2000 Strong for the World’s Poorest

by Gerry Lynch last modified 24 Apr, 2015 04:10 PM

Churches urged to help ‘share the load’ this Christian Aid Week.

Almost 2,000 volunteers from churches across the Diocese of Salisbury will be pounding the streets in May giving voice to the voiceless and delivering envelopes during this year’s Christian Aid Week (May 10-16).

This year, Britain’s longest running door-to door fundraising week is asking the public to ‘share the load’ and support projects which help women who are discriminated against from birth and are living in poverty around the world.

The week of cake sales, coffee mornings and collections across the diocese will open on Saturday May 9 with the 43rd annual Poole-Bournemouth seafront sponsored event. Hundreds of walkers, cyclists, skaters and scooterers will take to the promenade to raise valuable funds.

Further north, on Sunday May 10 the Bishop of Ramsbury the Rt Rev Ed Condry and his wife Sarah will join other fundraisers in an abseil down St Mary’s Church, Devizes.

Bishop Edward said, "I am deeply impressed by the faithful witness of the thousands of Christian Aid collectors who go out every year. They are witnessing to the love of God, and our service of his world. Our blessings go with you."

Christian Aid’s regional coordinator for Wiltshire Katrine Musgrave said, “Discrimination against women is one of the greatest injustices of our time.

“Globally, less than 20 per cent of landholders are women and women do twice as much unpaid work as men. In many countries girls are treated like second-class citizens while boys are provided with opportunities for an education, work and even food at the expense of their sisters.

“Christian Aid believes this inequality has to change for the sake of everyone - for women, men, girls, boys, communities and societies warped by such an extreme imbalance of power.”

In Ethiopia, Christian Aid partner organization HUNDEE works with both women and men in poor rural communities to challenge violence against women and harmful traditional practices, such as child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), to bring about lasting change and ensure women can live in dignity and are treated with respect.

HUNDEE provides the poorest women in pastoralist communities with livestock, because when they have a cow they can not only feed their families and sell the surplus, their status is also raised within society, allowing them to have a voice in community decision-making. 

One Ethiopian woman, Loko, featured in Christian Aid Week materials walks alone for eight hours a day fearing attacks by hyenas, wearing shoes so thin that thorns repeatedly pierce through to her feet, to gather and sell firewood so she can feed her children.

Christian Aid’s regional coordinator for Dorset Stephen Dominy said: “The unequal distribution of power and opportunities between the sexes is at the heart of poverty, and we are working with both men and women in communities around the world to bring about change.

“We are appealing to churches across the diocese to help share Loko’s load and walk with her this Christian Aid Week by signing up for the abseil or sponsored seafront walk/run/cycle/scoot or any of the other events across Wiltshire and North Dorset and help give everyone equal opportunities for a full life.”

To take part in the seafront event or Devizes abseil, visit www.christianaid.org.uk/southwest. To download resources to use in your church service on May 10, or to donate to Christian Aid Week online, go to www.caweek.org . You can help to change the lives of women in places like Ethiopia this Christian Aid Week by texting ‘WEEK’ to 70040 to give £5.

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