Church of Ireland Bishops' Appeal requests harvest and advent funds for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and for the refugees in surrounding Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan. (Tearfund and Christian Aid partners) Eight million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. As little as €30/£25 can buy rice, beans, lentils, sugar, salt as well as cheese and milk to combat malnutrition in children.
Funds are also urgently required for very worthwhile projects such as agricultural self help groups in Uganda (CMS Partners) and a garden project among the malnourished and displaced Wichi people in Argentina (SAMS). Statistically if female farmers in the developing world had access to basic agricultural training and basic tools, a further 430 million people could be lifted out of poverty by 2020. Empowering rural people is an essential first step to eradicating poverty. Other projects include a gender based violence awareness and action campaign in Zambia (Us) and a HIV/AIDS project in India (Friends of Hope). Due to funding constraints, worthwhile projects such as these are on hold.
Bishop Patrick Rooke, chairperson of Bishops' Appeal circulated a letter to all clergy at the end of August regarding Harvest and Advent giving. In it he urged those with Diocesan Link projects to continue focusing their efforts on these and Dioceses who do not have Link projects to support the named projects above.
At the heart of every human experience is the desire to survive and prosper. To live without fear, hunger or suffering. To imagine how your life could be better and then have the means to change it. Yet, every day, 1.4 billion people - nearly one fifth of the world's inhabitants - cannot fulfil their most basic needs, let alone attain their dreams or desires.' UN Report on Rural Poverty 2013
Donations should be sent by the parishes and individuals to: Bishops' Appeal, Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6. For more information contact Lydia Monds 00353 1 4125610. Thank you for your ongoing support.