Schoolchildren in India, famine victims in East Africa and parishioners of a village church in the Solomon Islands have all benefited from an “extraordinary year” for the charity SPICMA (Special Projects in Christian Missionary Areas).
Run entirely by volunteers, the charity, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding in 2017, raised £590,000 during the year, according to preliminary figures, and distributed £470,00 to more than 60 projects.
One outstanding success was the Jubilee Project, building a school in southern India. The target was to raise £31,000 but donations amounted to more than double this. The target sum was raised with just one donation.
As a result the village of Anumarlapudi will not only get a school and water plant but the school will be furnished and equipped, pupils will get free uniforms and water plants will be provided in several surrounding villages.
The school will open in June this year.
A total of £120,000 was given in famine aid to Uganda, South Sudan and Kenya, where a refugee crisis has worsened the situation of thousands suffering a prolonged drought.
The charity was originally founded to support a rural parish in Uganda and that country is still a focus, with 44 grants during the year. Other African countries received 10, India 11, Pakistan six and the Solomon Islands one, to build a permanent church in a parish where the only church has been a timber and thatch hut.