I am lucky enough not to know at first-hand what it feels like to have my world ripped apart by conflict. I am so grateful for that – and humbled by the sacrifices of so many others to create and sustain our security.
Violence, however, is a constant in the lives of nearly a quarter of the world’s population, meted out by soldiers or militiamen in countries at war, or by armed gangs in those parts of the world where government holds scant sway.
In all cases, lack of security is a significant driver of poverty. Conflict forces people to abandon their homes, jobs and the land they farm, while amenities are destroyed, infrastructure shattered, trade disrupted and investors scared off.
Christian Aid Week this year, May 11-17, focuses on the theme of peace and reconciliation. It will highlight our work with partners in more than a dozen countries where there is conflict, and in a dozen more where there is now peace and we are helping communities recover.
This issue of your magazine looks in detail at our projects in two such places: South Sudan, where there is renewed fighting, and Colombia, where the prospect of a lasting peace has proved so elusive.
I hope such accounts will inspire you to support Christian Aid Week again this year and perhaps in a way that you’ve not done before. You’ll find out more about the week in the magazine and your can access resources to help with organising a door-to-door collection here, as well as lots of ideas and materials for fundraising events.
Whatever you do, please join in, and be part of the largest single annual act of Christian witness in the UK.
Chief Executive, Christian Aid