‘Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.’ (James 1:17)

At Christmas, Christians come together to remember how, against all odds, one mother’s bravery and devotion brought her family out of danger.  She enabled God’s message of hope, love and peace to enter the world.

Today, millions of women around the world are raising children in the toughest of circumstances due to poverty and prejudice. In its 2019 Christmas appeal, Christian Aid wants to do what it can to change this. 

Poor and marginalised

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 of degrading work a day that involved the cleaning, carrying and removing of human excrement from latrines and sewers – by hand.  In return she earned scraps of stale bread and a few rupees (as little as 20 rupees (23p) a month).  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. 

In Afghanistan, widow Bibi Aisha, 25, was displaced by the conflict and drought, forcing her to relocate with her children, aged seven and eight.  Decades of warfare, drought and civil unrest have created turmoil across communities in the country, where women are often seen as second-class citizens.

Going backwards

In terms of violence against women, gender equality and rights, today women are facing increasing barriers.  Things are not going forward – they’re going backwards. 

Every one of God’s children has the power within them to change their lives and achieve wonderful things, yet women and mothers are often denied the chance to use their gifts to the full.

This Christmas, help mothers – like Ranjita and Bibi Aisha – use their God-given gifts to escape poverty, and create hope and a new future for themselves and their children.

Change lives

Amid inequality and injustice, together we can change lives.

Just £19 could provide a woman like Ranjita in India with skills training, like tailoring, to enable her to set up a business; or £141 could pay to replace 50 dry toilets with flush toilets and help eliminate manual scavenging.  Women escaping conflict in Afghanistan, like Bibi Aisha, could receive the materials to weave a silk carpet to sell (£25).

To donate, visit https://www.christianaid.org.uk/christmas-appeal