As Christian Aid Week celebrates its 60th anniversary, churches in Cardigan have something special to shout about.
They are celebrating having raised £100,000 since their first collection. And there will be a series of special events to mark the achievement.
Top of the bill is a concert in St Mary’s Church, Cardigan, on May 17th, featuring Cor Crymych with a special address by the Head of Christian Aid Wales, Huw Thomas.
Church members used whatever they had to make collecting tins (think OXO and Ovaltine!) and boldly took to the streets.
They shared about the needs of refugees in Europe, the work the churches were doing, and invited their friends and neighbours to help. Most of those towns and areas are still working 60 years on.
Fittingly Christian Aid Week 2017 focuses on oitswork with refugees in Europe today. While the majority of today’s refugees seek sanctuary in poor countries, in 2015 some one million people crossed into Europe.
Since the borders closed during 2015, thousands of people are stranded in refugee camps in Greece, Serbia and Macedonia, countries that have been entry points to the rest of Europe.
European countries are deadlocked over who should take responsibility and Greek authorities have yet to receive the bulk of resources promised to enable them to respond adequately. There are currently an estimated 57,000 refugees stranded in Greece. They are waiting for the political situation to change and living in fear of being sent back home. They are in urgent need of help.
Christian Aid and its global partners continue to provide support for refugees, like Nejebar and Noor (pictured) from Afghanistan who fled their homeland after the Taliban announced they would kill anyone who worked for the government, like Noor. They travelled on foot for two months, before a treacherous journey across the Mediterranean in a small rubber dinghy eventually brought them to Greece with their children. The young family have left their home, family and friends behind, and have been living in a refugee camp for over six months.
Essentials provided include food, shelter and job skills training, as well as advocating for policies to protect and help them on the ground.
Christian Aid’s work in Greece includes setting up community kitchens – providing stoves and cash to allow refugees to buy and cook their own food is an important shred of autonomy. We are also providing legal protection services to unaccompanied children and families and housing support to some of the most vulnerable refugees awaiting relocation.
- £5 could provide two nutritious meals for a refugee in Europe
- £50 could buy a stove for refugees to cook their own food and enjoy tastes of home
- £132 is enough to set up a shower unit to give a refugee a safe and clean place to wash
- £285 could buy fridges for a community kitchen in a refugee camp