Portsmouth Choral Union: Carol Singing for Christian Aid at Gunwharf Quays

Christian Aid supporters in Portsmouth are warming up their vocal chords for some festive fundraising to support vulnerable communities around the world.

The international development charity has launched its 2023 Christmas Appeal which this year is shining a light on stories from a region of Bangladesh where young women are working to change their futures.

Supporters around the UK are getting involved by taking part in carol concerts and holding collections during Advent services.

Portsmouth Choral Union is joining in with carol singing at the Gunwharf Shopping Centre, from 2-4pm, on Sunday, December 10.

Funds raised will help projects around the world, overseen by local organisations, to give communities new skills and more opportunities to combat injustices like climate change and poverty.

The focus of this year’s appeal is on one of the most disaster-prone areas of Bangladesh, Kurigram. The people there have done little to contribute to the climate crisis and yet are among those hardest hit by its effects.

Communities rely on farming, which is badly affected by floods and cyclones, and opportunities for women are scarce – while many in the UK spend time preparing for Christmas, girls as young as 13 are preparing for marriage. 

But there is hope.

The district is home to a group of entrepreneurs who are using new technology to revive traditional crafts such as beadwork, quilting, and making clothing to sell online.

Thanks to supporters throughout the UK, Christian Aid’s partner, Aid Comilla, has helped by providing education, equipment and funds. Training and mentoring are available on everything from gender rights to E-commerce; funds are provided for equipment such as smart phones; and internet access points have been installed to connect this remote area to new global markets.

Organiser Sue Ward, who is a member of the choir, said: “With the awful situations currently in countries like Ukraine, and Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, we hope our carols will bring some joy and hope to people, as well as raising vital funds to help communities around the world.

“Christian Aid is sharing such positive stories of the work local partners are doing in Bangladesh, we are happy to be a part of this Christmas Appeal and hope we get lots of people coming along to see us.”

Anyone wanting to support Christian Aid’s Christmas Appeal or make a donation can visit www.christianaid.org.uk  and click on Appeals to find out more.

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