Commitment for Life
Commitment for Life is the URC's “corporate” world
church programme and it works with Christian Aid and the World Development
Movement to support particular development projects and campaigns. As the URC
Commitment for Life encourages all United Reformed and Local Ecumenical
Partnership churches to take action, pray and give for people across the
world. It works with both Christian Aid and The World Development Movement.
Last year we raised over £550,000 to help alleviate the root causes of
poverty. 75% goes to Christian Aid to be divided equally among four partner
countries, 10% to the World Development Movement and 15% for administration,
resources and grant giving. It is the recommended way for all United Reformed
Churches to give to Christian Aid.
Money raised through Commitment for Life supports
Christian Aid and its partners working in four specific countries - Bangladesh, Israel and the occupied
Palestinian territory, Jamaica and Zimbabwe. The money is divided equally
between the four partner countries.
The URC in Cheltenham is one of the 40% of URC churches
supporting Commitment for Life. We have always had a focus on a single country
during any given year – over the years we have cycled through all four
partner countries, inviting speakers and running articles in In Touch.
Aid in Bangladesh works with the poor, women, children, marginalised
indigenous groups and communities vulnerable to natural disasters. Natural
disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity so our partners build
communities resilience to floods and cyclones and help them to adapt to the
changing climate. We also promote
women's empowerment by supporting programmes that improve women's confidence, leadership skills
and participation in decision making.
In Jamaica the poorest people are helped by tackling the things that keep them
poor: HIV, violence, unfair trade rules and natural disasters. In inner-city communities, vulnerable
young people are helped to find work, and to bring an end to gang violence. We help
communities protect themselves against the increasing threat of hurricanes.
of the areas where Christian Aid has been working
is among poor farmers in Matabeleland in the south of Zimbabwe. Aid is
given directly in this area through Christian Aid Partners, not through the
Zimbabwean Government agencies.
Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory – the most recent focus
partner country. In the past decade, Palestinian
poverty levels have trebled and violence on both sides has escalated
due to the ongoing conflict and Israeli occupation. They are working with more
than 25 Israeli and Palestinian organisations to protect
human rights, access to services and resources, and to build a peace
based on justice for all.