A CHARITY worker from Yorkshire has visited the Columbian rainforest to help raise awareness of the problems people there suffer.
Poppy Winks, 21, spent five days at the Nueva Vida - New Life - community with Christian Aid, where more than 200 people were killed when the community was forced from their land at gunpoint.
With the help the charity and the Inter-church Commission for Justice and Peace (CIJP), the people of Nueva Vida have secured their land rights and established a safe ‘humanitarian zone’ in which they can now live peacefully.
A memorial to the dead stands at the site, with a pair of clay hands to represent each one, and Poppy spoke at a special service in York Minster this month to highlight the need for solidarity.
She said: "I now know what standing in solidarity means, I learnt to love the people I met. I felt their pain, and saw their tears. But what changed me, was seeing them incredibly happy, and knowing that Christian Aid and, its supporters and even me, had played a part in that."
The 50 year conflict in Colombia has resulted in 5.7 million people being forced from their homes, the second highest number of internally displaced people in any country, after Syria.
This week saw volunteers across the region mark Christian Aid Week, asking the public for their support to help families in war-ravaged countries to rebuild their lives.
To donate to Christian Aid Week, give online at caweek.org call 08080 006 006, or text ‘GIVE’ to 70040 to give £5.
For more information go to christianaid.org.uk