Christian Aid Week, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, was held between 14th and 20th May and unites over 20, 000 churches to achieve common aims. Christian Aid aim helps those in need and those who suffer, including global refugees by securing essentials, including food and shelters and also helps to advocate for policies to help or ease the situation for millions of people around the word.
To mark its 60th anniversary, Christian Aid created an animated story of Theodor Davidovic, who was once a refugee and was helped by the Christian Aid. Theodor, who was born in Serbia before Second World War, shares his refugee experience and explains how Christian Aid helped him through those difficult moments.
He shares his life story, describing how he was orphaned at very young age and sold into domestic service. Theodor joined the resistance movement to fight Germany after he was freed from the domestic service, but found himself in a refugee camp after the end of the war. That was where he first came into contact with the aid provided by Christians around the world, who send packages to help refugees like Theodor and million others.
Theodor escaped the refugee camps after two and half years and moved to Scotland. He met Betty and started new life in Scotland but he never forgot about the acts of kindness and the help provided by Christian Aid.
He began collecting for Christian Aid in the 70s and continued until a late age. Now, at the age of 91, he partnered with the Christian Aid team and narrated the animation of his story and Christian Aid’s objectives.
”When I was in the camps, it was the Christians who sent the parcels. They were sending parcels for the two and a half years that I was there, and I will never forget it. That’s why I volunteered to go and collect for Christian Aid,” said Theodor about his motivation behind volunteering and the animation. He also said that he joked about the participation in the celebratory video with his wife, “Betty and I have a giggle and I say to her, ‘Look you’re married to a film star’. My sons and grandchildren haven’t seen it yet but I’m looking forward to showing them”
The animation (below) was created by the Narrative Empathy team led by the illustrator Karrie Fransman. Katie said that her team wanted to highlight Theodor’s incredible life journey to inspire others. She added that the “art was completed digitally with a watercolour wash to create texture and the images created on a giant wheel, turning Theodor through his life.”
Christian Aid continues to help millions of displaced people around the world, including those who had to flee their homes because of wars or conflicts. Christian Aids helps refugees seeking sanctuary in camps in the poor countries as well as those who cross European border – about one million of people in 2015.
The charity pursue its long-term commitment to help refugees in some of the world’s poorest communities in various countries, regardless of the dominant religion of the country. Their core belief is that the world needs to change for poverty to and injustice to end. If you wish to help the Christian Aid to change the lives of refugees in need, you can find out more on their website.