Join in the fun during Christian Aid week

westborough church Christian Aid presentation Maggie Bridge,Rev Mark Haynes, Derek Sedman. Richard Ponter 144026
westborough church Christian Aid presentation Maggie Bridge,Rev Mark Haynes, Derek Sedman. Richard Ponter 144026

Final preparations are being put in place for Christian Aid Week in Scarborough.

The event runs from Sunday May 10 to Saturday May 16 and there are lots of events happening for people to enjoy.

The first is a sponsored walk on Sunday from St Michael’s Church in South Cliff via the beach to St Mary’s for refreshments, then returning to St Michael’s along the Esplanade. Sponsor forms are available from the churches taking part.

From Tuesday a cake stall will be running at Boyes in Queen Street. It is held on the lower ground floor next to the back entrance and is always well attended with a good supply of home-made cakes and preserves.

It runs from 10am till 4pm from Tuesday till Friday, then 10am till 1pm on Saturday 16.

Other events include South Cliff Churches’ Safari Lunch on Sunday May 17 starting at 1pm. Tickets £5 from St Andrew’s, South Cliff Methodist, St Edward’s or St Martin’s, with 60 places altogether.

A Christian Aid concert will be held on the Thursday May 21 at Burniston Methodist Church with Hackness Ladies Choir conducted by Ralph Earwicker, accompanied by Frank James and commencing at 7pm.

The biggest fundraiser is the house-to-house collection. This will take place in selected areas during the week when a red envelope is popped through the letter box asking for people to help some of the world’s most vulnerable people in the poorer countries.

This year’s Christian Aid Week is helping to transform lives in Ethiopia. Ethiopia has one of the world’s fastest growing populations and is Africa’s second most populous country, with 85 per cent of people living in rural areas, trying to live off the land.

It is a country prone to droughts and floods, and over two million people require humanitarian assistance every year. Natural resources are under severe pressure from overpopulation and overexploitation.

The story of Loko, who features on the red envelope, illustrates some of the hardships people suffer.

Loko lives on a knife-edge; if she misses a day’s work her children could starve. So she walks her feet to the bone, watching out for hyenas and carrying heavy firewood for eight hours each day to sell, but she only earns enough to provide one small meal a day for her children.

Loko’s budget is impossible: she must feed, clothe, educate and medicate six children all for £4 a week. And her status as a woman is that of a second-class citizen. In her cattle-rearing, pastoralist community in the south of Ethiopia, the traditional laws have prevented women from owning property.

Lives like Loko’s can change. Christian Aid has already transformed many lives here with the help of their local partner HUNDEE.

Adi’s situation used to be every bit as precarious as Loko’s. But she was given a cow and two goats. The cow allows her to nourish her children and make money through selling milk and butter.

The women in these communities meet weekly to run a loans and savings cooperative, using start-up money from the milk and butter from the cows.

With this extra support they are now learning to read and write, learn about their rights and responsibilities, basic maths and how to run small businesses.