About Christian Aid - FAQ
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Date: 29 July, 2006


Peace and reconciliation activities run by Christian Aid's partner, Jamaa, have helped Camille and many others come to terms with the past and break down the barriers dividing Burundi's Hutu and Tutsi communities. photo: Christian Aid / Charlotte Brudenell




What is Christian Aid?
Christian Aid is a UK and Ireland based charity that funds projects in some of the world's poorest countries. It helps people to improve their own lives and to tackle the causes of poverty and injustice. It was set up in 1945 by churches in the United Kingdom and Ireland..
• Read more about its history
• Turning hope into action - strategic plan for 2005 - 2010

How does Christian Aid spend its money?
Out of every pound received, money spent is:

• 52p on development programmes
• 17p on emergencies
• 12p on campaigning, education, advocacy
• 1p on management and admin
• Total 82
• 18p on fundraising

Funds are channelled into local community groups and church organisations in the countries where we work. These organisations – our partners – use the money to help people directly. We do not give money to governments, nor do we fund individuals.
• Find out more about where the money goes
• Find out about the work Christian Aid supports

How do I know the money gets to the people it's meant for?
From the organisation's very earliest days we based our work on the conviction that local people in poor countries are in the best position to understand the causes of their problems and how to resolve them. As a result we became committed to working with local churches and other organisations that would provide the analysis, responses and person power while Christian Aid provided the resources. We call these organisations our partners.

All project proposals have to include clearly stated overall goals and specified objectives, and plans for monitoring, reporting and evaluation.
• Find out more about our partners
• Find out more about how we work

Does Christian Aid get involved in politics?
Christian Aid is never party-political, and always works within the law. But we believe that it is our duty to address the causes of poverty. Many of these causes, such as debt or trade, are essentially political or economic in origin.
• Find out more about our campaigning

Does Christian Aid get funds from the National Lottery?
No. Christian Aid receives no funds from the National Lottery, and doesn't apply for them.
• Find out more about where the money comes from

Can I sponsor a child through Christian Aid?
Christian Aid believes that it is better not to sponsor individuals but instead to help whole communities through our partner organisations (see above). A village well, a community school, a trained primary health worker; these can all help to improve life for everyone, including children.

Some sponsorship schemes do support projects which benefit the community, but even then, the mechanics of sponsoring - recording the progress of each child, translating letters, taking photos - cost money. This is money which is being spent on the needs of the donor, not of the child.

Does Christian Aid send goods overseas, as well as money?
The cost of storing, packing and shipping goods (such as clothes, shoes, blankets etc) is often higher than buying new goods in bulk. It is better for Christian Aid's partners to decide locally exactly what they need. Also, buying locally is normally much cheaper and helps stimulate the local economy, so it is our policy to do so where possible. If you wish to donate goods to charity, there are many local charity shops around the UK and Ireland that are glad to receive good quality new and second hand items.

Does Christian Aid only help Christians?
No. Christian Aid funds projects that help people regardless of their beliefs. Some of the work we fund is done through local Christian organisations, but it is for the benefit of all.

Does Christian Aid carry out missionary work?
Christian Aid is not a missionary society but an overseas development agency, sponsored by 40 British and Irish Churches. If you are interested in carrying out missionary work you could contact the following organisations:
Email: The British and Foreign Bible Society
Web: Oscar - the UK Information Service for World Mission

Does Christian Aid send volunteers overseas?
Our partner organisations are based in the countries where we work, and employ local staff. We do not place volunteers in our programmes around the world, but volunteers are vital to the functioning of the organisation in the UK and Ireland.
Find out more about working with Christian Aid in the UK and Ireland see here.
For more information on volunteering outside the UK you could contact:
• Christians Abroad
• Voluntary Service Overseas

Can we ever end poverty?
We fund a lot of work that helps people to overcome their poverty, but we can't hope to end poverty this way. So Christian Aid is campaigning to tackle the root causes of poverty. Through our campaigns, we expose the role played by the global structures and systems that create poverty, or make it worse, and offer people ways to get involved in changing these.

Shouldn't governments be helping their own people?
Yes - and in many cases they are. But most poor countries are forced to make their main priority paying back heavy debts, while they earn less and less from a trade system that is loaded against them.

If you have any further questions, please email, or write to:
Christian Aid
PO Box 100

Christian Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales
Registered office 35 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7RL
Company number 5171525
UK registered charity number 1105851
Republic of Ireland charity number CHY 6998



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