Rotherham woman helps war-torn Colombia

Poppy Winks, from Dinnington, who supports Christian Aid
Poppy Winks, from Dinnington, who supports Christian Aid
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A South Yorkshire woman is urging people to support Christian Aid Week after visiting Colombia to see the work of the charity.

Poppy Winks, aged 21, from Dinnington, spent five days in the war-torn country’s rainforest visiting the Nueva Vida or New Life community, which lost 200 members when they were forced off their land at gunpoint.

A wall made from 200 pairs of clay hands stands as a memorial to all the people killed.

To highlight the plight of the community Poppy painted a handprint on her face as a publicity stunt.

Christian Aid and its partner, the Inter-church Commission for Justice and Peace, has secured the community’s land rights and established a safe ‘humanitarian zone’ in which people can now live peacefully.

The 50-year conflict in Colombia has resulted in 5.7 million people being forced from their homes.

Poppy 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, even me, had played a part in that.”

Christian Aid volunteers will be making collections in the county this week.