Christian Aid

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Christian Aid Week 2024

May 12 – 18

Aline's Story

This year Christian Aid are bringing us the story of Aline from Burundi in central Africa. It’s a very mountainous country and one of the poorest countries in the world. Many people live in poverty, and most rely on farming to provide food to both eat and sell. Christian Aid has three local partners in Burundi that have vital local knowledge, understanding of the community, and specialist knowledge. Christian Aid supports and invests in local partners who are then able to deliver life changing support. Families in Burundi grow fruit and vegetables such as bananas, sweet potatoes and beans, plus sugarcane, tea and coffee. Farming is hard work, but it’s being made even harder because Burundi, like many places, is being affected by the climate crisis, which is increasing global temperatures and changing weather patterns across the world. Many farmers see their crops failing due to extreme weather events such as droughts and floods. Families face many other challenges as well. Just like in the UK, the cost of everyday essential items is going up. In Burundi, most families don’t have a water supply to their home, so they must collect water from rivers or shared water points. Healthcare is very expensive, and you often have to travel a long way to see a doctor or nurse.  It’s a heart-breaking reality that the climate crisis is having the most severe impact in places like Burundi where life was already challenging enough. Furthermore, the people of Burundi are among those who’ve done the least to cause the climate crisis in the first place.

Aline had an especially difficult life as a young person and for many years after. At one time she didn’t even have a place to live. Alone, hungry and with nowhere safe to go, she was very vulnerable. Aline lost so much, but she didn’t lose hope. Determined and resilient, Aline found support through Christian Aid’s partners in her community. Aline received training that meant she had the skills and knowledge to set up a small business and form a Village Savings and Loans Association with other local people. Aline and her neighbours contributed money to a shared pot that became available as loans for members, as and when they needed them. Aline took a small loan to set up her own business selling peanuts and avocados. Through her business, Aline has been able to buy a bike, build her own home, get better access to healthcare, and educate her family.  Aline hasn’t stopped there though. She’s now the chairperson of a Village Savings and Loans Association that she’s founded. Aline’s using her experience to help transform the lives of other families who want to do the same and build a brighter future together. Now, when crops fail, storms damage homes, and people fall ill, this community is in a position to work together to overcome these challenges.


Aline told us: ‘The training helped me to get started, and today I still have it in my heart and mind. I intend to pass it on to my children and other groups like ours. It's important that we give back and train those who didn't have this opportunity, for the development of our community and our country.’ ‘The members thank me for the training and the positive impact it has had on their daily lives. People come to me as they trust me. Here in Burundi, a neighbour is considered a member of the family.’

We hope that everyone in Cheadle Hulme receives an envelope to make a donation to Christian Aid. Please Gift Aid your donation if you are able and return it to our church - Cheadle Hulme Methodist Church, where Ramillies Avenue meets Station Road - or any local church. You can use the QR code printed on the label of the envelope to donate directly. Or donate online at: 




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