Christian Aid is undergoing big changes to make the charity fit for the future. Christian Aid’s overall income has never been higher, but its unrestricted income has been steadily declining. The charity is guided in decision-making by its global strategy, Standing Together. This calls Christian Aid to focus work so that every programme reflects its commitment to the very poorest, speaking truth to power and working with and through local organisations.
It is going to focus its work and deepen its engagement with 15 countries – these are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories, Myanmar, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Zimbabwe. Sadly, this means it is in the process of exiting programmes in Angola, Egypt, Zambia, Mali, South Africa, Ghana, the Philippines, Nepal, Bolivia, Guatemala and El Salvador. Its work in Latin America will be managed as a regional programme and its work in the Middle East will be run as a regional programme from London.
Its structure in the UK is changing too. The 5 regional teams will become one All England Team. All regional offices are closing, the London office continues and there will be a Central Supporter Engagement Team based in a new office in Warrington where there will be a named contact to call/email for support. For the time being, until that team is set up, you can still use the Bristol office phone number and email for any enquiries that you have.
The Regional Co-ordinator role is being discontinued, but being replaced by Church Engagement and Fund-raising Officers (CEFOs). There will be fewer CEFOs with a new job description and role, covering a larger area, but still locally based. Yvonne Penn, a current member of staff, will be the CEFO for Gloucestershire, Bristol Wiltshire and North Somerset, and she will be able to provide face to face support where that is needed. You can contact Yvonne on
With the COVID-19 virus hitting, Christian Aid Week will look very different this year. All staff and volunteer speaking engagements from now until the end of May have been postponed. Christian Aid Week is not cancelled, although some activities will have to be postponed until a later date in the year. The house to house, church, street and supermarket collections will not be happening, and it is obviously discouraging all public fundraising events. As the precautions around any transmission of the COVID-19 virus increase Christian Aid is now advising against delivery only envelopes due to the possibility of surface transmission of the virus and the requirement to keep movements outside of the home to a minimum.
But let us think creatively! Christian Aid will be working with supporters and volunteers to identify alternative ways of raising funds, acting and praying on behalf of those living in poverty both during Christian Aid Week and later in the year.
There are several different ways you and your community can get involved with Christian Aid Week in 2020. You might like to raise money by creating a JustGiving page for your group or church, under our Christian Aid Week 2020 umbrella page here. You might choose to pray for communities affected by the virus, and by poverty around the world.
Orders for resources, have gone into an automatic hold for now. The charity will be in touch with supporters who have placed orders for materials shortly to let you know what’s happening.
Please look out for future emails and check the website. www.christianaid.org.uk/ We will give ideas for alternative fund-raising events and provide some easy-to-join online events and worship, plus some ideas for virtual events and services you can host yourselves. There is a Christian Aid film and there are resources for worship, which could now take place via zoom or skype etc. Here are some ways you can continue to be involved:
- You can take part in continuing campaigning work for a New Deal for Climate Justice
- You can join a Prayer Chain
- You can download and use Christian Aid Week Worship Resources