Report from the Newcastle Christian Aid Office
In advance of this year’s Christian Aid Week (15-21 May), Abdus Salam, Chief Executive of Christian Aid’s partner organisation Gana Unnayan Kendra (GUK), visited the North East to discuss the work his organisation is doing in Bangladesh.
GUK is supporting families suffering the consequences of flooding in Bangladesh, where large rivers and a monsoon climate make the population extremely vulnerable to natural disasters.
A Christian Aid Home Safety Package (£250) provides an earth plinth, raising a home six to eight feet above water and creating a safe place for families to rebuild their homes and safely keep livestock. The package also includes a goat, seeds, and a wormery, all of which will provide a long-term income.
Abdus Salam met with local supporters throughout the region, including the Right Reverend Christine Hardman, Bishop of Newcastle who said: ‘It was a joy to meet Abdus Salam when he came to Bishop’s House. He was able to join us for a meeting of inter-faith leaders in Newcastle and we were all enriched by the insight he was able to bring to us from Bangladesh.’
Reflecting on his visit after returning to Bangladesh, Salam said: ‘During my visit to the North East I shared stories about the losses and suffering of poor people living in the river island Chars in northern Bangladesh.
‘I was touched to observe the deep sympathy of the people of the North East for poor people in my country. Even small donations can be a great help for improving the lives and livelihoods of the disaster-afflicted regions of Bangladesh.
‘I would like to thank those people in the UK who showed such love and kindness.’
The most vulnerable do not have to be swept away by the tide of poverty. However vast these problems may be, there are solutions.
Across the North East there will be coffee mornings, big breakfasts, special services and collections, as churches and residents express their love for their global neighbours. Please join us.
You can help to change the lives of climate-affected families in places like Bangladesh this Christian Aid Week by donating online, calling 08080 006 006, or texting ‘SAFE’ to 70040 to give £5.
For more information about how to get involved locally, please contact the Newcastle office (tel 0191 228 0115)