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Charity Bowl for September and October 2017 - Rochester Diocese Poverty and Hope Appeal

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Charity Bowl for September and October 2017 – Rochester Diocese Poverty and Hope Appeal

25 September 2017



The Bishop of Rochester launched this Appeal in May.  He wrote: The Bible challenges us to think beyond our own needs and to look to the needs of others.  The Poverty and Hope Appeal is one way we are responding as a Diocese.”  This year the Appeal is concentrating on supporting, in prayer and financially, projects in the DRC, Burkino Faso, Northern Argentina, Delhi and, as always, Commonwork Trust here in the Diocese.  This last offers justice and global citizen education to school children and also helps vulnerable young people fulfil their potential.  If you are involved with a school, do get in touch with Commonwork and see all that they can offer.

Over 95% of the money raised goes to the projects, and of that about 80% of the money raised goes overseas.  The projects are generally overseen by one of the partner organisations – Christian Aid, USPG and CMS.  They ensure the money is well spent, and report to the Poverty and Hope Committee, led by Bishop James, regularly.  The feedback is often very encouraging. For example, a project that was supported over the last two years in Burkino Faso, helping villagers to feed themselves, has had such an impact that the local authority has offered to take on responsibility for it, allowing the Appeal to move on to support a similar project in a new area.

It is not only lack of food that causes poverty. Often a lack of rights (due to gender, colour, caste or lack of education) plays a role. The Appeal supports the Delhi Brotherhood Society women’s helpline which responds to distress calls.  The helpline seeks to stop violence against women by offering an anonymous listening service and then follows up calls with support activities, including community councils, rights education, livelihood support and legal and financial assistance.  In the DRC, the project teaches people how to engage with local authorities so that their rights are recognised and met.  Perhaps surprisingly, many local politicians have responded positively to this.

The project in Argentina is, arguably, the most ambitious but also the toughest. The work in a remote forest region seeks to gain recognition of indigenous groups’ land ownership entitlement and associated with that, to prevent deforestation on a massive scale by international logging companies.  Feelings often run high and offering Christian leadership and mediation is not easy.

Once again, we give thanks on behalf of the Bishop for your generous donations to this ongoing project.

For further information, see the Diocesan Website: www.rochester.anglican. org

Chris Martin

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