27 October 2004

Save time, save stress, save a life: don't send as many Christmas cards this Christmas

MRDF launches Christmas appeal to support farm projects

Last year, people in the UK sent over 2 billion Christmas cards, more than in any other country. This year, to counter the hassle, time and environmental cost of sending mountains of cards, the Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF) is asking people to find a better way of sending their greetings.

Christmas cards provide a great opportunity to send messages to old friends, or catch up with family overseas, but most people also send cards to people who live minutes, rather than miles, away. So, MRDF is encouraging people in their churches, workplaces or schools to make or buy a single, huge card. The card can be displayed where everyone can add a message and enjoy reading each other's greetings.

"There's a double benefit: as well as being more environmentally friendly, the money saved from buying individual cards can be used to support MRDF's sustainable agriculture projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America," said Kevin Fray, MRDF Supporter Relations Co-ordinator, "With 80% of people in the world's poorest countries making a living from farming or from keeping livestock, farming methods that preserve the land are vital for food, health and the means to make a living."

Agricultural support and training is already making a difference to many farmers, like Ramanthe in India: "The training I received has helped me to plan. Now we know better how to work the land, rather than simply responding to what happens and to the rainfall. I wish I had received this kind of training years ago and hope that others in the village will be able to learn these things too." With your help this Christmas, MRDF partners can provide the training and resources that can help many more farmers find a way out of poverty.

The cost of 10 cards, £3, will pay for 300 plants to start up a tree nursery in India.
£6 will pay for 300 pots for medicinal plants in Cameroon.
Saving 50 cards, £15, will pay for 3 bags of cement to help build a piggery in Malawi.

For resources and more information about MRDF's Christmas appeal, visit www.mrdf.org.uk or contact MRDF, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR, 020 7467 5132, mrdf@methodistchurch.org.uk

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