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Cardiff Charity Community National News Rhondda Cynon Taf South Wales

Seven days, so many ways to make a difference

Andrew Sully

CARDIFF fundraisers are stepping out on a 21-mile challenge to support international development agency Christian Aid.

Members of the Llandaff Christian Aid Group are embarking on the Penrhys Pilgrimage as part of this year’s Christian Aid Week – the annual appeal to raise funds for development projects in the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Led by group chairman, Rev Andrew Sully, the group will be walking from Llandaff Cathedral, in Cardiff, to the village of Penrhys, in the Rhondda.

Andrew explained: “The route dates back to mediaeval times, although it’s likely parts of it have changed over the years. Penrhys is the site of a holy well and was one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in Wales during the Middle Ages.

“Although our group works throughout the year on fundraising and other activities, Christian Aid Week is the time when we all come together, with supporters around Wales and the UK, to raise money in so many ways.

“Our pilgrimage is a small part of a nationwide effort but we aim to enjoy it.”

The walkers are setting off on Monday, May 13 completing the Llandaff to Radyr stage; Tuesday will be Radyr – Groesfaen; Wednesday, Llantrisant – Tonyrefail; Thursday, Tonyrefail – Dinas; and on Friday, they aim to do the last leg from Dinas – Penrhys.

On Sunday, May 12, the group will be given a send-off with services at Llandaff Cathedral where Mari McNeill, Head of Christian Aid Cyrmu will be speaking. To show support for the walkers, you can visit Pilgrimage from Llandaff to Penrhys.

Money raised during Christian Aid Week will help the organisation’s partners empower vulnerable communities to find practical and sustainable ways out of poverty.

This year’s appeal – from May 12–18 – is focussing on work in Burundi, one of the most densely populated and poorest countries in Africa. Heavily reliant on agriculture, it’s also one of the least prepared to combat the effects of climate change, including droughts, floods and landslides. The global cost of living crisis has intensified the challenges: more than 70 per cent of the population live in poverty and more than half of children are chronically malnourished.

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Christian Aid has been working in Burundi since 1995 when it first offered humanitarian assistance to people surviving the civil conflict. Now, alongside local partners, the organisation helps establish Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). These community-led groups mean people can save and borrow money, making small businesses possible, offering reliable and diverse incomes so families can eat regularly, get medicine when they need it, and build safer homes.

Christian Aid Week offers seven days and so many ways to make a difference – to find out more, visit here.