by Voltaire Alferez
A cold breeze and the warm smile of Christian Aid’s Clare Fussell welcomed my wife and me to London almost three weeks ago. This was our first time in the UK and we were both excited and anxious.
Excited to meet Christian Aid supporters and discuss the work we do in the Philippines - and also to see the beautiful country that is Britain.
At the same time, we were anxious because we knew it wouldn't be an easy task. Added to this was our personal anxiety at leaving behind our little boy, Nicos.
But really Nicos is the reason I’m here.
Nicos is the reason I campaign to tackle climate change.
Nicos is the reason I won’t stop campaigning and why I will do everything I can to ensure that the future and the world he'll live in are better than I have right now.
Voltaire Alferez - National Coordinator of our partner Aksyon Klima Pilipinas, an umbrella group for climate change campaigning - at Sherwood Methodist Church.
It has been a whirlwind few weeks - meeting over 60 MPs and peers in Parliament last week, being interviewed and introduced to so many people at Christian Aid HQ that I can’t possibly remember them all, fulfilling a dream to see a West End musical (Les Mis, and we loved every second of it).
The hunger for justice weekend
I feel blessed to have travelled to Sheffield, Glasgow, all across Wales, York, Doncaster, Nottingham and Leicester in my short time here, and everywhere I turned there was a new friend and comrade in the fight to stop climate change.
And it’s these people that fill me with hope.
I am especially hopeful because ordinary people are taking interest and coming together in the face of our greatest challenge. Not just in my country, not just in the UK, but around the world.
In my country
The Filipino people are not just theoretically discussing climate change but are actually already experiencing its impact.
From the change in weather patterns that affects planting cycles to the increasing intensity of typhoons, climate change is real to us.
‘I have seen first hand that you are with us in the struggle.'
We are doing our share to ensure that our communities can cope with these changes.
For example, we lobbied for the passage of the People’s Survival Fund, a direct access fund for initiatives and programmes to build our communities' resilience.
However, we cannot do this alone.
This weekend I have seen first hand that you are with us in the struggle.
I have seen first hand the work and dedication of Christian Aid campaigners to help those in need, even if they will probably never meet them.
I have seen first hand the definition of solidarity and I cannot thank you enough.
Your campaigning and the money you raise goes a long way in helping organisations across the globe support vulnerable communities, as well as advocate for the policies that are needed to address the challenge.
Sometimes this challenge feels like a battle, but when we come together as one, I firmly believe that it is a battle we will win!