Oxford MailCompassion still spreads across the globe (From Oxford Mail)

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Compassion still spreads across the globe

Oxford Mail: Jessica Hall, Christian Aid Oxford regional coordinator, Wesley Memorial Church Jessica Hall, Christian Aid Oxford regional coordinator, Wesley Memorial Church

OVER the last month we have seen so much rain, causing havoc across Oxfordshire and the rest of the UK.

I’ve been heartened to hear stories of neighbours looking out for each other, emergency staff pulling out all the stops to help the community and the hard work that goes into keeping people safe.

Across the globe the typhoon-ravaged islands of the Philippines have also been struck by massive flooding, hindering the efforts of people to rebuild their lives in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

Heavy rain and fierce winds have caused widespread flooding and landslides which are affecting more than 900,000 people across southern and central parts of the island chain.

Many were already living in temporary shelters and struggling to earn a living following Haiyan, which displaced 4.1 million and left over 6,000 dead in Novembe.

Just as people in Oxfordshire and across the UK have been showing neighbourly kindness and generosity to their communities affected by the flooding, the plight of those in the Philippines has also been keenly felt.

Christian Aid’s appeal for emergency relief in the Philippines raised over £2.2m alone, and the Disasters and Emergency Commission appeal raised in excess of £81m.

Such generosity, both local and global, speaks to me of love for our neighbour, wherever and whoever they are. It strengthens my hope in the sense of compassion of my fellow citizens.

It shows me that however much newspapers tell me that many people in the UK believe that ‘charity begins at home’, in reality it extends further than that.

In a country like the Philippines where infrastructure and homes have been devastated and where your immediate neighbour finds themselves without food, access to water or a way to earn a living, a global neighbour is all the more important and welcome.

At Christian Aid we are so grateful to the numerous churches and individuals that give money to help the world’s poorest people lift themselves out of poverty. Thank you.

The next time the rain starts to fall in Oxford, I’ll not only think of flooded houses and road closures, or landslides and displaced typhoon survivors; I will think of love and compassion and neighbours ready to help.

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