3 February 2023

Self-Denial 2023: Inspiring the next generation

Eli Clifton and Lynette Kakande

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Eli Clifton (Maidstone) and Lynette Kakande (Gateshead) introduce the theme for this year’s Self-Denial Appeal.

For this year's Self-Denial Appeal, we are focusing on children and young people and how The Salvation Army is supporting, enabling, caring for and being changed by children and young people around the world. Last year, we focused on caring for creation. Captain Jo Moir (THQ) heard about the impact of climate change on The Salvation Army’s work and what it’s doing to combat it. Thank you for digging deep. You gave so generously and your Self-Denial money is already making a difference.

You may be wondering, 'What is Self-Denial?' Even if you do know, here’s a reminder: Self-Denial is an appeal that happens every year to raise money for the work of The Salvation Army around the world. Almost all Salvation Army corps take part, not just here in the UK and Ireland Territory, but all over the world. It's been around for a long time. William Booth introduced the idea to The Salvation Army way back in 1886. The idea stuck and we’ve been doing it ever since.

Self-Denial gives us time to reflect and think beyond our borders to The Salvation Army’s international work. We are part of a global movement and Self-Denial gives us the opportunity to support The Salvation Army financially across the world. Some people see it as a challenge to go without something for a week or a month and give the money they’ve saved to the appeal. Some people give a week's salary. You might have heard of 'OWSOMS', One Week’s Salary on Missionary Service, which probably involves a bit of advance planning.

Some of the money we give goes to our mission partners. They are Denmark and Greenland, Finland and Estonia, Ghana (including Togo), Pakistan and South America East. All the rest goes to International Headquarters in London. They send it to the places that need it most and it supports the mission of The Salvation Army around the world. It funds the essential, background things, such as church infrastructure, that enable Salvation Army officers, staff and volunteers to do what they are good at.

Now we can’t cover everything that The Salvation Army does in a short space so, like previous years, we’re focusing on just one part. This year, it’s children and young people. That doesn’t mean this year's money will go exclusively to youth projects. It does mean that your Self-Denial money will support the global mission of The Salvation Army and that includes the amazing work it’s doing supporting children and young people.

As the world recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, other problems are troubling our planet. In these uncertain times, many millions of children and young people are caught up in difficult circumstances that are not of their making. Wherever it’s at work, The Salvation Army is doing what it can to equip, enable and support them.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll hear from three young people in Pakistan, Moldova and Kenya. We'll hear about some of the challenges they are facing and how The Salvation Army is supporting them.

A photo of a teenage boy sitting talking to a Salvation Army officer
Dmitry, from Ukraine, is one of the young people we'll be hearing from in this year's Self-Denial Appeal

We’ll be hearing from Josfridah in Kenya. She was born with spina bifida, a condition which has affected her mobility and means she needs crutches to get around. Because of her disability, she’s faced bullying and discrimination.

We’ll be hearing from Dmitry. He's from Ukraine, but he’s in Moldova now. He’s one of the millions of people who fled Ukraine to escape the bombing.

And we’ll be hearing from Joyce in Pakistan. Joyce is part of The Salvation Army in Lahore, Pakistan's second largest city. It can be hard for any young person to reach their dreams, but in Pakistan, if you have a Christian faith and you are a woman, that makes things harder. Joyce isn’t put off: her dream is to become a doctor.

There are quite a few ways to give to Self-Denial. You can use the envelope, or this year's collection box. You can visit salvationist.org.uk/selfdenial – or, if you have a standing order set up already, you can make a payment that way. Speak with your corps treasurer.

Make your offering online

Give to Self-Denial

Discover more

Go without something to support the work of the international Salvation Army.

Information and resources for the Self-Denial Appeal 2024.

Six Bible studies based on Psalm 100:1-5 which help explore the theme of Generous Discipleship.

Benjamin Gilbert explains the differences and links between the Army’s two major international appeals.

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