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Christmas Appeal by Christian Aid

 Wednesday November 21 2018

Sally Foster Fulton, head of Christian Aid Scotland, introduces this year's Christmas appeal.

Diana Abbas, a psychologist at a children's centre run by Christian Aid partner Association Najdeh, in Lebanon. Picture by Christian Aid

Be a peacemaker for Christmas Aid.

At Christmas time, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, given to bring hope, love, peace and justice to a broken world. We get the chance to spend time with our loved ones celebrating the Prince of Peace, but for millions of people this Christmas, peace seems like an impossible dream.

Violence and conflict remains the norm for many across the globe, from South Sudan to Colombia. In 2016, more countries experienced violent conflict than at any time in nearly 30 years. If current trends persist, by 2030 more than half of the world’s poorest people will be living in countries affected by high levels of violence.

But while peace is broken every day, it is also built every day through the tireless work of peacemakers. This Christmas, Christian Aid is calling for you to stand together with peacemakers around the world who are working tirelessly to bring hope to seemingly hopeless situations.

In South Sudan, Bishop Paride Taban is relentless in working for peace in his country where millions of citizens are suffering from hunger caused by years of civil war. Now in his eighties, he believes that peace is something you practice and every day he repeats 28 words for peace: ‘If all put these 28 words into their hearts, and every day they repeat them, there will be no war in South Sudan, there will be permanent peace in South Sudan.’

Elsewhere in the shadow of violence and conflict, Diana Abbas sows the seeds of peace through counselling and therapy. She is the only psychologist at a children’s centre run by Association Najdeh, Christian Aid’s partner in Lebanon. Through psychotherapy, literacy classes and art therapy, the centre gives young Palestinian refugees the chance to overcome the violence they have witnessed. Thanks to Diana and others at the centre, more children can find peace.

Peace and reconciliation is at the heart of Christian Aid’s identity. One of the founding voices behind Christian Aid’s creation after WW2 was Douglas Lister, a Church of Scotland minister and army chaplain based in Germany, who called for reconciliation as a response to the refugee crisis.

With your support, peace is possible this Christmas. Matthew 5:9 shows the blessings lie within peacemaking – in this world it is up to us to do what we can in our daily lives to help frontline peacemakers like Diana and Bishop Paride.

You can be a peacemaker with your donation to Christmas Aid – an appeal to raise vital funds for Christian Aid’s work.

It costs just £10 to pay for three young women to attend a community dialogue event that will help them learn about effective ways of reducing crime. £130 could pay for a psychologist to provide one week’s worth of counselling and therapy to young refugees in Lebanon.

Will you stand with the peacemakers this Christmas? You can make a donation by visiting www.caid.org.uk/christmas-appeal or calling 0845 700 0300.

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