Christian Aid Week is nearly here once again and a new TV advert has been launched screening at prime time on all the UK’s major commercial channels to coincide with it.
The Christian Aid website tells the story of the advert and its message of how poverty can be overcome:
It doesn’t feature actors and this isn’t a film set. It’s a real community and a real story of hope, self-sufficiency and the power of possibility.
We made the ad because we wanted to show you what can happen when people are given innovative tools to lift themselves out of poverty.
That’s why we shot it in York Island, a very poor but vibrant fishing village of around 200 people in southern Sierra Leone.
We recorded the footage earlier this year with the full support, and involvement, of the community.
The character of ‘Mo’ is played by the inspirational Michael, the head-teacher of York Island’s school and a former fisherman. All the rest of the cast are York Island locals too, including schoolchildren from Michael’s school.
York Island is part of Bonthe District, where Christian Aid supports innovative initiatives like the solar-powered freezer project featured in the ad.
This vital work is a real source of hope to the district’s poor fishing communities, where access to electricity is virtually non-existent. Without freezers they had no way of storing their fresh produce and had to sell it at low prices.
With Christian Aid funding, our local partner is helping to install the freezers in communities in across Bonthe, delivering a solution that is clean, sustainable and cost-effective.
We help each community maintain and run its own freezer, which are relatively cheap, then the community gradually pays Christian Aid up to half of the cost. This allows us to replicate the project in other communities.
This creative approach to poverty is already reaping results across the region, increasing people’s incomes and helping them to bite back at hunger.
If you’re going to be involved with Christian Aid Week this year then a big thank you in advance. If you get a Christian Aid volunteer knocking on your door, please be nice and encourage them. They will appreciate it! Let’s do a bit more to change lives and the world for the better.