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Tearfund logo.png
Founded 1968
Founder George Hoffman, of the Evangelical Alliance
Type Christian charity
Registration no. 265464 (England & Wales) SC037624 (Scotland)
Slogan Following Jesus where the need is greatest
Mission Following Jesus where need is greatest, working through local churches to unlock people's potential and helping them to discover that the answer to poverty is within themselves.
Website http://www.tearfund.org/

Tearfund is a UK Christian relief and development agency which works in over 50 countries.


The charity was created out of the Evangelical Alliance (EA) and the Evangelical Refugee Fund created by the United Nations. The organization was originally called The Evangelical Alliance Relief Fund Committee[1]:17 (abbreviated to TEAR Fund).

George Hoffman headed the fund.[1]:21

In January 1969 Cliff Richard did two fund-raising concerts for TEAR fund at London's Royal Albert Hall.[1]:29 He has served as the charity's Vice President and in 1999 served as its president.[2] In 2009 Richard gave the proceeds of his first 50th anniversary concert in Wembley Arena to Tearfund.[citation needed]

Tearfund was registered as a charity on 6 March 1973.[1]:21

Tearfund Ireland was launched as an independent charity in 2008 and now works closely with Tearfund UK as a sister organisation.


Tearfund first worked overseas in 1972 when nurses were sent to flood-struck Bangladesh to work with the Bible and Medical Missionary Fellowship. The nurses spent from six months to two years working in hospitals, clinics and feeding camps.[1]:62

Tearfund engages in direct operational work (via its Disaster Management Unit), and in development work partnering with local Christian groups.[1]:92By 2006 Tearfund was working with 297 partners, many of them church-based groups, in a total of 565 projects.[1]:164 In 2006–2007 it provided £9 million to partner groups working in emergencies.[1]:73

In 1994 Tearfund set up a Disaster Response Unit, now called the Disaster Management Team.[1]:65–66 The first disaster responded to was the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. By 2006–2007, Tearfund had teams working in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Liberia, Darfur, Indonesia, Pakistan and Kenya, caring for people affected by conflicts and natural disasters.[1]:68

Since 2014, Tearfund have been supporting Giving Tuesday. This is a campaign to counter the effects of Black Friday and Cyber Monday by asking people to support a charity on the following Tuesday.



In 2000, four Tearfund staff were kidnapped whilst performing charity work in Sierra Leone. They were freed after four days but robbed of all their possessions.[4]


The charity produces a grassroots development magazine named Footsteps which is produced in seven languages and has a print run of ~50,000.[1]:108

The charity has also produced a booklet entitled Don't Forget Your Ethics which advises people how to travel in both an eco-friendly and fair trade manner.[5][6][7]


In 1997 Global Action Network became Tearfund's first full-scale programme of equipping supporters to campaign on poverty issues from a Biblical basis.[1]:183

In 2014, Tearfund began partnering with Nvader, a New Zealand based charity working to free women and children from sex trafficking.[8][9]

Tearfund is a member organisation of several coalitions, including:

Inspired Individuals[edit]

Tearfund piloted an Inspired Individuals Initiative in 2008. The initiative seeks to identify, support and resource social entrepreneurs, change agents whose unique vision has the potential to transform the lives of millions living in poverty.

Tearfund’s support for these Inspired Individuals is threefold: firstly, each individual will be paid a stipend for a period of three years; secondly, Tearfund will provide a network of like-minded people to encourage and challenge; and thirdly, a support programme is offered.[10] Members of the initiative include Kelvin Mwikya.

References list[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Hollow, Mike Roch (2008). A Future And A Hope. Oxford, UK: Monarch Books. ISBN 978-1-85424-865-7. 
  2. ^ "TV JILL'S MERCY SQUAD KILLED". Sunday Mirror. November 14, 1999. 
  3. ^ "Giving Tuesday". Tearfund. August 5, 2001. Retrieved November 18, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Sierra Leone hostages". The Times. August 31, 2000. 
  5. ^ "Before you go the essential checklist Where can you find out about travel companies who are committed to sustainable tourism at home and abroad? Here are some good starting points". Sunday Telegraph. August 5, 2001. 
  6. ^ Amy Barry (July 22, 2000). "Ten commandments for tourists". The Times. 
  7. ^ Guardian Travel Pages, Pg. 19 (July 8, 2000). "Travel: In brief: Ethics abroad". The Guardian. 
  8. ^ "Integral Alliance :: Tearfund New Zealand Collaborating to Address Human-trafficking". www.integralalliance.org. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  9. ^ "Charity: Women, kids used as sex slaves". Stuff.co.nz. 2014-02-27. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  10. ^ Tear Fund Inspired Individuals

External links[edit]