Seven days, so many ways to make a difference

Edinburgh’s fundraisers are on day two of their major annual campaign to support vulnerable communities around the world.

Craigsbank and East Craigs held a coffee morning as part of Christian Aid Week 2024. The baking was outstanding and our thanks go to the organisers and all who attended. A full report on money raised will follow.

Money raised during Christian Aid Week will help the organisation’s partners empower vulnerable communities to find practical and sustainable ways out of poverty.

This year’s appeal – from 12-18 May – is focussing on work in Burundi, one of the most densely populated and poorest countries in Africa. Heavily reliant on agriculture, it’s also one of the least prepared to combat the effects of climate change, including droughts, floods and landslides. The global cost of living crisis has intensified the challenges: more than 70 per cent of the population live in poverty and more than half of children are chronically malnourished.

Christian Aid has been working in Burundi since 1995 when it first offered humanitarian assistance to people surviving the civil conflict. Now, alongside local partners, the organisation helps establish Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). These community-led groups mean people can save and borrow money, making small businesses possible, offering reliable and diverse incomes so families can eat regularly, get medicine when they need it, and build safer homes.

Thirty-five-year-old Aline Nibogora is the chairperson of a VSLA which supports some 25 families in a remote village, in Makamba Province. Aline escaped an abusive marriage only to find herself on the streets begging for a place to stay.

Her life changed when she went to a three-day, Christian Aid-funded community workshop. With a small start-up loan, Aline began trading avocados and peanuts locally. She’s now a grocery wholesaler and living on her own plot of land where she’s building a home for her family. In the next five years she hopes to expand, so one day she can buy a mill. This will provide a source of income without the need to transport heavy goods over long distances.

Christian Aid Week offers seven days and so many ways to make a difference – to find out more, visit

Remember, Christian Aid envelopes will be available at the door before and after the service on Sunday. but click here for a new and easier way to donate to Christian Aid

Giving generously during Christian Aid Week

Today marks the start of Christian Aid Week and we encourage everyone to consider whether they can support the work of this remarkable organisation.

What your donation will do:

  • £5 could buy a savings book for a member of a VSLA, setting them up to start their own small business and become finically independent.
  • £30 would help a family buy two Jerrycans to collect water from the river to carry back to their farm. Jerrycans provide irrigation to crops, especially during the dry season, maintaining food production for the family.
  • £50 would mean a vulnerable family can purchase a water storage tank. Water can then be stored for a few days rather than travelling to the communal water point, allowing instant access to water for washing, cleaning and cooking.
  • £100 could help a woman set up her own small business with a starter kit; including money to purchase her first few items to sell. This means she could supply local grocery shops or restaurants with vegetables, set up a roadside shop, or buy maize to sell in bigger markets like Bujumbura.
  • £100 could also help buy a family a bicycle meaning easier transport to school, quicker access to medical treatment in emergencies or support carrying produce from farm to market.

There are envelopes at the doors at church services but do remember that we have made it even easier this year. You can now give safely and securely online. Click here for a new and easier way to donate to Christian Aid

Today and tomorrow in Edinburgh, you can attend the Christian Aid Book Sale at Bruntsfield. The George Street sale is not happening this year (it will be back in October in New Town Church, (formerly St Andrew’s and St George’s) but the Christian Aid Book Sale at Holy Corner at Bruntsfield is definitely on. This sale has taken place every year for 30 years. They welcome support from across the city and beyond.

Christian Aid Week 2023

Christian Aid Week is celebrated on the second week of May every year and in 2023, it will take place from May 14 to 20.

Christian Aid aims to provide humanitarian relief and long-term development support for poor communities worldwide, while highlighting suffering, tackling injustice, and championing people’s rights. Once every year, since 1957, Christian Aid holds a week-long  fundraising drive. At Craigsbank and East Craigs we have collection tins available at the doors to each centre and hold a Hunger Lunch to raise funds.

Keep an eye on this site for information on one-off fundraising activities.

To find out more about Christian Aid visit their website.