Christian Aid is a relief and development agency. It is an international agency. It was formed by British and Irish churches. The aim of this organization is based on the need of the hour and on various social issues concerning mankind. British and Irish Protestant churches joined hands to start and propagate this movement. It works to support civil society and their development, alleviate poverty and provide disaster relief to various disaster stricken regions in South America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. It mainly aims at fighting poverty, ending poverty and giving equal rights to the poor. The logo used by Christian Aid is “We believe in life before death”. Since 65 years it has been reaching out to the needy without any regards or discrimination based on religion, nationality or race. It is working in 45 countries around the world and reaches out to the poor and downtrodden. It has over 570 local organizations. In the aftermath of a natural disaster like the Tsunami, it has provided relief and rehabilitation to those affected.
History of this organization: It was previously known as Christian Reconstruction in Europe, as it was at that time concerned with the issues and problems faced post World War 2 and helped to settle the refugees. Eventually it merged with the British Council of Churches in 1949 and was called Christian Aid in 1964. It organizes a door to door collection in UK, during the Christian Aid Week, which takes place annually in May. The director of this organization Loretta Minghella was appointed in 2010.
During the 1970’s Christian Aid funded almost 100 long term development projects in over 40 countries. In the 1970’s it highlighted the high interest rates over loans taken by banks during the global recession. It has also highlighted unjust trade rules while working with the Trade Justice Movement.
It has carried out a lot of relief work in the medical field. The poorest areas and developing countries of the world have been suffering from diseases like HIV and Malaria which has slowed down their economic growth further and also led to a loss of human life. Christian works relentlessly in these countries in order to provide medical aid to the suffering.
Fund Raising activities by Christian Aid:
It raises its income from a number of sources. Most of the income comes from people who work actively in churches and communities in order to alleviate poverty. Other sources are Lent appeal, the Christian Aid week, Christmas appeal and Harvest Appeal. Also supporters are free to donate with donations in cash, direct debit or Will Aid. Donations can be made online on their website as well by individuals passionate and concerned about alleviating poverty and for the welfare of the not so fortunate masses.
Criticism: The Christian Aid has received its share of criticism as well from various sources over various issues. An NGO Monitor, an Israeli based organization, claimed that this organization was biased to the Palestinians and their issues and interests.
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