Happy Birthday Christian Aid
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Posted by Linda

Hey everyone, did you know it’s a special month for the well know international development charity, Christian Aid's, Present Aid Gift shop? The reason is that it is Present Aid's birthday!

So, please join us in wishing them a very Happy Birthday month and read on to learn a little more about their history, and a special birthday competition they’re running that’s sure to test your poetic skills.

They’ve even put together a special selection of presents that you can buy from their gifts shop, Present Aid.

The history of Christian Aid

Christian Aid has been fighting poverty for more than 60 years. They first began the life changing work in the period following the Second World War. This happened when leaders of British and Irish churches got together to talk about how they could help their fellow human beings who lost all they owned in the conflict.

Not many people know that the charity’s first name was ‘Christian Reconstruction in Europe’. It was then renamed to the ‘Department of Interchurch Aid’ and in just ten short years raised almost £30,000 which was a very large amount of money for the time.

Christian Aid Week (which many are familiar with) began in 1957, but it was not until several years later, in 1964, that the name of the charity was changed to Christian Aid. And that’s what they have been called ever since.

During this period the charity’s strategy changed as it realised that tackling the root causes of poverty was key to long term progress, rather than just dealing with the short-term dealing with the immediate symptoms. Christian Aid asked ‘Why?’ and sought out to change that.

In the 1970’s Christian Aid lent support to famines in Pakistan and Africa, as well as conflict-torn countries like Vietnam and Laos.

In the 80’s Christian Aid and many other poverty charities took centre stage in an event that will live on in people’s memories for years - Live Aid. This event catapulted the plight of millions who were affected by a life shattering famine in Africa. In 1989’s Christian Aid week saw the charity raise more than £6,000,000 in one week alone.

Since the 1990’s international development charities, including Christian Aid, have found that their work has not become any easier. We live in complex times and fundraising for the world’s most needing people is tougher than ever - yet they carry on.

So, please show your support by learning more about the gifts you can buy from Present Aid or taking part in their special competition (details below).

The birthday poetry competition

Present Aid want to say thanks for all the fundraising their amazing supporters do. They’ve had the cool idea to run a competition which challenges you to write a poem or limerick about the fabulous Present Aid scheme. If you don’t know much about Present Aid, you can learn more here to start getting inspired.

It’s easy to submit your prose on their easy to use competition form. There are three special prizes to be one which we are sure will entice you to get that pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard?).

The first prize is a beautiful scarf, weaved by their partners RAADA. The next prize is a scrumptious jar of honey from a beekeeping co-op. The last prize is a pack of delicious coffee from a project in Nicaragua.

By the way, if you’re more creatively inclinced, don’t let your efforts stop at the written word - Christian Aid will also be looking at any videos or music your create for them too. Just pop a link to it in your competition entry form.

The competition closed on the 15 October 2013.

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