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Appeal 2022

Photo credit: Christian Aid / David Brazier

Caption: Jessica Mwedzi, is hungry to provide food – and hope – for her family.

Photo credit: Christian Aid / David Brazier

Caption: Janet Zirugo with her great grandson Mufaro at their home in Zimbabwe.

Photo credit: Christian Aid / David Brazier

Caption: Janet Zirugo and her fellow congregants gather joyfully at church for the Sunday service.

Photo credit: Christian Aid / David Brazier

Caption: Taonga carries an armful of food her grandmother has harvested.

 

 

Every gift. Every action. Every prayer. Every one of us can change lives.

Our planet is changing, but some people are feeling the effects of these changes more than others. Weather extremes are now more frequent and more intense, and the world is facing a climate crisis.  

For the first time in a generation, global poverty is rising. Coronavirus, conflict and the climate crisis are pushing more of our global neighbours into a struggle for survival.

One country that is on the frontlines of this crisis is Zimbabwe. In rural Zimbabwe, seven out of ten women rely on farming to earn a living and provide for their families. But the climate crisis has brought intense droughts that have left their land barren.

With no rain, women and men can’t grow enough food and they struggle to provide for their children. Drought starves. It robs women of the chance to farm and drives their families into hunger.

In times of drought, many families can only afford to eat one bowl of porridge a day. Women are hungrier, and often skip meals to share with their children what little food they have.

‘Women are at the mercy of climate change and hunger,’ Jessica Mwedzi, a loving and hard-working mum shares.

Climate shocks cause more women to lose their livelihoods, damage their crops, and push their families into unbearable hunger.

Meet Jessica: a mum, hungry to provide food – and hope – for her family.

Jessica is one of the many women at the mercy of the climate crisis. Drought makes every day a struggle for her survival. Jessica is hungry. Hungry for a good meal. Hungry to earn a decent living. Hungry to provide a more hopeful future for her family.

Jessica toils on her farm, but no food can grow on her ashen dry land.

‘One year, we had no rain. The scorching sun burnt my crops just as they were about to bloom. It was so painful and disheartening.’ Jessica says.

Drought makes women like her hungrier, poorer and robs them of the chance to earn a living with dignity. Jessica shares her heartbreak:

‘My children crave a good meal, but I can’t provide. We often go to bed on an empty stomach. It pains me to send them to bed hungry.’

Jessica watches her sons and daughters play outside as the golden sun fades across the sky. They hold hands, dance and sing. She finds a ray of hope that she will overcome this tough time. One day, Jessica will be able to provide her much-loved children with good food, and a full life, free from hunger.

 

Together, we can restore justice to our world.

Meet Janet: a grandmother who transformed her dusty land into a garden of hope.

Another women who has faced the worst of the climate crisis is Janet, a grandmother from Zimbabwe. In her village, Janet has experienced first hand how drought pushed her family into desperate hunger.

‘One year, there was so little food. Rains had not fallen. We ate things which we wouldn’t eat in normal times. I made porridge and gave it to the children, then removed a portion and put it down for the dogs. The children picked up the dogs’ share because they weren’t full. When I saw this, I knew the situation had become unbearable,’ Janet shared.

‘My heart was so painful thinking that my family would die. By God’s grace we did not die. We soldiered on.’ 

With faith, hope and love for her family, Janet brought her family through this painful time with the support of Christian Aid’s BRACT programme (Building Resilience through Absorptive and Adaptive Capacities for Transformation).

BRACT helps the most at-risk communities in Zimbabwe to prepare for and adapt to the changing climate. Working with local partners, Christian Aid’s work empowers vulnerable communities to grow drought-tolerant crop, teaches women like Janet how to grow food in dry seasons and helps families to build storerooms to preserve food so they have the resilience to bounce back from future droughts. Families learn to eat more healthy, nutritious food and gain new skills for alternative sources of income when agriculture fails.

By learning how to grow drought-resistant crops with the support of Christian Aid, Janet was able to bring her family through a painful time and turn her barren land into a garden of plenty. Now, her farm is bursting with life, and she harvests enough surplus food to share with her neighbours while also storing enough to survive future droughts.

Janet is a survivor, a force of kindness and a hunger fighter with the power to provide food and hope for her whole family. Her joy is seeing her grandchildren’s smiling faces as they relish the food she has grown.

‘My life is changing,’ Janet says. ‘This project is uplifting us. We are thankful’

As she reflects on how her life has changed, Janet sings with joy. And we rejoice with her. 

 

 

Empowered to provide

This Christian Aid Week you can help women like Jessica and Janet turn hunger into hope. Hand in hand with your church and community, you can restore justice to our world.

So far, we’ve helped over 27,000 people in Zimbabwe to stand strong and resilient to the climate crisis. But there is still more to do.

With you by our side, we won’t stop until everyone can live a full life, free from hunger. And with your generous support, women like Jessica will be empowered to provide food – and hope – for their families.

The funds raised could help more women like Janet develop skills to provide meals for their family today and preserve and store food safely for the next season of severe drought.

This Christian Aid Week, will you stand with women like Jessica and Janet?

Please donate this Christian Aid Week (15-21 May). Your donations will help families facing poverty and injustice around the world.

  • £5 could buy water taps for a community garden
  • £15 could buy drought-resistant seeds like sorghum or millet to help 10 farmers like Jessica to grow food
  • £60 could train 50 women farmers to adapt and grow food in the changing climate
  • £250 could help a family build a storeroom, and provide seeds and fertilisers

 

Your Christian Aid Week gifts could help women just like Jessica, who are still struggling, to grow drought-tolerant crops that survive in the harsh climate and help her set up a water tap on her farm. They'll turn their dry, dusty land into a garden of hope.

Every pound raised, every prayer said and every action taken, are expressions of our Christian love and compassion.

Take action and call on justice to be restored

In addition to standing together to support mums like Jessica and Janet in practical ways, this Christian Aid week, we also urge you to join us in taking action as we call on justice to be restored.

We believe that those most responsible for the climate crisis – including wealthy countries and fossil fuel companies – should pay for the loss and damage being caused in Zimbabwe and across the world.

As the climate crisis worsens, extreme weather will continue to devastate communities and destroy lives. The losses that occur during such events cannot be recovered and the damages are huge.

Christian Aid’s Loss and Damage Campaign urges politicians to:

  • Push for a new global fund to pay for the loss and damage caused by the climate crisis
  • Introduce a new ‘climate damages’ tax on fossil fuel companies.

You can join us as we call on the UK Prime Minister and add your voice to climate justice.  Sign our campaign online at caweek.org/action

You can also pray with us for a radical change of heart for politicians, and that as a global community we will care for our common home and for people living in poverty.

Every one of us can change lives. And together, we can restore justice to our world.

Join us this Christian Aid Week to turn hunger into hope.

Donate today at caweek.org