The Christmas Bowl appeal is the longest-running ecumenical appeal in Australia, beginning in 1949. Now in its 72nd year, the focus for Christmas 2021 is to help refugees in Ethiopia.
“Refugees in Ethiopia have come from conflict areas, from war, and often have a lot of medical needs,” said Hannah Montgomery from Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia.
“Our partners on the ground are continuing to provide things like medical care, food, shelter, and training for those who need it most.
“COVID-19, as well as all the conflicts going on in Ethiopia right now, has of course made humanitarian work really challenging, but our partners are continuing to work in incredibly difficult circumstances.”
The Christmas Bowl appeal takes its name from the actions of appeal founder, Reverend Frank Byatt, during the Christmas of 1949, when he put a bowl on the dinner table and asked his family to place a gift inside it to help post-WWII refugees.
“While we are not supporting people as a result of World War Two anymore, we are continuing to support people with the most urgent needs around the world, and that visual of the Christmas Bowl still stands strong today,” said Hannah.
What makes the Christmas Bowl unique is that Christians from different churches come together in a divided world to help people in need, with more than $100 million having been raised since the appeal began more than 70 years ago.
“When you give a gift through the Christmas Bowl, you’re not only making a practical difference in someone’s life, but you’re sharing such a powerful message. You’re showing someone on the other side of the world who we may never get the chance to meet, that someone cares about them and that they’re not forgotten, and at Christmas I think there can be no more important message than that.”
You can find out more at The Christmas Bowl Appeal website.
Listen to the full interview with Hannah in the audio player above.