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Responding to the drought in Ethiopia – 10 Jun 2016
One of our supporters Sam Cromie recently visited our Self Help Groups in Ethiopia. Read his letter to other supporters here:
As a fellow supporter of Tearfund Ireland I’m writing to encourage you about the difference you are making – through your prayers and gifts. I had the privilege of seeing first hand how effective their work is – and I would like to tell you about one place where your gift today can help shine God’s love where it is desperately needed. Right now Ethiopia is suffering its worst drought in 50 years. Countless families are enduring terrible hunger and need our help. The current crisis is the result of one of the strongest El Niño weather patterns on record.
As much as 75% of harvests have been lost and water shortages have claimed as many as a million livestock. This threatens to cause severe malnutrition in as many as 430,000 children.
I was born in Ethiopia and lived there until I was ten. Last year I had the opportunity to return, which was life changing – particularly as I was able to visit some of Tearfund’s self help groups. This project, set up by Tearfund through local churches, is an amazing solution to hunger. Protecting people from hunger – for life.
The self help groups target the poorest of the poor. They start off by saving a tiny amount of money every week, 50 cents or so, for six months. Then they take out their first loan, used to buy something for the family,maybe a chicken. When they’ve paid that loan back they take out a bigger loan and maybe set up a business for themselves. It’s a highly effective way in which grassroots churches are enabling the poorest members of their community to grow in confidence and skills – a sure-fire route out of poverty and hunger.
As a psychologist a lot of my research is exploring how to bring about effective change. What I’m interested in is: if I give a Euro I want that Euro to go to empower somebody, to lift them out of poverty, rather than just to feed them for a day.
One lady, Buzunesh joined one of the self help groups set up by Tearfund and it turned her life around. And it’s being replicated over and over – with the support of people like you– empowering more and more people to escape hunger and poverty for good.
I cannot encourage you enough to support this life changing work. In Ethiopia and around the world the very poorest of the poor are in the greatest danger from hunger – please keep them in your prayers.
Yours in Christ,
Professor Sam Cromie
School of Psychology
Trinity College Dublin
Syria enters its 6th year of conflict – 15 Mar 2016
Today marks the fifth anniversary of the conflict in Syria. This conflict has been going on since the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011. The conflict is now in its sixth year, with no end in sight. The situation has deteriorated into a humanitarian crisis on a global scale, has spilled into neighbouring countries and even European ones, and has become a threat to international stability, due to its complex social, political, economic and religious dimensions.
Tearfund Ireland has been working through local partners with the aim of meeting the humanitarian needs of people affected by the conflict in Syria. Focus has been on: food assistance through cash, food parcels or vouchers; provision of essential non-food items (NFIs) such as cooking utensils, bedding,
hygiene kits, blankets and heaters; formal and non-formal education as well as Child Friendly Spaces (CFSs); physical, mental, psycho-social and trauma care services; and support for housing as large numbers of refugees reside in urban areas, rather than camps.
At Tearfund Ireland, through our local church partners, God is using His church to bring hope and transformation. To be salt and light during these difficult times. Our hope is that we, the Christian church in Ireland, as well as churches overseas, can stand shoulder to shoulder to bring God’s hope and love to a broken world. Jesus came to proclaim good news to the poor and to set the oppressed free and we can be a part of that.
Join us today in praying for the ongoing conflict in Syria and in being a voice for those who are oppressed.
If you would like to donate to our work then please follow this link
Watch our latest video on how we are responding to children caught in conflict and crisis.
Above: A mother holds her baby at a 3 day trauma workshop in a church in Jordan. Many Syrian women have become single parents due to the war and struggle to cope as refugees. Run by a Tearfund local partner, these sessions help women to recognise and manage trauma in themselves and their families, giving them space to talk about their experiences with each other. Photo: Stella Chetham/Tearfund.
Central African Republic-Hope in the midst of conflict – 19 Feb 2016
The conflict in the Central African Republic has left 450,000 people internally displaced and 2.7 million people, more than half of the population, are in urgent need of food, water, sanitation and healthcare. The conflict has torn the country a part and yet it is one of the most forgotten conflicts of our time.
Tearfund Ireland supported by Irish Aid and working with 12 local churches and through our implementing church partners sought to improve food security by providing seeds for fast growing crops, distributing tools and providing training on farming techniques and soil conservation.
Agnes Gamanadji was one of the women who benefited from this project and in spite of her circumstances and the current conflict she has been able to rebuild her life. Agnes lives in Kapou, a village shaded by an edge of deep forest spread out along a clay road. She is 70 years old, married and a mother to seven children. Her husband is retired and the family survive as subsistence farmers. During the conflict, which began in December 2013, Agnes was threatened by rebel groups who arrived in her village. She was trapped in her house with her family for two days without anything to eat. The rebels hit and beat her. Her daughter died of a heart attack due to the sounds of the gunfire and fighting of the armed groups.
After violent conflict and fighting the rebels left the village; but Agnes was left with nothing. Before the conflict the family grew maize and other crops to survive. However, during the conflict, their crops were damaged and their seeds, tools and livestock were taken or destroyed. The family had very little money and life was very difficult; food was scarce.
In February 2015, Agnes and her family started receiving vegetable seeds, tools and training from Tearfund Ireland. Agnes started planting and developing her vegetable garden as soon as the project began and is now able to reap the rewards of what has been sown in earlier months. Through attending agricultural training, Agnes has been able to apply these techniques to successfully cultivate vegetables to meet the needs of her family and sell any additional produce in the local village market in Kapou.
This has had a transformative impact on the life of Agnes and her family. Before receiving assistance from Tearfund Ireland the family had little means of generating an income but now they can earn a weekly income which they can use to buy household essentials such as soap, salt, coffee and sugar for the family.
Not only does Agnes now have a means of generating an income, she also has a hope for the future, she is determined to keep going with her vegetable garden and is feeling more optimistic about the future.
Please pray for Agnes and the people of the Central African Republic as the conflict continues. Please also donate to our ongoing work so we can reach the places that are most forgotten about.
SO CAN THEY – 18 Jan 2016
Lucy is old and suffers from malaria. She has four orphaned grandchildren to feed.
Lucy often feels weak, sometimes desperate. But, thanks to her local church in Ogongora, Uganda, she’s starting to feel something new – hope. Lucy’s church family have helped her grow her own food and set up a small business selling fish. They’re helping many others too – who are starting to support one another.
All this began when Tearfund partners showed the local church its potential to change the community and gave it some training.
Life for people like Lucy is still precarious. Transformation takes time and Ogongora needs our long-term support. But the local church is committed for the long haul – and so are we.
This Easter let us help make this season count for people like her who have lost so much. So they can rise up and start a new life.
Will you consider making a regular gift to help bring lasting change to communities like Lucy’s?
A regular gift of €21 a month can provide materials and training for at least 4 apprentices providing the essential skills they need to work their way out of poverty. Please call us today on 01 878 3200 or follow this link
Above: Lucy Apollot (60) with her orphaned grandchildren Canna & Noah (2), Hilda (7) & David (11) outside their home. Ogongora, Uganda.
Thinking of a career change? Tearfund Ireland are launching an Internship opportunity for 9 months in the area of Communications and Fundraising.
This role offers great insight into the development sector and some valuable experience on a new generation of communication channels.
This internship has been approved by the National Internship Scheme – Job Bridge, people who qualify for this can apply.
Click here to download the job description and information on how to apply.
Join us and be part of something beautiful!
Secondly, our International partner Integral are currently recruiting for an Information Officer, working from home 14 hours a week. Experience and qualifications in Information Management is required. Click here to download the Job Description and information on how to apply.
For further information you can also phone the office on 01 878 3200.
As Christmas draws closer we begin to reflect on the nativity story and how Joseph and Mary fled to keep Jesus safe from Herod. We cannot help but draw the connection between the baby Jesus and countless young children today, forced to escape the brutality perpetrated by terror groups. As we’ve witnessed recently in the senseless and horrific attacks across Paris, no country is immune.
Yet we cannot let fear paralyse us – and this Christmas is an opportunity to show people, especially vulnerable children, that they are not alone. With your support we will do all we can to restore peace this Christmas.
The level of need is staggering: there are now close to 60 million war refugees worldwide, half of these are children. (1) Due to continuing conflict, 1.5 million South Sudanese have fled their homes. In The Central African Republic (CAR) bitter conflict has left half the country’s 4.6 million population in urgent need of food, water, sanitation and healthcare. But the unstable situation across the Middle East dwarfs these figures as it it estimated that in Syria alone, nearly 12 million people have been forced to flee their homes.
The death toll of the innocent is mounting. Since 2011, more than 250,000 people have been killed in Syria and it is estimated that nine children die every
day in Syria. (2) Against this backdrop your gift can bring hope. Donations from Irish Christians and churches will be put to work to provide life saving food, shelter, blankets, warm clothing, mattresses, stoves and hygiene items. We will also use your gift to support trauma sessions, to help people come to terms with the horrors they have experienced and help educate some of the 13 million children who are out of school across the Middle East and North Africa.(3)
Tearfund Ireland is working through church partners to bring this immediate help and for the future we are seeking church based initiatives that promote peace and reconciliation in the bitter conflicts that are destroying innocent lives.
Your gift this Christmas will bring precious hope.
With the approach of winter there are thousands of people, already extremely vulnerable, who need our help to survive the bitter cold. Time is of the essence – so please do send your donation quickly. You can donate at www.tearfund.ie/donate or by calling 01 878 3200. A gift of €40 could provide two families with blankets to keep them warm through the coming winter.
Prayer has the power to cross continents and transform lives – please ask God to soften the hardest hearts, replace hatred with compassion, and bring peace. I am enclosing a prayer leaflet to guide your prayers. Thank you.
1 UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)