International development charity Tearfund has launched a new campaign asking supporters to help protect people from hunger, and to help them go on to live secure and fulfilled lives.
The ‘Give Like Jesus’ campaign will help to support people living in drought-ridden regions of Chad, who are so desperate for food they have to plunder seeds from ants’ nests to feed their children.
“We do extreme things to survive,” said Jumana, a mother of six. “I used to be a very strong woman, but now I have been reduced to thinking only of how I can feed my family.”
Nigel Harris, Tearfund’s chief executive, revealed that its partner in Chad, PEDC, is doing some powerful work to combat hunger and help people strengthen their resilience to disasters. “But this is a complex food crisis with multiple causes, so we need to tackle it on a broad front. That’s why we are making this challenging call to supporters to give like Jesus, following his example of generosity.”
Drought-prone Chad, part of the Sahel region of Africa, is one of the poorest countries in the world. In the last year, seasonal rains have failed and consequently farming has been less fruitful.
When crops fail, as they have in Jumana’s village, Hillé Bar, families have nothing to fall back on. Jumana’s husband has left the village to find work, but earns next to nothing. Jumana weaves baskets and mats to sell at market but it takes her five days to make each basket, which sells for the price of just two meals.
Mothers in Jumana’s village have been reduced to plundering ants’ nests for seeds. They also collect sugarcane, grind it down and mix it with water to give their children extra energy. Parents eat as little food as they can, so that the children get more.
“In the Bible we see Jesus doing miracles to feed multitudes of people. I believe that if he were here, he would do the same thing to feed the people here,” said Paulin from PEDC.
The ‘Give Like Jesus’ campaign is appealing for funds to help partners like PEDC to release the poverty-fighting potential of individuals, through the local Church whenever possible.
To support the ‘Give Like Jesus’ campaign, please visit http://www.tearfund.org/disastersappeal
Photo: Jumana from Hillé Bar village Chad, at home with her children. Credit: Peter Caton/Tearfund.