The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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May 2017

Christian Aid Week

Judy East

14 - 21 May

We’ve been there for refugees since 1945
We won’t turn our backs now

British churches founded Christian Aid in 1945 to support refugees who had lost their homes and possessions in the Second World War. Twelve years later, we launched Christian Aid Week to help fund this ongoing work.

Today, more than 65 million people are displaced globally. Forced from their homes by violence, fear or desperation, each is deserving of safety, freedom and hope.

The stories we hear and the stories we tell are important. They help us shape our thoughts, form our opinions and set the agenda.
So when refugees are portrayed negatively in the media, their inherent dignity is challenged. But every one of us has a voice in this story, and in times of political uncertainty at home our message of shared humanity is more important than ever.

Yemen Crisis Appeal

More than 7 million people in Yemen do not know where their next meal will come from

Two years of conflict have pushed Yemen, already one of the world’s poorest countries, to breaking point. Half the population – 14 million people – is going hungry and needs help before it’s too late. A child is dying every 10 minutes because of preventable diseases and child malnutrition is at an all-time high.

South Sudan Crisis Appeal

Millions desperately need food as famine strikes

In Unity State, 100,000 people face starvation and people are dying every day. Another 1 million people are on the brink of famine.

This crisis comes after more than three years of conflict, which has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of 3 million people. Without homes and safety, nearly 4.9 million people across the country urgently need food and security.

The effects of conflict are far reaching. Harvests have been disrupted, food and fuel prices have risen, and the economy has collapsed. People are severely hungry: they are eating wild foods like water lily roots, and drinking unsafe water to survive.
 
Conflict and instability, sexual abuse, executions and other human rights abuses, continue amid severe humanitarian needs. The situation is getting worse. We have to act now.

Our partners - in particular, the churches - are determinedly calling for an immediate end to the violence, and working to address the root causes of conflict.

How we're helping

Together, DEC member charities are already reaching millions of people with life-saving aid, including food and treatment for malnutrition. In December, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), of which Christian Aid is a member, launched an emergency appeal for people facing hunger in Yemen. This raised an amazing £17 million.   These funds will help that work to continue, but much more needs to be done to help those in dire need. 

We will be supporting an ACF project helping those most at risk of malnutrition - under-fives, pregnant and breastfeeding women. The project aims to prevent acute malnutrition through targeted supplementary feeding.

Refugee Crisis Appeal

Vulnerable families urgently need your help

After enduring years of conflict and with no hope of peace, people continue to make exhausting and dangerous journeys to Europe in search of sanctuary.

With borders across Europe now effectively closed for almost a year, thousands of refugees remain stranded. More than ever, they need your help.

How we're helping

We’re helping refugees in Greece and Serbia, and continuing to work in the Middle East to support displaced Syrians and Iraqis.

In Serbia and Greece we are providing hot meals, water and washing facilities, and cash to refugee communities living in freezing conditions. Thankfully, in the sites in which our partners work, refugees have been moved into heated buildings.

Our partners are also providing legal protection services to unaccompanied children and families on the Greek mainland, and housing support to some of the most vulnerable refugees awaiting relocation to other countries in Europe.

How can you help change the story?
We want to tell a story that upholds those escaping injustice and war, and that celebrates those who offer a welcome. 

We believe we are all created equal with the image of God within us. We stand for a UK that refuses to turn a blind eye to the suffering of people seeking sanctuary.

Through sharing stories of hospitality, and the positive contributions that refugees make in our communities, we demonstrate our commitment to a United Kingdom that refuses to turn a blind eye to suffering and affirms that everyone deserves a safe place to call home.

Change the story - write to your local paper
We stand for a world that refuses to turn a blind eye to the suffering of people seeking sanctuary.  Yet the stories told about refugees in the UK media too often dehumanise people and promote discrimination, in turn discouraging the UK Government from taking the steps that put human dignity first. 

Change the story - you can help

You can donate online at christianaid.org.uk or through Christian Aid envelopes handed out in church on 14th May.  Thank you for your support.

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