What is it Christian Aid does, and why?
How are we different from other international aid agencies?
A little history may help answer these frequently asked questions.
Christian Aid was founded in 1945 when Christians wanted to offer relief and reconciliation in post-war Europe.
From its early days Christian Aid has assisted people and communities on the basis of need, regardless of race, religion or nationality.
Today it is the official relief, development and advocacy agency of 41 sponsoring churches in Britain and Ireland, and it is part of the worldwide church community. Christian Aid is, self-evidently, a Christian organisation.
The board, appointed by the sponsoring churches, is trustee of the vision, purpose and values of Christian Aid, supplying a mandate to work for poverty eradication. We are active in some of the world’s poorest countries.
What we believe
Christian Aid’s work is founded on Christian faith and powered by hope. It acts to change an unjust world through charity, providing practical love and care for neighbours in need. It is driven by the gospel of good news to the poor, and inspired by the vision of a new Earth where everyone lives in justice, peace and plenty.
We help those in need
Christian Aid follows the teaching of Jesus Christ, who commanded his followers to love their neighbour and work for a better world. Jesus identified with the poor, excluded, weak, sick and oppressed. He said he wanted everyone to have life, abundantly, hence, ‘We believe in life before death’.
Christian Aid is prophetic, outspoken and on the side of the poor and marginalised; we are agents of change.
Christian Aid believes everyone is created equal, with inherent dignity and basic rights. When people are dehumanised – denied food, water, dignity, justice, education, healthcare and chance for an income – Christian Aid stands with them in the struggle to realise their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
We are inspired by great Christian visionaries like South African anti-apartheid and humanitarian justice activist Desmond Tutu, US civil rights movement leader Martin Luther King and Dietrich Bonheoffer, participant in the German resistance against Nazism.
We believe in the just and sustainable use of the earth and its resources so that the greed of one generation will not create poverty for the next.
We are proud of our Christian identity and heritage. It defines who we are and how we work.
What we do
We cross divides of religion, race and nationality, acting as the good Samaritan and going the extra mile to proclaim release to captives.
Wherever we can make a difference, Christian Aid works with and through local organisations – our partners. For many years Christian Aid has worked with partners of all faiths and none who share our vision of championing the eradication of poverty and injustice.
We work in around 50 countries, for example Afghanistan, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Colombia, Nigeria, Kenya and Brazil.
We are frequently not alone: Christian Aid often works with sister agencies, such as Action by Churches Together International, in disaster relief activities.
With our partners and allies, we uphold a commitment to honesty, professionalism, mutual respect, accountability and diversity.
We are committed to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Code of Conduct, meaning we never link aid with evangelism.
Our staff share the diversity of nationality, faith and ethnicity yet are all committed to the essential purpose of Christian Aid and its role as a Christian relief, development and advocacy agency.
Christian Aid is a voice for the poor, not afraid of getting political.
We believe that God does not want poverty, injustice, discrimination and unsustainable development in the world.
So we campaign for change, challenging structures and systems that make and keep people poor. The values of justice, peace and love must challenge the world’s values and our own, prompting us to re-examine how our lifestyles and decisions affect others.
That is our charitable purpose and part of our Christian vocation. It does not mean getting involved in party politics but it does mean confronting with the truth people who have the power to change things. Christian Aid does not try to hide its anger when poor people are exploited.
Hope into action
Whether they have a faith or not, people support Christian Aid because they know we have the courage and integrity to take the difficult positions.
They expect us to deliver good-quality aid that tangibly helps people in need. They know we are a bold, incisive, effective, efficient, results orientated, growing and ambitious organisation that equips and encourages people to put their faith into action.
All our work is based on the spirit of partnership. We want people to pray for us, to act, to give and to get involved with us in a variety of ways.
Together we can have great influence and impact. We will educate and mobilise people from all kinds of backgrounds to build a global movement that can change the course of history.
Our faith tells us that ending poverty and suffering is not simply a dream but an imperative from God. It gives us the confidence to turn this hope into practical action.
Working with others is vital to the nature and purpose of Christian Aid, and we take seriously interfaith and intercommunity dialogue and cooperation.
We are part of the commitment by churches in Britain and Ireland to help build a more inclusive, just and sustainable world community: one world – our world – where all people can live with dignity."
Director, Christian Aid