Russell’s Easter Newsletter
For more than a generation, Christian Aid Week has been a primary focus during May. In one of the largest mobilisations of a volunteer work force anywhere, people from so many different backgrounds delivered envelopes to as many households in the country as possible and then returned to collect donations to bring hope to communities across the world in dire need. ‘We believe in life before death’ became a clarion call to action.
Although questions were already being raised about the long term viability of the door-to-door collection, last year, due to the pandemic, things had to be done differently. As they will this year. Asking for donations has to be done in a different way (although envelopes are still available) but it is vital that Christian Aid still has a regular source of income in order to address a vital issue dramatically affecting communities with longer term damage than even Covid-19.
The climate emergency is one of the greatest injustices the world faces and it hurts us all. But people living in poverty fight the worst of it every day. From drought to flooding, climate change robs people of control over their lives. Extreme weather means people struggle to survive without a reliable source of water – people like Rose. Rose fights hunger every day. Rose is caught in a cycle of climate chaos. From severe drought to flooding, extreme weather robs her of what she needs to survive: a reliable source of water. When she was a child, Rose remembers how often the rains would fall, giving fruit to the baobab trees and providing plenty of nutritious food to eat. ‘When I was a young girl, there was plenty of food,’ Rose says. Now, the rains are totally unreliable. The climate crisis has galvanised extreme weather and Rose’s community are feeling the brunt of it. For months at a time, Rose and her family lives with drought.
Rose strives to provide for her grandchildren who live with her. She does all she can to give them happy childhoods, like the times she remembers when there was plenty of food. But the climate crisis is driving her to the brink. In times of drought, Rose sets out on a long and dangerous journey every morning to collect water for her family. She walks on an empty stomach. ‘Because I am old, I can’t walk very fast. When I get home I just rest in the evening. I have no energy to do anything else,’ Rose says. Even when the rains do come, relief for Rose is often short lived.
There is a nearby earth dam just minutes away from Rose’s home. It should be a lifeline. But it’s not wide enough or deep enough for everyone’s needs. It runs out of water too quickly. Imagine how dispirited Rose must feel watching the rain fall for days, only to find the dam empty just a short while later. What’s more, the rains are much heavier than they should be, putting Rose’s community at risk of flooding.
Rose is over 60 years old and simply won’t have the strength to fetch water from further afield for much longer. We need to fight this climate crisis together. With a reliable source of water, people like Rose would be free from long, painful journeys. They would be able to grow fresh vegetables to eat. And they would be able to protect themselves from the dangers of coronavirus. With such dire need, every last drop of water that falls in Rose’s community is precious.
This Christian Aid Week, will you stand with people like Rose for every last drop and help them fight the climate crisis?
You can find out how to act and how to donate by visiting: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/appeals/key-appeals/christian-aid-week
With love and prayers, Russell
Posted – 1 April 2021