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 and we believe that this vision can become a reality. We work with local partners and other international organisations to provide both practical, effective emergency assistance, and long term aid to tackle poverty and its root causes. Christian Aid has a vision – an end to poverty.
Romsey Christian Aid Committee was formed in 1972 by the Methodist, Baptist and Catholic churches, URC and the Abbey, and since then has raised £285,000.
A service was held at Winchester Cathedral on 30 November 2015 in recognition of 70 years of Christian Aid's work with the poor. The service cleverly summarised each decade's development since 1945, relating each stage to a Bible reading.
Dr Rowan Williams, Chair of Christian Aid, preached on the charity's vision, and how it has evolved into a contract with the poor to challenge and end poverty and injustice. Three specific targets are: to end the tax avoidance so that countries can afford education and health services, to tackle climate change, and to redress all forms of discrimination against women. To this end, Christian Aid and other international agencies are increasingly coming together, both to provide more efficient aid and to provide a louder, more persuasive voice for justice and equality.
Romsey CA Committee can't claim that longevity, but in its own small way it has raised over £285,000 since its founding in 1972.
This item is taken from a Christian Aid 'thank-you' letter to donors.
The images of refugees packed into lorries and unstable boats is a distressing reminder of the 1945 crisis that lead to the formation of Christian Aid. Humanitarian aid to these desperate, vulnerable people, either in transit or in the most basic of temporary shelters, is channelled through a range of partners and churches in Europe and the Middle East.
For example, over 2,000 refugees are arriving on three small Greek islands every day, and the International Orthodox Christian Charities are providing food and non-food items, improving reception centres, and water, sanitation and hygiene conditions.
By mid-October 2015 the Hungarian Interchurch Aid organisation had helped 5,500 people with non-food items in their country.
Christian Aid also continues to support partners in the countries in and around Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. They have provided essentials such as food, cooking fuel, blankets, hygiene and sanitation kits, water containers, cash and psychological support to tens of thousands in the area's refugee camps.
Clearly this is no short-term crisis but while governments seek a long-term solution, Christian Aid and their partners, along with many other aid organisations in Europe, will do all they can to alleviate the terrible pressures and conditions of these desperate people.
Christian Aid was born out of the British Council of Churches' initiative for the Christian Reconstruction of Europe and later to help refugees held in British camps after the war. The work expanded to supporting displaced people in Gaza on the creation of Israel in 1949.
In 1957 the Inter-church Aid & Refugee service highlighted the plight of refugees around the world. The first CA Week was held in 1957. Christian Aid's role broadened again in the 60s, tackling racism and supporting US civil rights movements.
It broadened into the Christian Aid we know, providing both direct and immediate aid to victims of natural and man-made crises, and longer-term development programmes. Early examples include helping famine victims in Ethiopia (1973-74), in which a million people died; aid to those fleeing the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia (1974); medical aid to survivors of the Vietnam war (1977). Long term projects include clean water projects in India & Africa and health care training in Peru. British people responded generously to these initiatives.
Christian Aid started to address broader issues – looking at the root cause of injustice, questioning the role of international trade and tariff restrictions, and IMF and EU conditions imposed when providing aid. Later, they drew attention to the impact of global warming on the poor through the impact of drought and flooding on habitat and agriculture.
Christian Aid works directly with those in need, never through government agencies in recipient countries. Christian Aid now has projects in every continent that contains underprivileged people.
Dave & Hazel Sharman