For many years now, Chingford URC has supported the 1% Appeal for Commitment for Life. Our focus has been on projects in Bangladesh and here is an update on the work being done in that
Bangladesh is a poor and overpopulated nation. Nearly two-thirds of Bangladeshis are employed in farming. Major problems include land erosion, lack of safe water, cyclones, floods and even drought.
About a third of the country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, making agricultural production difficult.
Many groups of people face prejudice and exclusion. Women are rarely allowed to participate in social or economic life. Indigenous peoples are discriminated against.
Primary education is free for all children from grades one through five. By law, children between the ages of six and ten must attend school. However, the quality of education remains a barrier for education levels.
Access to education remains a challenge for vulnerable groups, particularly working children, disabled children, indigenous children and those in remote areas or living in extreme poverty. Only half of all children living in slums attend school.
In Bangladesh, perceptions of aid are changing. Aid is no longer automatically seen as a good thing among the very economically and educationally strong middle-class.
Moreover, the rise of different extreme groups has meant working in a climate of caution. This means that partners are looking at different ways of working.
Christian Aid is continuing to focus on resilience to natural disasters, the understanding of climate change and how to reduce its effects, helping groups to get the best price they can when selling goods and produce at market.
They are also ensuring that gender and social inclusion work is part of any training they give.
Partners take the role of women in society very seriously. They offer training to empower and promote women to take part in responses to disasters and play a full part in decision making for projects.