TURNING ON THE TAP
Christian Aid Week (11 – 17 May)
Over seven days in May, Christian Aid Week gives us a simple way to make a real difference to the lives of people who need our help. This annual national campaign concentrates on providing practical assistance to local, accountable partners and their projects in the developing world. Many of these projects deal with the provision of clean, fresh water to communities that are struggling without this basic necessity which we in Ickenham take for granted.
In Bangladesh, for example, water problems occur in many forms: in the northeast, there is a plain scarcity of water. In the central low-lying wetlands, flooding for more than half the year causes contamination of many underground water sources. And in the southwest, the rising sea-level, partly as a result of climate change, is making fresh water salty. Christian Aid funds projects that set up pani parishads (water councils) throughout Bangladesh. These community organisations discuss and agree the best water supply solutions for their particular villages. Christian Aid funds projects that implement the solutions too.
When water is not on tap, people’s lives revolve around journeying back and forth to collect it. Women and children, who bear the brunt of this task, suffer most. Women have little opportunity for economic independence as their lives are spent collecting water. They also end up caring for family members who become sick through drinking dirty water. And children lose out on time for education – and on time for just having fun!
If this problem is resolved in a community, then people become free to do so much more for themselves. With improved health, more time and energy they can turn their attention to education, to agriculture, to infrastructure improvements of all kinds.
When the familiar red envelope comes through your door, please give generously if you can. Our collectors will return later in the week to gather in your donations. (You can post them to Christian Aid yourself, or drop them in to either of the churches if you prefer.) If you are also able to ‘gift aid’ your donation, then 25% more can be added to its value through Government tax relief. In 2007, Ickenham residents gave more than £10,500 during Christian Aid Week - a record amount. Can we improve on that again?
(If you helped with the delivery and collection of the red envelopes around Ickenham last year, we do hope you will do so again. We are likely to need some new helpers too though, especially in the Brackenbury and Glebe estates. If you could help there, please call either Bernard on 01895 673596 or Juliette on 01895 622970.)