The Union of Welsh Independents South Africa appeal during 2008/09 raised the magnificent total of £206,740.66.
This money has provided much needed support for Christian Aid’s South African partners who have been working on issues such as HIV, human rights, the landless rural poor and disadvantaged youth.
In a practical demonstration of their faith, the members of the 450 churches, which make up this relatively small denomination, responded magnificently to the challenge. Fundraising events from coffee mornings to concerts, safari suppers to singing festivals, special services to sleepovers in vestries were organized, with people of all ages taking part.
Much of the success of the appeal was put down to the visit to South Africa, by two UWI representatives, Delyth Evans and Glyn Williams, in preparation for the appeal, and their promotional work on returning. They also felt that their visit to South Africa had helped them to understand the situation and to get the message across to the churches.
‘There was a positive response to my message,’ said Delyth, ‘People understood the need for justice in South Africa.
One of the many original ideas for raising money was the sale of this striking mural (pictured left) made by Jill Jones. The aim was to raise about £1,200 through donations, in order that the mural could be kept and displayed at Tŷ John Penri, the UWI head office in Swansea, as a memento of the appeal. But the total raised was actually £2,500 - with every penny going towards the South Africa appeal.
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Fundraising for Haiti
Not content with resting on their laurels, the UWI churches responded to a personal appeal from their General Secretary following the Haiti earthquake in January 2010.
‘This is not the time for delay, to make excuses or to be hard-hearted’, he said. ‘The people of Haiti need our help. In the name of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, let us help them.’
The churches raised a total of £70,874.41 towards Christian Aid’s Haiti Earthquake appeal.
Find out more about Christian Aid’s response to emergencies and disaster preparation work