This Harvest, we stand together with women like Aster in Ethiopia, to rejoice and call for gender justice through Christian Aid’s 2018 Harvest Appeal. As we celebrate and praise God for providing all we need, we also stand with our sisters whose harvests are uncertain.
For the once-overburdened Aster, life was a constant struggle, simply because she is a woman. Farming, cooking, carrying firewood – no matter how hard she worked, she was unable to save enough money to support her family. But Aster refused to be beaten by poverty.
She came together with women in her village to set up their own shop, powered by the sun. With training from our partner, Aster and her sisters turned this shop into a thriving business that benefits her, the community and the environment.
In Aster’s own words:
‘Coming together as a women’s group, it’s like adopting sisters; another family. We share happiness and sorrow together. They share my burden and help me face my challenges.’
Solar energy has given Aster’s village not just literal power – they once had no access to electricity – but also the power to change their lives. Now Aster and her sisters can save for the future, make their children proud, and challenge traditions while caring for the planet. All this in an environment where climate change hits women and girls the hardest.
Aster's sister, Ari, says: ‘In the past women were not recognised and we were not free. Having money as women was difficult. We didn’t have any reserves for the hard times or the drought.'
Now thanks to you, women like Aster have the power to own their own businesses, adapt to climate change, and nurture their environment for future generations. They have the power to transform their lives and communities.
‘There are many members, yet one body in Christ. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.’ (1 Corinthians 12:20,26)
When we stand together as one body, we rejoice to see Aster’s life transformed. With your support this Harvest, we can expand on our solar energy initiatives across Ethiopia, Malawi, Burkina Faso and Honduras. Your gift will help rural women improve their lives through access to sustainable energy – £75 could train a group of women to use solar power to run their own businesses.
This Harvest, your gift goes further. Every £1 you give will be worth £5, thanks to funding from the European Union. That's five times the number of lives you can transform this year.
Together we're powerful. And together, we can create a world where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty.
Our Big Shift campaign
We know that the choices we make today can have a positive or negative impact on the future. Yet HSBC – one of the world’s biggest banks – is choosing to pour millions of pounds into dirty fossil fuels around the world. These actions drive the climate change that damages God’s creation and denies our sisters and brothers the chance to thrive.
Aster and her sisters are using solar power to lift themselves out of poverty. Will you stand together with Aster and speak out?
Tell HSBC to make The Big Shift away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy today.
Visit the Christian Aid website to learn more about the campaign and take action.