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Christmas Message from the Head of Christian Aid Scotland

Tuesday December 3 2019

A Christmas message from the Rev Sally Foster Fulton, Head of Christian Aid Scotland

 


At Christmas we remember how one woman realised that the gift God had promised her could change the world. After the angel’s unexpected announcement, Mary sings of a day when the lowly will be lifted up and the hungry will be filled with good things. She sings with women in India and Afghanistan, believing and working for that day when no woman is treated as a second-class citizen.

Today, gender inequality is a major cause and effect of poverty. An estimated one in three women experience gender-based violence in their lifetime and women are statistically more likely to live in extreme poverty than men. It is simply not right that millions of women are still disproportionally affected by poverty, discrimination and violence. 

When women are given the opportunity to thrive, they can transform our world, challenge inequality and seek justice.

In India, Ranjita, 30, started accompanying her mother as a manual scavenger when she was just nine years old. As a manual scavenger, she endured 10-15 hours a day of degrading work that involved the cleaning, carrying and removing of human excrement from latrines and sewers, by hand.  As a Dalit – the most excluded of the caste system – she is poor and marginalised, and has little opportunity to escape the systemic cycle of poverty she finds herself in.   

Christian Aid’s local partner organisation, ARUN, has helped millions of people in India to break free from manual scavenging over the past decade. ARUN educates scavengers about their rights, helps them to apply for government compensation grants and skills training, and gives them the chance to make a better life for themselves, and their families. 

If you’re going to make one Christmas donation this year, make it a life-changing one. Help mothers – like Ranjita - escape poverty and create new hope and a new future for themselves and their children.

Just £19 could provide a woman like Ranjita in India with skills training, like tailoring, to enable her to set up a business. A donation of £141 could replace 50 dry toilets with flush toilets and help eliminate manual scavenging.  To donate visit the Christmas Appeal website.

 


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