MEGA COFFEE MORNING – Saturday 18th May (10-12)



Christian Aid is a great charity and this year, is focussing on  work in Burundi, one of the  poorest countries in Africa. Reliant on agriculture, it’s also one of the least prepared to combat the effects of climate change, including droughts, floods and landslides. The global cost of living crisis has intensified the challenges: more than 70 per cent of the population live in poverty and more than half of children are chronically malnourished.

Christian Aid has been working in Burundi since 1995 when it first offered humanitarian assistance to people surviving the civil conflict. 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.

safer homes.

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

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. In the next five years she hopes to expand, so one day she can buy a mill. This will provide a source of income without the need to transport heavy goods over long distances.

“I don’t want my children to have a painful life like mine, remembering it makes me weep. 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. This is a plan and I will do it; I am a woman who is an achiever.”

This Christian Aid Week – from 12-18 May – supporters are once more stepping up, knowing that every prayer, every gift, every action helps transforms lives.

There are seven days and so many ways to make a difference – in Bitton, we are holding a MEGA COFFEE MORNING this Saturday, May 18th   in St Mary’s Church, Bitton to help raise funds.  There will be coffee (tea if you prefer) cakes and live music with the St Mary’s Minstrels.

It’s not the only way to help and if you can’t make the coffee morning, you might like to make a donation to the Bitton fundraising effort.  You can do so HERE 

Your donation is really valued.  Here’s what it can buy:

£5 could buy a savings book for a member of a VSLA, setting them up to start their own small business and become finically independent.

£30 would help a family buy two Jerrycans to collect water from the river to carry back to their farm. Jerrycans provide irrigation to crops, especially during the dry season, maintaining food production for the family.

£50 would mean a vulnerable family can purchase a water storage tank. Water can then be stored for a few days rather than travelling to the communal water point, allowing instant access to water for washing, cleaning and cooking.

£100 could help a woman set up her own small business with a starter kit; including money to purchase her first few items to sell. This means she could supply local grocery shops or restaurants with vegetables, set up a roadside shop, or buy maize to sell in bigger markets like Bujumbura.

£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.