As Glasgow prepares to host the Commonwealth Games this summer, Christian Aid is taking this unique opportunity to showcase its life-changing work underway across the Commonwealth to help people overcome hurdles they face in their everyday lives.
Starting on Thursday 3 July, Christian Aid Scotland will highlight stories of real people competing daily against a backdrop of poverty, inequality, HIV, climate change, conflict and hunger in Commonwealth countries from Malawi and Zambia, to India, Pakistan and Jamaica.
With the help of pupils from Torbain Primary School in Kirkcaldy, Christian Aid is this week launching ‘12 days of Commonwealth’ – a daily online journey around the twelve Commonwealth countries where the charity is working through local organisations to transform the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.
And as the 12 days come to a close on Tuesday 15 July, a unique event in the heart of the Games’ host city – ‘The Commonwealth Poverty Monologues’ – will bring these stories to life in twelve moving performances.
Athletes representing 71 countries and 2.2 billion people will soon descend upon Glasgow for the competition, and Christian Aid hopes to help Scots reflect on what unites us as part of the Commonwealth, at the same time as addressing key issues which hinder development in many of the poorer countries taking part.
Kathy Galloway, head of Christian Aid Scotland, said: “This summer we celebrate the notion of ‘common wealth’ by reflecting on all we have achieved together. But at the same time we know there are many hurdles still to be overcome, and these are having a devastating impact on quality of life for millions of people – whether they be mothers anxious about giving birth safely in Malawi, children without access to clean water in Sierra Leone, or families living at risk of further flooding due to climate change in Bangladesh.
“Our aim over these 12 days is to provide an insight into challenges which still exist in 2014, as well as fresh inspiration as to how we can all play a part in bringing about real and lasting change.”
The Commonwealth Charter brings together the values and aspirations which unite the 53 countries of the Commonwealth, such as democracy, human rights, peace, prosperity and equality; values which Christian Aid says lie at the heart of its work around the globe.
MacDuff Phiri, who oversees Christian Aid’s operations in Malawi, said: “Many athletes have overcome the odds to gain the chance of representing their country at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Even if they don’t win a medal, they are a great inspiration to others. At Christian Aid we have a vision to put an end to poverty and other hurdles which prevent people from fulfilling their true potential.”
To find out more about 12 days of Commonwealth and ‘The Commonwealth Poverty Monologues’ event, visit www.christianaid.org.uk/12daysofcommonwealth or call Christian Aid’s Glasgow office on 0141 221 7475.