From Colyton with love: help for some of world's poorest communities

Colyton Christian Aid team

Colyton’s Christian Aid team: back row, left to right - Julia Olliver, Miriam Redding, Crispin Denny, Jane Priest; Front row left to right - Jan Uden, Jane Dauncey, Colin Priest - Credit: Colyton Christian Aid

Christian Aid supporters in Colyton have been busy fundraising to help some of the world’s poorest communities protect themselves from the twin threats of the climate crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, including selling plants, providing a quiz and taking on a 500,000 Step Challenge, which is now turning into one million!
A plant sale raised £230 at the beginning of May and throughout the month you can join in with the Christian Aid Quiz by purchasing a copy of the quiz for £1 (all donations welcome!) at “The Little Shop” in Colyton Market Place. Plus, a team of six have risen to the Colyton Step Challenge, stepping out in solidarity with people like Rose Katanu Jonathan in Kenya,a 67-year old widowed grandmother who, in times of drought, spends hours walking 8km each way to collect water and so has little time to do other activities like growing food to eat or sell. Colyton’s six set a target to complete 500,000 steps in the month of May.
The team, all from St Andrew’s Church Colyton, are:  Jane Dauncey (chair of the Colyton and District Christian Aid group), Julia Olliver, Miriam Redding, Crispin Denny, Jane Priest, Colin Priest and Jan Uden. Jane said: 
“The Colyton and District Christian Aid group works closely with the whole population and is well supported by the churches.  As the end of May approaches, the Colyton Step Challenge is nearly completed.   We have been hard at it and have already beaten our target, so the question now is: can we reach 1 million steps?  As of 21st May, we can report 811,514 steps!  
“Can you help us to get above our target for donations of £3,196.05 (our total in 2020)? It would be wonderful and thank you for your generosity and support.  Envelopes and more information are available from the Lantern shop or St Andrew's Church or Colyford Post Office, or by contacting me on 01297 552514.”
Katrine Musgrave, Christian Aid’s fundraising officer in Devon and Cornwall, was the speaker at St Andrew’s Church in Colyton at their Christian Aid Week Service on May 16.  She said: “It was a beautiful and well attended service, people taking the opportunity to worship together once again (albeit socially distanced and in masks!). The Choir Master, Nicholas M Brown, composed a poignant piece of music especially for this service. We reflected on the core messages of Christian Aid Week and renewed our commitment to ‘act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God’. 
“All felt enthused by reflecting on the life and work of Christian Aid – we commemorated its 75th anniversary this year too. An opportunity to pause and take stock - reconsider our role in the world and the decisions we make; our impact on the environment and other nations around the world.” 
The twin threats of Covid-19 and the climate crisis were the focus of this year’s Christian Aid Week (10-16 May), when the charity asked supporters to stand in solidarity with those at the very brunt of these global crises, specifically with all those forced to walk long distances to collect water for their families. 
Handwashing in our homes, a key line of defence against coronavirus, is not an option for the world’s three billion people who do not have access to soap and water at home. But while coronavirus has sharpened this issue of a reliable source of water, the impacts of climate change remain the biggest challenge for the communities Christian Aid works with. Unpredictable water sources, triggered by erratic weather, are pushing families into extreme poverty as crops fail, livestock die, and incomes are destroyed. 
In Kenya Christian Aid is helping people in rural communities where drought has become more frequent and intense, resulting in food shortages for millions of people as crops struggle to grow. In 2020, drought was followed by relentless rainfall and flooding in some parts of the country, causing further crop damage. With no access to reliable water sources or a way to capture rainfall, many families are pushed to the edge of survival. 
Christian Aid partner organisations are empowering communities to access and build water dams or rock catchments near their homes, so women and children are spared the long and often hazardous walk to collect water and families have an accessible water supply for their crops, livestock and hygiene needs.  

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter