About the theme

“Lift Up Your Voice with Strength”

Isaiah 40:9b


Make Hope My Story

In the classrooms of Lebanon, young refugees have energy and hope.  Far from the war that has torn Syria to shreds, one student is keen to answer the latest maths problem.  Syria’s students are worried about their future and with good support are determined to learn and have some fun.  Living cramped in small spaces with few resources, they dream of a future where there is enough food, water and electricity for their families and neighbours.

In the battle for survival, their voices like others in areas of high conflict or widespread poverty are often lost.  Many of these young people know only conflict and the daily fear of not getting enough to eat.  They have watched as forces stronger than them have tried to resolve differences with words of division and violence, or destroyed the land of its vitality and life force.  Their dreams of good food, clean water and safety are in danger as our world fractures along lines of wealth, ethnicity and power.  We need to listen to their words to find the seeds of hope in the war zones of our planet.

CWS partners working in these communities start with the most vulnerable people – children, older people and those with disabilities.  They want to make sure that the people with the fewest resources have the basics for living and a say over their future.  They want to do what is good for the land and the sea.

From war torn South Sudan to the rising tides of the Pacific Ocean, CWS partners are determined to forge a way forward.  Young Palestinian and Syrian refugees attend school or extra classes to learn skills that will increase opportunities.  In South India, Dalit women who have been elected to their local panchayat or councils are trained so they deliver safe water or the protection of street lighting to the communities that elected them. Filipinos plant many times more trees and root crops than they lost in the 2013 typhoon as a cushion against dangerous weather events.

This year’s Christmas Appeal highlights the successes of five of our partners who are changing their community’s story from loss and despair to one of hope.  Listening to the voices of those who have survived violence, disaster and hardship, we can find the energy to stand alongside people who need food, water and justice.

With your gifts and prayers, we can help many more families. We can make a world where all people have food, water, dignity, justice and lives free of violence.  Working together we can make hope our story this Christmas.


Did you know?

  • 815 million people – just over one in nine went hungry last year.
  • 489 million of them lived in countries troubled by conflict and violence.
  • 65.6 million people fled their homes last year.
  • 22.5 million of them left their country.
  • 28,300 people are forced from their homes every day because of conflict or persecution.
  • Violence costs 12.6% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product or $7.95 per person per day.