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Dates for assembly

May 9-15 Christian Aid Week. Since 1957 this annual fund-raising week has been a principal source of income for the charity's development projects in the Third World.

Outline script for assembly leader

What reasons do people give for not supporting charities? l "Money given to charity only gets spent on advertising."

* "The money doesn't reach the people it's meant for."

* "Charities get all the money they need from the lottery."

* "Christian charities only help Christians."

* "I can't give enough to do any good."

The charity Christian Aid began in 1945 to help refugees all over Europe at the end of the Second World War. Its motto is "Life before death" and it supports long-term development projects in 60 of the world's poorest countries by helping people find answers to their own problems.

For example, in Ethiopia an environment club has been set up to teach children at one school how to look after the land. Because there is so little rain, club members learn how to dig crescent shapes around banana plants. What water does fall can collect there and soak in. Otherwise, it would run away, taking the soil with it.

One 10-year-old, Selemon, says: "Before the club started, we had no fruit.

Now we grow different fruit and vegetables and are showing other schools how to do the same."

Out of every pound;1 Christian Aid receives, 75p is spent on tackling poverty and 11p on campaigns and education. Just 14p is spent on fund-raising and running the charity. It uses local churches and other organisations to ensure the money goes where it can do most good and to those who need it most, whatever their beliefs. It is not a missionary society and it doesn't takes any money from the National Lottery. Christian Aid knows it can't do enough by itself to end poverty, but works to change trade systems and local laws that cause or maintain poverty.

Follow-up

Use charity websites to research, script and present a Mastermind-style assembly in which the specialist subject questions reveal surprising facts about poverty, injustice and charitable giving.

* The Christian Aid website is at www.christian-aid.org.uk (which includes links to worship materials). There is a dedicated children's website at www.globalgang.org.uk with a "Planet Teacher" link to pages offering practical classroom ideas.

* Local Christian Aid Week events can be found at www.christianaidconnect.org.events

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