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My story

Seven days, so many ways to make a difference.

Every Christian Aid Week, people across Britain and Ireland raise funds, act and pray for their global neighbours in a celebration of hope for a fairer world.

This year’s appeal is focussing on the organisation’s work in Burundi, one of the most densely populated and poorest countries in Africa.

Christian Aid has been working in Burundi since 1995 Now, alongside local partners, the organisation helps establish Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). These community-led groups mean people can save and borrow money, making small businesses possible, offering reliable and diverse incomes so families can eat regularly, get medicine when they need it, and build safer homes.

Thirty-five-year-old Aline Nibogora is the chairperson of a VSLA which supports some 25 families in a remote village, in Makamba Province. Aline escaped an abusive marriage only to find herself on the streets begging for a place to stay.

Her life changed when she went to a three-day, Christian Aid-funded community workshop. With a small start-up loan, Aline began trading avocados and peanuts locally. She’s now a grocery wholesaler and living on her own plot of land where she’s building a home for her family.

“I don't want my children to have a painful life like mine. I could never have dreamed I would one day have a brick house and be a successful businesswoman, able to feed and clothe my children.

  • £30 would help a family buy two Jerrycans to collect water from the river to carry back to their farm.
  • £50 would mean a vulnerable family can purchase a water storage tank
  • £100 could help a woman set up her own small business with a starter kit.
  • £100 could also help buy a family a bicycle meaning easier transport to school, quicker access to medical treatment in emergencies or support carrying produce from farm to market.

A person standing next to a bicycle

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Aline Nibogora outside her house, with the bike she bought to help her grocery business.       Credit: Christian Aid/Armstrong Too.

This year we are collecting donations via this e-envelope and we will also deliver envelopes in some of the villages. These envelopes will come with a request to leave the envelope at a local location. Envelopes may also be left at the Post Office in Reeth.

So please give generously this year in the annual Collection which will be taking place from 12th to 18th May. Please consider signing the Gift Aid declaration which is attached to the red envelope. This is at no cost to you but allows Christian Aid to receive a total of 25p in addition to every £1 you contribute. . This is at no cost to you but allows Christian Aid to receive a total of 25p in addition to every £1 you contribute. You have to pay an amount of UK Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax that at least equals the tax that Christian Aid reclaims on your donations. If this is the case, please sign the form, tear off the slip and insert it into the envelope with your donation.

We look forward to receiving your support.  Very many thanks in anticipation.

Thank you all for your support of the cake stall on Reeth Market on Friday 17th May.  You will be pleased to know that we raised £382 in total. The raffle was won by Christine Garner.

Pauline Oldershaw 

Secretary – Upper Swaledale & Arkengarthdale Christian Aid Group

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How your money helps

Poverty pushed Aline to the brink. She was abused, homeless and hungry. But Aline pushed back harder. With Christian Aid funded small business training, she achieved what had seemed impossible, a vital income for her and her children.

Fundraising this Christian Aid Week will ensure more people in Burundi get the skills and knowledge they need to push back against the inhumanity of poverty.

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Aline Nibogora is pushing back against extreme poverty in Makamba Province, Burundi by raising the living conditions of her community with the support of Christian Aid. Credit: Ndacayisaba Epitace
Aline Nigobora stands in front of her home, She wears a pink top and green skirt and is looking in the camera with a neutral expression