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Our story

Act for Peace’s work began in 1948 with the sending of food and other provisions to help refugees and internally displaced who had suffered during World War II. This important work was carried on when, on Christmas Day in 1949, the Reverend Frank Byatt of Victoria placed an empty bowl on the dinner table and asked all present to give what they considered to be the cost of the meal.

Frank urged his guests to reflect on their good fortunes and encouraged them to do something selfless for the people around the world who are victims of disease, poverty and violence. This small but significant gesture of charity has resonated deeply with thousands of Australians and has shown that we all have the ability to make a difference, no matter how small the gift.

Since the first Christmas Bowl began, over the past 67 years you have helped to provide food, shelter, education, healthcare and training to help the world’s most vulnerable prepare for, cope with and recover from conflict and disaster. As the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia and a member of the global ACT alliance, Act for Peace helps communities affected by poverty and conflict in more than 130 countries.

With your support, Act for Peace supports partners to respond to emergencies and implement long-term humanitarian and development program and advocacy initiatives responding to the needs of communities in protracted conflicts or disaster-affected regions.  Act for Peace is currently working with partners in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Kenya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Indonesia, as well as in the Pacific and with refugee communities in Australia.

We will continue to work together with passionate people like you to build the foundations for real and lasting peace, and make a growing difference to communities where it’s needed most.

More ways to take action

Right now, children are starving to death in South Sudan. Please give an urgent gift today to halt this famine before it kills even more children.

Take the Act for Peace Ration Challenge and eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee during Refugee Week (June 2018). Raise money to support refugees who have lost everything, and challenge perspectives – including your own.

Right now, thousands of innocent people are fleeing Syria every day to protect their families from bloodshed, violence and death. We need your support to provide emergency relief packs to the families fleeing in Syria.