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Christian Aid launches new way to link to overseas projects 

Charity's Church Crowdfunding website offers UK churches a direct link to lifesaving projects run by Baptists in Myanmar

Myanmar400Christian Aid’s Crowdfunding website is set to transform how UK churches partner with communities overseas.

Launched last week, Crowdfunding offers churches the choice between a community health project run by Baptists in Myanmar and an initiative which empowers women in Afghanistan.

Churches have the chance to decide exactly where their money is going.

Christian Aid partner the Karen Baptist Convention (KBC) is working with some of the most vulnerable communities in Eastern Myanmar.

Disproportionately affected by years of civil war in Myanmar, many people from the Karen ethnic group were forced to leave their homes, fleeing to remote areas where they struggle to make ends meet.

Beginning as a missionary society, KBC has since expanded its mission to deliver lifesaving healthcare and education to these marginalised rural communities.

In Myanmar, where 1 in 260 women die in childbirth and 40 million people are at risk of contracting malaria, KBC is providing urgently needed health services.

By training community volunteers to provide essential healthcare, KBC is saving lives – and by raising awareness of health and hygiene, the project is transforming communities for years to come.

Gracy Shermon, 26, was recently trained as a Traditional Birth Attendant by KBC. Gracy is a volunteer and is passionate about combatting malaria and supporting mothers-to-be in her community.

She’s seen the difference that the project has made: ‘My family and me, pregnant women, mothers and the community have all benefitted’, she says.

A Christian, Gracy attends church and religion is deeply important to her work, particularly during difficult times: ‘my faith helps me deal with the challenges’, she says.

In Myanmar, where 1 in 260 women die in childbirth and 40 million people are at risk of contracting malaria, Karen Baptist Convention is providing urgently needed health services.

Dan Doherty, a Baptist church planter Portishead, is excited by the prospect of a direct link between churches in the UK and Myanmar.
‘It’s amazing to be linked directly to Baptist churches doing such great work in rural Myanmar. KBC have a vision of God’s love for the world’s poor, saving lives and bringing essential healthcare to vulnerable families.
‘Baptists in the UK have an amazing opportunity to support KBC’s mission. By pledging to fundraise over the next few months, we can bring hope to poor communities. I’m especially excited to get regular updates from the project and to have an authentic link to the people we’re supporting.’
Anna Couper, Church Fundraising Manager at Christian Aid, said: ‘We’re thrilled to launch Church Crowdfunding. Serving the poor is an integral part of the mission of many churches, and this close link to our partners and projects could be just what they’re looking for.
‘We’re excited to fund these amazing projects, and Church Crowdfunding has real potential to build partnerships between churches and communities around the world.’
Christian Aid is asking Baptist churches to prayerfully consider pledging to support this project. With many more communities in Eastern Myanmar without the vital healthcare they deserve, Baptist churches in Myanmar need support to save more lives.



Baptist Times, 16/10/2015
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