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What we do: Lent Appeal: Wheels For Climate Change Emergencies

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“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.” 1 Corinthians 12:26

ALMA Cyclone Kenneth devastation in Mozambique

Donate to the Lent Appeal 2020

With rising global surface temperatures, intensifying droughts and more extreme storms, climate change is affecting our brothers and sisters across the globe, especially with our diocesan partners in Angola and Mozambique.

There is no doubt that the effects of Climate Change is here to stay and will affect us all. Since 1988, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published special reports on climate change have detailed how the rise of temperatures are affecting life global for all people especially those in the developing world. (IPCC website, Accessed Jan 2020).

The beneficiary charity of the Lent Appeal 2020 is ALMA, the diocesan companion link partnership between the Anglican Church in Angola, London and Mozambique. The focus of the Appeal is to raise money to buy powerful trucks to help churches and Bishops provide instant practical help where it is needed after the extreme climatic events that are happening due to climate change.

In 2012, the Lent appeal bought cars and trucks for the four dioceses that span across these these two massive African countries. Now, eight-years later, the church in these areas need new up-to-date jeeps to help them deal with the worst climatic weather systems the southern hemisphere has ever seen. In Southern Africa, the churches and bishops need to give instant and practical help where it is needed, the instant these extreme climatic events allow access to the areas.

According to The New Humanitarian, a recent report shows that the consequences of a Climate Change are already evident, and are taking place in countries and communities with the fewest resources to adapt. Super-charged storms, devastating floods, longer droughts, and blistering heatwaves are already intensifying food insecurity, resource-related conflict, and human displacement.

Day by day, the effects of climate change are making the headlines. Whether it is the heavy rainfall and flooding experienced in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire towards the end of last year or the severe drought, and now devastating forest fires being fanned by heavy winds and extreme heat in eastern and inland Australia, weather experts agree that these changes in our weather world-wide are due to climate change.

When it comes to global warming, the world is a small place, and we are all connected as a human family. We all have a part to play; we all need to take responsibility. The incidents of climate change disasters are increasing and are growing in intensity. Each diocese in our ALMA partnership needs a new set of wheels to respond to more powerful climatic emergencies. Angola (with significant drought in the South) and Mozambique (with two Cyclones this year) are at the forefront of this increase in climate change humanitarian crises.

Angola

In this western African country, the newly created diocese in this country needs to respond with one truck to an area the size of 481,321 sq mi, twice the size of France or of Texas. Here the country is facing a significant drought in the south and has been exacerbated by below average and erratic rainfall. According to USAID, the country is responding to climate variability after nearly three decades of civil war. “Extreme rainfall events and temperature changes are expanding the range and transmission period for disease vectors. Sea level rise is placing coastal populations (approximately 50 percent of the total population) and infrastructure at risk of inundation and storm surge.” (USAID, Accessed Jan 2020)

2.3 million people are in need. The government declared an emergency in the three southern provinces of Cunene, Huila and Namibe in January. Angola has been pursuing a humanitarian self-reliance policy but there has been an inadequate humanitarian response to address urgent needs and the situation is deteriorating. The drought in Angola continues to be exacerbated by below average and erratic rainfall.

Mozambique

In this eastern African country, the Diocese of London is associated with the three dioceses of Lebombo, Nampula and Niassa, together they are covering a land mass the size of Turkey or 309,475 sq mi (801,537 km2), it is the world’s 36th-largest country. For each diocese there is one truck. In the last year, there has been two cyclones to hit the country. Firstly, Cyclone Idai in March 2019, that that was probably the worst ever natural weather related disaster to hit the whole of the southern hemisphere. (National Geographic, Accessed Jan 2020), and it moved in from the sea to cause massive devastation in the southern part of the country and continue towards Zimbabwe.

Secondly, a month later in April 2019, Cyclone Kenneth, hit the Northern part of the country. Towards the end of 2019 and into 2020 flash flooding has hit parts of Mozambique as the area is still attempting to recover from the cyclones last year, compounding the impact.

Here more than 1.7 million people were identified as ‘in crisis’ between September and December 2018 across 11 provinces. As a result of Cyclone Idai and Kenneth, an estimated 1.85 million are now in need of aid. Recent information from USAID has highlighted acute food security in Mozambique between September and December 2019.

Marta’s Story in Lebombo

Marta lives in Lamego, a small community in the district of Nhamatanda.

The village was very badly hit during the cyclones. Many of those who live there, like Marta, lost everything.

Leonel Manuel is the Local Reconstruction Coordinator. He is helping Marta and the other vulnerable women who live at Lamego to start rebuilding their dwellings and their lives.

Unfortunately, because Leonel is based in Beira, he is finding it difficult to visit and work with target communities at Nhamatanda and elsewhere because he has to travel by “Chapa” – a form of public transport that runs within a town or between towns.

During a recent visit to Lamego, Bishop Carlos of Lebombo was able to meet and talk to Marta. He found her living in a makeshift tent whilst patiently waiting for the help she needs to start rebuilding her hut.

Marta from Lebombo diocese

Marta has piles of clay bricks but they need to be fired before they can be used. The firewood has to be collected from the next village 15k away which is an impossibility at present. Stronger houses also need cement blocks for foundations and larger construction stones for the actual build. zinc sheets for the roof would be the final touch. None of this can happen without a 2 or 3 ton truck.

There are many other vulnerable people like Marta living in Lamego who need help. A new truck would make it easier for Leonel to travel throughout Nhamatanda and keep in touch with those like Marta who have lost everything due to climate change emergencies. Firewood could be brought in from nearby villages and essential building supplies – cement blocks, construction stones and zinc sheets could be delivered to those in need of them.

As Bishop Carlos notes:

“Climate changes are really affecting our part of the world more frequently and each day we do not know what to expect”.

Anifa’s Story in Nampula

The first time the mission team found Anifa, she was toasting dried maize for her family; it was their lunch time meal, one week after cyclone hit the village.

It was Anifa who convinced her family to be interviewed and listed for the diocesan relief program.

They had been planning to move away to other side of the Lurio river, exchanging their labour for food which is how people in northern Mozambique normally cope with hard times of hunger: working for a landlord, in exchange for food rations.

Unfortunately, this meant Anifa would have to drop out from school – something she was trying hard to avoid.

When the first food aid arrived, Anifa and her family received their share (above left): their plans to move away changed immediately and Anifa went back to school.

At a visit by Bishop Manuel and senior Diocesan staff members to Chimoio, Anifa received the materials she needed for her schooling. (Photo right)

When she was asked about her families plans to cross the big Lurio, she said in a typical local shy voice ‘n’nari’- ‘No, I have changed my mind, I need to finish school’.

Anifa‘s story inspired and has continued to inspire many more children. Her story is very similar to many of those living in the aftermath of cyclones Idai and Kenneth.

Although the food aid received had a dramatic effect on the whole family, it is Anifa who felt the most benefit. She was able to stay in her village and continue with her learning. It is these quite small gestures that are beginning to change people’s lives. Hunger and poverty caused by climate emergencies are major triggers of social ills for those in rural communities such as the one Anifa lives in.

It was the delivery of the food aid and school materials that enabled this change to happen. If a vehicle had not been available, the outlook for Anifa would have been in a very different direction – dropping out of school, forced marriage, early pregnancy, gender dependency.

Anifa would have been one of many among numerous and poor rural households. But now she is inspired and hopefully reversing her previous fate.

The impact on families affected by climate change can be devastating.

Together we can touch lives, one at time, and help our brothers and sisters in Mozambique.

The situation in Niassa

Like the rest of Mozambique the situation in Nissa is still bleak. The Diocese covers a huge area that surrounds Milawi, and borders Tanzania. It is one of the areas where Cyclone Kenneth sliced through its countryside in March 2019.

More on the environmental devastation will follow later in Lent 2020.

The Situation in Angola

Southern Angola is experiencing the devastating consequences of climate change. Temperatures in 2019 were the highest in 45 years and drought is driving increasing hunger and malnutrition, especially in Cunene, Huíla, Bié and Namibe provinces.

Rising needs are forcing families to take desperate measures to survive, with girls and women bearing the brunt of the crisis. In rural areas, women are having to walk longer distances to bring home food and water, exposing them to the risk of violence, while an increasing number of children are dropping-out of school: the girls to support their mothers, and the boys to go with their fathers to find pasture.

In recent email about the climate change emergency in Angola, Bishop Andre has said:

“The drought is affecting the four provinces of the country: Cuando Cubango, Cunene, Bie and Lubango. The government has done everything (it can) but it has not been enough to meet the difficulties of the population. We need long term projects and many prayers to God. Angola is experiencing a difficult time caused by drought”.

More information and case studies will be published during the Lent Appeal 2020.

The Challenge

After eight years of extensive action responding to climate catastrophes across dioceses 1.5 – 5 times the size of the whole UK (1000 miles) on rough terrain, each diocese needs to replace its existing vehicles. These vehicles have been twice round the clock on mainly dirt roads, are almost beyond maintaining now and cannot be relied on. They are no longer fit for purpose.

With greater environmental catastrophes caused by climate change (more severe droughts and frequent flooding – Mozambique has once again been struck by flash floods following heavy rains with 58,800 people affected). Our four partner dioceses each need to buy a relatively new truck to deal with the ever-greater pressures placed on them. So, this Lent we are calling on all parishes to help us raise funds for us to buy state-of-the-art response vehicles to react to more quickly to these disasters so together as one people of God, we can respond more effectively.

The four Partner Bishops with the ALMA link are seen, and looked up to, as community leaders. They need to respond quickly in a community that is suffering; struggling as a result of adverse conditions – drought, flooding, etc. However, the sheer size of the areas that the Bishops must cover, means that they have a mammoth task. In many cases, it is not just the Bishops’ physical presence and ministry that is required; they need to offer practical assistance, delivering vital supplies wherever they are needed.

The money raised by Wheels for Climate Change Emergencies on behalf of ALMA would be distributed equally between the four Dioceses to help them replace these old, and in some cases, broken down vehicles. This practical assistance will enable the Bishops to continue to provide the much-needed pastoral support in a practical way.

Lebombo trucks delivering aid 2019

What we can do

As a response to the climate change catastrophes that are happening in these four African dioceses, the ALMA Link hopes to raise a minimum of £40,000 which will be shared equally. so each bishop in the the link Dioceses can deliver essential supplies – a practical response – whilst providing much-needed pastoral support.

As in previous years, for this appeal to be successful, we need your help processing donations collected within your parish. The appeal is too large for our diocesan finance team to process all donations, especially when you consider the gift aid process. To this end, cash collections e.g. open plate collections, retiring collections are all greatly appreciated, but if your parish does claim gift aid on its routine collections we would appreciate your help in claiming gift aid and including it with the total amount when sending in your parish gift.

Display the poster that will be sent to your parish in the next week, or download a copy from the Resources tab below. Feel free to use the prayer and powerpoint presentations in any parish discussions. More information is to follow.

We hope the processes noted below are of use so that the offerings collected can be sent in as soon as possible. See Parish Administration tab below.

ALMA is the Diocese of London’s Companion link with the Anglican Church in Angola and Mozambique, and part of the network of Companion Link Dioceses throughout the Anglican Communion. The original covenant was signed on 12 July 1998. A renewed Covenant was signed on 13 July 2008 during the Rivers of Life service in St Paul’s Cathedral.

Since 1998 our knowledge, experience and love of each other has grown. A brief History of ALMA records some of the joys and sorrows we have shared in our partnership so far.

Parish Administration – Notes for Church Treasurers

It is our ambition to raise a minimum of £40,000 for ALMA which will be shared equally between the four link Dioceses; one in Angola and the other three in Mozambique (Lebombo, Nampula and Niassa). I trust the processes noted overleaf are of use so that the offerings collected can be sent in as soon as possible.

To save cost on both printing and postage there are no separate Gift Aid envelopes for this year’s Lent Appeal. Please use your own parish’s one-off Gift Aid envelopes, making sure that the weekly sheets/service sheets/parish magazines carry a note that explains when the collection will be taken for the appeal. Ideally the envelopes should be marked with an extra label showing Wheels for Climate Change Emergencies or ALMA Lent Appeal 2020.

All of the Appeal donations should be processed through your local accounts, including the gift aid claims, so that the final total sent to the Diocesan office includes the gift aid reclaimed on eligible donations. On the following pages, you will find guidance on how to organise and process this.

If Individuals would like to give separately rather than through their church collections, they can donate on-line at https://www.give.net/lent2020

Individual cheques made out to London Diocesan Fund (marked ALMA Lent Appeal 2019 on the reverse) can also be sent to Diocesan House.

Processing Donations to the Lent Appeal 2020:

These notes are offered as an aide memoire to Treasurers for collections to the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020.

General

  • Inform your congregation during the appeal, that cheques and charity vouchers should be made payable to the local church’s account.
  • Adding “Lent 2020” at the end of your church’s name would help identify that the cheque has been given in support of this Appeal.
  • Money received for the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020 will become part of your church’s funds, so you can process it together with your usual collection and direct giving.
  • Any donations given specifically for the Lent Appeal 2020 will need to be recorded separately for accounting purposes.

Routine Processing

Arranging a collection for the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020:

  • Include information about the collection in the church’s publicity, e.g. weekly notices, prior to the collection(s).
  • Providing separate envelopes for the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020 is a simple way of collecting donations.
  • Ideally the envelopes should be overprinted or have an additional label to show that they are for the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020.
  • If envelopes are not provided, then a simple cash collection can be taken, but the possibility of claiming gift aid on this becomes more difficult.

After the collection:

  • Count any open plate collections, record the amount separately from any envelope donations.
  • For the envelope collections:
    • Any envelopes that do not carry names/address/postcode/date should be opened and their contents added to the open plate/ cash collections.
  • The additional money will mean amending the previous total.
  • Donations in completed envelopes are eligible for Gift Aid claims:
  • When opened, the amount enclosed (cheque or cash), should be noted on the envelope.
  • If the envelope contained a cheque or charity voucher, check it has been made payable to the church account.
  • Record the totals
  • Retain the envelopes for later checking/processing of Gift Aid.
  • Deposit the cash and/or cheque(s) at the bank as usual
  • Keep a note of the amount given specifically for the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020; this is crucial if the deposit is made at the same time as other church funds are deposited.

Recognising the collections in the church accounts:

  • HMRC guidance on Gift Aid state that “the church” (in this case the PCC) should formally open a restricted fund for donations to the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020.
  • We suggest that this should be formally minuted by the PCC as soon as possible after the start of the appeal.
  • Please note that this does not require opening a separate bank account; the restricted fund is simply a way of recording the receipts from donors and the eventual payments to the Diocese.
  • Use a separate code/category to record ALMA Lent Appeal 2020 income in your church accounting records.
  • For parishes using software this could be entered as a restricted fund, and any gift aid recovered will form part of this restricted fund.

Gift Aid

  • Claiming tax back on Gift Aided donations for the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020 may be more easily done as a separate claim from the routine claims for normal church giving.
  • HMRC will accept any number of claims in a tax year and will return the amount from each claim separately.
  • Making a separate claim should allow the tax recovered for the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020 to be easily identified.

Keeping the admin simple /aggregated donations

  1. The aggregated claims process is not connected to the small donations scheme.
  • For one off collections of £20 or less it is possible to group the donations together, to aggregate them, up to a total of £1000 and record them as just one line in the gift aid reclaim form.
  • If your collection totals over £1000, another “aggregated line” can be used for the rest of the donations (up to a further £1000).
  • Donations in one off envelopes that have come from individuals who already make “global /enduring” declaration for their routine giving might be best recorded separately so that their overall giving to the church (including that to the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020) can be reflected in any thank you letter that you send.
  • The one-off envelopes and Gift Aid declarations for the Lent Appeal should be retained for seven years in case of an HMRC audit. The publicity relating to the Lent Appeal must be kept alongside the declarations for seven years.
  • The Gift Aid recovered should be added to the Lent Appeal code/category in the church accounting records.

Closing arrangements

  • When the parish has ended its ALMA Lent Appeal 2020, and it appears that most envelopes have been received, draw a cheque on the church account for the total amount that has been raised, made payable to “London Diocesan Fund”. Please mark ALMA Lent Appeal 2020 on the reverse of the cheque.
  • Please include any Gift Aid already received in the total amount sent including, if possible, the Gift Aid you expect to receive back from HMRC. If this is not possible, a further cheque for the outstanding Gift Aid amount should be sent as soon as it is received.
  • Cheques (made payable to “London Diocesan Fund” with ALMA Lent Appeal 2020 marked on the reverse) should be sent to:

 

ALMA Lent Appeal 2020

London Diocesan House

36 Causton Street,

London, SW1P 4AU

 

  • The total amount collected can also be paid directly to our bank account

Sort code 20-06-05,

Account number 00107123

Your bank should include your parish number and ‘Lent 2020’ as the reference.

 

There will inevitably be some late donations!

  •  If so, please deal with these as you have done above.
  • If you have not included Gift Aid with your original payment, please do not forget to forward it when it is received.

Finally, please email Carol Ward, Parish Fundraising Manager) to confirm the amount that has been raised from your parish (please include your parish number) so we can share your good news with others in the Diocese who are also supporting the ALMA Lent Appeal 2020.

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