- Conflict and climate change have had a devastating effect on people in poverty in Chad, with many families struggling to provide food and clean water for themselves.
- Tearfund is launching a Christmas Appeal for its work in some of the world’s poorest countries, including its community training in Chad.
- Through initiatives such as farming and water access, church partners have helped people in Chad lift themselves out of poverty.
Churches in Chad, supported by the international Christian relief and development charity Tearfund, are working to offer hope to people this Christmas despite ongoing violence, climate change and tension over natural resources.
Tearfund’s Christmas appeal will help local churches and organisations in more than 50 countries to tackle the complex challenges of poverty.
Isaac, 27, lives in Chad and was struggling to earn enough to feed his two young children, making him feel helpless and discouraged.
Isaac said: "Where is my worth if I don't have the ability to cover my family's basic needs?".
When Tearfund delivered agricultural training through Isaac’s local church, he learned new farming techniques so he could grow vegetables to feed his family, and sell some of his harvest.
Isaac was able to use the extra income to move his family from a small hut to a more spacious house. He was also able to provide his children with a place at school.
He said: “I find courage and the joy of living with the income earned from farming. I use it for food, school fees, buying medicine and other needs.”
Despite Chad being an oil producing country that is rich in gold and uranium, poverty continues and most of the population struggles to access enough food. Corruption and climate change are constant problems along with tensions and violence between the mainly Muslim north and the predominantly Christian south. The country is ranked 190 out of 191 on the UN’s human development index.
Tearfund’s partner in Chad, the Christian Centre of Development Support (CECADEC) is working to help local churches meet the needs of their communities. This includes increasing food production through improved farming techniques, providing literacy training and supporting individuals to start small businesses and other income-generating activities.
CECADEC also provided support for Rosalie, 43, who lives in a small village in Chad. Every day the women in the village walked long distances in search of water, becoming exhausted in the process. With the support of CECADEC and Tearfund, two human-powered boreholes were drilled in the village to provide water.
Today, these two boreholes are used by over 2,000 people and save the need for women to make those long journeys.
Rosalie said: “I praise the Lord for his providence and I am very happy to see the water flowing through these boreholes. Our children do not get sick as before and our suffering in search of water is reduced.”
Marie also lives in Chad and was struggling to look after her children after the death of her husband. With support from Tearfund and CECADEC, she was able to grow peanuts, rice and cereal grain in order to feed her children and send them to school.
Marie said: “I thank God for giving me children. I am so happy with them because we live well together, and they love me.”
In March, a report from Tearfund showed that churches in Africa are highly effective catalysts for helping communities lift themselves out of poverty.
Individuals surveyed in the report saw improvement in every measured aspect of economic and social wellbeing, including access to food, medicine or schooling, resilience to unexpected events, and financial earnings.
Graeme McMeekin, Head of Church and Supporter Engagement at Tearfund, said: “Tearfund’s support has helped people in Chad like Isaac, Rosalie and Marie, as well as people across the world, in addressing the community needs, through building health centres and schools, through access to clean water, by building roads and bridges, all while using their own resources.”
To learn more about Tearfund’s appeal for funds for its work around the world, including countries like Chad, please visit: https://www.tearfund.org/campaigns/christmas-appeal-2023
For further information or interview requests contact Matt Cooper on 07929 353 530 or [email protected] or for out of hours media enquiries please call 07929 339813.
Notes to editors:
Tearfund is a Christian charity that partners with churches in more than 50 of the world’s poorest countries. We tackle poverty through sustainable development, responding to disasters and challenging injustice. We believe an end to extreme poverty is possible. Tearfund is also a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee. For more information about the work of Tearfund, please visit www.tearfund.org.