This year Christian Aid Week (Sunday 12th - Saturday 18th May) will focus on the plight of mums and babies in the West African country of Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone, roughly the size of Ireland, is the most dangerous place in the world to become a mum. Ten women die every day giving birth. One in nine children does not live to celebrate a fifth birthday mainly due to malaria and cholera. In 2014 Sierra Leone came to a virtual standstill when the Ebola virus struck. It claimed the lives of 4000 people and killed 10% of healthcare workers. Joanna Tom - Kargbo, who works for Christian Aid in Sierra Leone, says "Ebola really devastated us. It wiped out whole families. We are still suffering from poor healthcare. Sierra Leone lacks the funds to provide basic services." Christian Aid's response is to build Health Centres, provide medical training for nurses and give basic hygiene training. To help out during the crisis, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) gave loans to Sierra Leone's Government which is now having to pay off these debts at a time when the people are struggling to access basic healthcare. As the UK Government is the fourth largest shareholder in the IMF, Christian Aid is urging it to use its influence to have these crippling debts written off! Christian Aid believes in Life before Death. Last year our Church collection raised £403.51 and the house to house £469.57, making a total of £873.08. Many thanks to all those who gave so generously. As in previous years, envelopes will be placed in the Church pews. This year we will be starting on Sunday 12th May and then on following Sundays. We will also be collecting house to house on the evening of Monday 13th May. If you would be willing to help with this collection please contact Barbara Rea (Tel. 93322207).