Christian Aid Week is from the 14th-20th May this year, with the focus on Malawi, especially appropriate following Cyclone Freddy, please watch the video (please double click on the video for full screen) or read on. You can make a difference, if you are able please support the appeal.
Malawi may be the "warm heart of Africa", but it is in the cross hairs of climate change. For the past 5 years Southern Africa has been experiencing erratic rainfall with the extremes of drought and destructive flash flooding. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, 70% of the population of about 19.1 million people live below the international poverty line of $1.90/day, 5.4 million are experiencing moderate/severe food insecurity. Then at the end of February, Cyclone Freddy, the longest-lasting tropical cyclone on record (lasting 34 days), hit southern Malawi and Mozambique. This cyclone was the equivalent of a full North Atlantic hurricane season. Malawi experienced a year's worth of rain during the 4-week cyclone. As of the end of March, over 564,000 people have been displaced and hundreds have lost their lives. Displaced women are particularly vulnerable. There's also an increased risk of malaria and cholera in the immediate aftermath. Food prices have skyrocketed, and in some areas food supplies have become very low.
It is all the more relevant that the focus for this year's Christian Aid Week is on Malawi, particularly a project promoting the cultivation of the humble pigeon pea (gungo peas). Not only is this more nutritious than the staple of maize, but drought resistant and soil enriching through nitrogen fixation. It can be used to make flour, and the products of baking become a cash source to help pay for essentials such as education. This is only one of numerous Christian Aid projects around the world aimed at promoting the status of women and helping families to become self-sufficient.
We dream of a better world. Together with Christian Aid you can help families, often with lone mothers, to thrive and for children to realise their potential and break free from poverty. As part of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), any gift this Christian Aid Week also helps us to be there when disaster strikes.
Whatever our problems here at home, the people of Malawi are bearing the brunt of the consequences of climate change. This Christian Aid Week please help us stand with farmers like Esther, determined women who want to make their children's dreams come true and who will work to achieve great things.