Christian Aid Week 2017
This Christian Aid Week Woodbridge and Melton Churches Together are continuing to walk with refugees by our house-to-house collections in as many streets of Woodbridge and Melton as possible. Stories like Nejebar's are what inspire us.
Nejebar’s story It is better to die in a camp than to die in a war. That’s what Nejebar thinks. It’s better to travel for months, in rain and snow, with young children. To walk until you injure your feet. To risk your children’s lives in a plastic dinghy. And to leave everything you know behind. When the alternative is fear and terror, almost anything is better. When the alternative is bombs, bullets and war, almost anything is better.
Fleeing horrors Nejebar’s husband Noor was a teacher in Afghanistan. Imagine the horror the family felt when the Taliban announced they would kill anyone, like Noor, who worked for the government. Imagine how they felt when the Taliban carried out that threat on another family member, taking out his eyes before killing him. Almost anything has to be better than that. But now they’ve arrived in Greece, all they have is a tent. They have no other protection against wind and rain. There’s no school for their five children. And they have no certainty or clear idea of what will happen to them now. They thought they would stay here for 10 days, but it’s already been six months and there’s no end in sight. Noor describes their initial reaction to arriving in the camp in Greece: ‘It was like suicide for us. But we took the decision that it is better to die here than to die there from war.’
Together Throughout it all, Nejebar has desperately wanted what is best for her children. But her circumstances make it very difficult. Her youngest, Sudai, is five years old but looks much younger. He hasn’t been growing as he should. His tummy is swollen and they don’t know what is wrong with him. And because the only on-site doctor is Greek, they haven’t been able to find out. They don’t have the language to explain that Sudai is much older than he looks. Nejebar’s strength and steadiness make her the rock at the centre of her family, holding them together in this difficult and uncertain situation. But she hasn’t stopped there. Despite her circumstances, she has welcomed two brothers, Faraidoon and Farzad, into her home. Faraidoon and Farzad don’t know where their parents are, or if they’re even alive. Nejebar has welcomed them into her family, giving them refuge as they wait for news.
An uncertain future Nejebar says: ‘We still have some hope that one day we will get out of here and we have hope for our children’s future. ‘Our wish is to get out from this situation and to be able to go further. We only want a peaceful life. We want our children to have an education, to go to school. The most important thing is for our children.’
We won’t turn our backs on refugees like Nejebar now.
Christian Aid was set up by British churches in 1945 to support the hundreds of thousands of refugees who had lost their homes and possessions in the Second World War. We launched Christian Aid Week in 1957 to raise funds for vital work like this that was still continuing in the long running aftermath of the war.
For 60 years, tens of thousands of dedicated volunteers have come together for Christian Aid Week each May to raise vital money for those most in need. Thanks to you, we’ve been there for refugees, providing essential food, shelter and legal assistance.
Your support is more vital now than ever. Let’s not turn our backs on refugees now.
You can join in by your financial support and/or helping the team of collectors. Working alongside an experienced collector boosts efficiency. Please email email@example.com or tel 386786 if you can spare an hour or two. Some collector's packs will be available after church this Sunday (30th. April), I will deliver the rest at the beginning of Christian Aid Week. Many thanks. Tony Waller
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