Although much that we do at Immanuel takes place within our walls, we do try to be outward looking as much as possible and include in our prayers those situations we know of in the community around us, the town and the wider world.
We feel it is important to show practical support when we can, and as well as showing support for Christian Aid, two such ways are in our affiliation to ‘Amnesty International’ and the fact that we are a ‘Fairtrade Church’ (we use fairtrade products whenever we can and there is a stall on many Sunday mornings.)
Another way is our Harvest Appeal: for more than thirty years throughout October, in addition to bringing gifts of produce on Harvest Sunday for later distribution to the homeless of Swindon or the Women’s Refuge, we challenge our members to give to a specific charity – normally it is a charity in the Third/ Developing World, which has been proposed by our World Concerns Committee.
This year (2018) we were raising funds for a special school in Sri Lanka. Our aim was to raise £3000 to support the school at Vavuniya. Run by a non-profit making, non-governmental organisation (SEED) it helps marginalised groups in the area and accommodates significant numbers of children who have special needs because of their disabilities (e.g. autism, Downs Syndrome, cerebral palsy as well as speech and hearing impairment). Our gifts will go towards the installation of improved access ramps, a hand- washing area and replacing playground equipment, with luck we will also be able to help equip a therapy room and enhance the disabled toilet facilities.
At the end of October when the appeal closed we had raised £3387, which was a great response from the church community at Immanuel.
Up-date….. on “Help Madina”
In 2015 we worked to raise funds for a community in Sierra Leone. Our hope was to improve the local sanitation system and also provide a well. Initially constructing the well proved to be problematic when the builders hit solid rock strata and were obliged to bring in heavy machinery in order to break through to the water table below.
The good news is that they have succeeded : as the pictures show. It has taken some time for the photos to come through to us, but I am sure you will all rejoice with the villagers of Madina that good CLEAN water is now readily available and no longer has anyone to make a long trek with containers and bring back water that was at times ‘highly suspect’.
Smiling faces prove that it was £3500 well spent!
2000 Kabarore, Rwanda: nursery school classroom £2538
2002 Joint Appeal for Prospect Foundation (Swindon) and Stepping Forward (Swindon) £2,600
2003 Centre for Rehabilitation for the paralysed in Bangladesh £2,641
2004 Kigali, Rwanda: wells and water catchment system £3,733
2005 Twingi School, Zambia: school construction and lighting £3,049
2006 Kagitumba (a partnership project) 3 classrooms, toilet block and water tank £12,000
2007 Joint Appeal for The Swindon Mediation Centre and Missionvale South Africa (feeding programme) £2,657
2008 Ankavandra (Madagascar) – a village well building project £3,447
2009 Muniguda (India) – a hospital for cataract operations £3,100
2010 Mbale (Uganda): Musiquality – support and tuition for abandoned children £2,945
2011 Phnom Penh; Cambodia: medical centre – first aid facilities £3,469
2012 Casa Materna, Ocotal, Nicaragua: Training programme to raise awareness of sexual abuse £3112
2013 Lebanon and West Bank (Partnership project) Christian Aid supported project to support the disabled £10,354
2014 Christians Against Poverty (Swindon) Harbour Project (Swindon) the latter is a project to support refugees and asylum seekers £3,446
2015 “Help Madina” – a project to build a well and improve sanitation in a village in Sierra Leone £3,970
2016 Bamyan High School, Afghanistan: a project to build and equip a science lab for girls, £3,000
2017 The Swindon Foyer (a partnership project) raised funds to support homeless young people of the town and improve the facilities on offer: £8,700
2018 Vavuniya Special School, Sri Lanka: support in enhancing facilities in a school for children with special needs: £3387