Christian Aid Week aims to help young mums
Photo: Christian Aid/Tom Pilston
When Jebbeh Konneh (pictured) was heavily pregnant, she said, ‘I'm afraid. I pray, when that day comes, God will help me to deliver safely, so that I can have a bouncing baby and I'll be healthy.’ Her sister recently died in childbirth and Jebbeh feared she may be next.
She lives in Sierra Leone, which has been described as “the most dangerous place in the world to become a mum”. The country lacks funds to support health clinics, health training and ambulances. It is burdened by debt repayments to the international community having been forced to accept loans to deal with the West African Ebola crisis in 2014-2016.
The annual Christian Aid Week (12-18 May) is focusing on the provision of health and maternal care for people like Jebbeh in Sierra Leone. Churches and individuals in Harborough and the surrounding villages are being challenged to raise £11,000 for the cause. Four years ago the total raised was almost that, £10,846, but this had fallen to £9881 last year. Door-to-door and other collections will take place throughout the week.
A spokesman for Churches Together in Harborough, which co-ordinates the local fundraising effort, said “Christian Aid has been a respected international aid and development agency for over 70 years. It works in 37 countries with people from all faith backgrounds and none, and is an expression of humanitarian care and support for communities that suffer from poverty and injustice.
“Despite the financial constraints most of us currently experience in the UK, we are well-known as a generous nation. Families especially that benefit from our excellent health care will no doubt be keen to help women in Sierra Leone for whom childbirth and early years development is fraught with danger.”
There is no joint churches’ Christian Aid service this year, but Harborough Baptist Church in Coventry Road will have a Christian Aid themed service, focusing on maternal health in Sierra Leone, on Sunday May 12th at 10.00 am. to which everyone is welcome.
More information about Christian Aid and Christian Aid Week can be found at christianaid.org.uk.