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Young supporters

Ten Years: UK

How do Christian Aid’s younger supporters perceive international development, and what is their experience of their own agency in global social change?

Christian Aid is a partnership of people and churches committed to standing together to end poverty worldwide. Our UK supporters are vital to our vision of standing together for dignity, equality and justice.

We aim to inspire supporters to participate with and support Christian Aid in a way that enables us to amplify our impact, while simultaneously benefiting and enhancing their lives. 

In the UK, Ten Years is working with Christian Aid’s youth team to deepen understanding of our relationship with our younger supporters.

Presence, power relations and change: a youthful presence in Ten Years

How do younger supporters receive and perceive international development? What is their experience of their own agency in relation to global social change? How does Christian Aid relate to the spaces in which younger supporters are encountering and mediating their activism? What can Christian Aid - and other  international NGOs - learn from the dynamics of co-creating and hosting youthful spaces for change?

These are some of the questions that have emerged to become a focus for PhD student Rob Bowden. His research is a part of a collaboration between Christian Aid and the Centre for International Development at Northumbria University, and forms the foundation of Ten Years in the UK.

Rob is collaborating with Christian Aid’s Youth Team as they embark on the Prophetic Activist scheme, which involves  25 young supporters in a year-long volunteering opportunity to shape Christian Aid’s climate justice campaign.

Rob’s role is twofold. As an action researcher, he will be supporting the Youth Team in co-creating a learning pathway and shaping participant encounters over the twelve-month duration of the scheme (Feb 2020-March 2021).

Alongside this he will be in an ongoing dialogue within Christian Aid to ensure that there is continual learning from the process and that emergent knowledge is meaningfully communicated and transferred.

This research will help set the stage for extended learning over the full period of Ten Years. But it will also respond to Christian Aid’s more immediate desire to better understand its relationship with younger supporters as they strive to realise their prophetic voice - speaking truth to power and building local and collective agency.