‘our sisters and brothers in Christ throughout the world to act in solidarity with us to reduce the causes of human-induced climate change’. I was seven years old when that was written. It’s a privilege to be a citizen of the host country of COP26, and I want to use that privilege well. I hope that together we can persuade the UK government to put money on the table for climate justice.
What value do you think Christian Aid supporters will bring to the relay? Christian Aid supporters bring themselves and that is of immense value – their hospitality, deep faith, passion and creativity. YCCN are the initiators and facilitators, but we aren’t owners of this relay. Please come and join in the fun and bring us the gift of who you are.
What do you hope to see happen at COP26? Countries are already being pushed further into debt by the impacts of climate change. What injustice! I long for wise decisions to be made at COP26 to avert this dystopia of climate change whereby it and inequality ravage the earth – this is an inevitability if we don’t change the logic of existing international financing.
How does climate justice link to your faith? Understanding that the promise of redemption was not just for me, or for humankind, transformed my faith and made it richer. I have faith that Jesus Christ is Lord of all creation. But
this is a radical claim with political implications because at the moment, we cash-in creation for money and short-term gain.
What gives you hope and motivation? I do my best not to concern myself with what is or is not possible, or what will or won’t happen, because it leaves me paralysed. Rooting myself in the love of Christ is my hope and motivation. May it always be enough!
What does being part of a network like this mean to you? It means a great deal. It really feels like it is a community of faith. We are journeying together, both metaphorically and literally, through the highs and lows – which come when you try and organise a thousand-mile relay in your spare time!
What will you do after COP26? Your guess is about as good as mine. Please do pray for me!
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