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Please pray for the people of Vanuatu

Please pray for the people of Vanuatu – 18 Mar 2015

The people of Vanuatu are reeling after Cyclone Pam brought mayhem and destruction to their Pacific Ocean nation.

Winds of up to 180mph slammed into the 65 islands making up the archipelago, flattening homes, crops and knocking out bridges and roads.

Vanuatu’s president described the damage as ‘unprecedented’ and up to half of Vanuatu’s 277,000 population are estimated to have been affected by the disaster. He says the disaster has wiped out all of the country’s development

Vanuatu is one of the world’s least developed countries and is ranked 121 out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index. Subsistence farming is the main way of making a living for 80 per cent of the population.

Please pray for the people of Vanuatu as relief efforts begin and they try to cope with the aftermath of this cyclone.

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Freezing temperatures, refugee camps and the Winter Crisis

Freezing temperatures, refugee camps and the Winter Crisis – 3 Feb 2015

‘But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction.’ Job 36:15 (NIV)

As bitter cold sets in across refugee camps in the Middle East temperatures are unimaginably low. Refugee tents can protect from the conflict but they cannot keep out freezing temperatures. People are faced with harrowing situations in both Iraq and Syria.

As a relatively small organisation we are able to respond rapidly to emergencies, and because we work with churches on the ground we can deliver the love and care needed quickly and effectively.We always seek to reach the most vulnerable people,so that every cent you donate makes the biggest possible difference.

The incredible suffering in Iraq can make you feel helpless. Horrific violence has killed nearly 10,000 people and caused almost 2 million to run for their lives. For someone who has lost what matters most– their parent, child or friend and home – hope couldn’t feel further away.Yet that is exactly what Tearfund can bring in Jesus’ name.

Right now our team is working tirelessly, providing essential aid to thousands of vulnerable Iraqis. But as religious and ethnic minorities continue to face unspeakable brutality, our resources are being stretched to the limit – and with winter biting hard your gifts and prayers are vital. Night-time temperatures in Iraq and Syria are unimaginably cold at the moment.

  • In Iraq atrocities are happening daily. We must follow Jesus’ call to bring tangible support that will ease the suffering. Thanks to your support we have provided over 6,500 displaced Iraqis with items such as clothing, kitchen kits, food and hygiene supplies. But more are desperately needed.
  • The conflict in Syria has entered its fourth year and there is no end in sight to the misery for Syrians. 3 million people have fled to neighbouring lands and 6.5 million people are displaced within Syria itself. An estimated 5,000 people are being killed each month. Tearfund is providing over 8,280 people with food parcels each month.
  • At the same, with West Africa’s deadly Ebola outbreak our resources are being stretched as never before. More than 8,200 people have already died. Tearfund has begun providing food, hygiene parcels and life saving awareness training. But much more is needed.

But never think that you cannot make a difference; every gift is a lifeline to the most vulnerable and every prayer is heard.

Your donation can save a life in Iraq and Syria but also further afield, as we work to prevent the pain and suffering caused by disease, hunger, trafficking, conflict and grinding poverty. With your help we, along with our church partners on the ground can help the most vulnerable children and their families escape the desperate situations they face.

€23 can buy a set of warm winter clothes for three Iraqi children
€46 can provide one family forced to flee with a month’s essential food and hygiene supplies
€117 can provide a stove, fuel and an emergency kitchen kit to a displaced family in Iraq
€140 can cover a month’s rent for a refugee family, providing a roof over their heads this winter
€187 could pay for three children who have been trafficked to be rescued with the help of local police and given safe shelter, counselling and support to begin to heal

Please join with us to bring hope where the need is greatest.
Please click here to donate to our work.

For an up to date prayer bulletin please click here.

President Higgins launched the European Year for Development 2015 in Dublin Castle on January 22nd

President Higgins launched the European Year for Development 2015 in Dublin Castle on January 22nd – 2 Feb 2015

2015 is a monumental year for development, in September, the UN will agree new global goals, a new “Sustainable Development Framework” – to tackle poverty, inequality and environmental destruction, And in December, the Climate Change summit in Paris will set new climate action targets.

As well as this though, it is also a monumental year for people. People from all over the world can come together this year and change the face of poverty. We can all make a difference, we can all be change makers. That is the message of the European Year for Development. Yes it is about ‘development’ but it is not about what happens in far-away distant lands. It about what we do here in Ireland to not only make our country better but to make the world a better place.

As President Higgins said in his rousing key-note speech in 2015 “Our decision-makers are presented with a unique opportunity to address the most urgent and fundamental needs of millions of people around the world, people who have the right, and seek the means, the freedom, to live their lives in dignity. And it is a task for all of us”. See the Presidents speech in full here.

Sharan Kelly,Tearfund Ireland CEO and Dochas Chairperson echoed these sentiments: “2015 is a year that will shape the future of humanity, as world leaders will decide on new strategies to fight climate change, hunger, poverty and inequality. But it is also the year in which ordinary people can make a real difference.

Other people who gave an input on the day were Sean Sherlock, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Carry Somers from the movement Fashion Revolution, Carry is encouraging people to ask ‘who made my clothes’? How ethical are they? Learn more about fashion revolution here.

There were numerous other inspiring groups and individuals that spoke at the event, including three young girls who won the Google Global Science Fair and showed us all that little ideas can make big changes in the world.

And that in a nutshell is what the European Year for Development 2015 is all about-ordinary people making small changes that can change the world.

For more information on the European Year for Development 2015 follow this link.

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Still building hope in Haiti five years on

Still building hope in Haiti five years on – 12 Jan 2015

In January 2010 a catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Port au Prince in Haiti, it devastated an already poverty stricken country. Prior to the earthquake 70% of the population lived on less than $2 per day. An estimated 250,000 people were killed in the earthquake and 3.5 million people were affected.

Before the earthquake Haiti was the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and it remains so. Trapped in poverty, many poor Haitians find it challenging to feed and educate their children, and they feel forced to give them away as domestic servants. These servants become known as ‘restaveks’ a slur word for ‘worthless’. Tearfund is providing education opportunities as part of a programme that brings dignity, respect and self-worth to people living on the edge.

Through its Connected Church programme Tearfund is supporting Open Arms Newbridge an Irish church to support a partner church Salem Baptist Church in Haiti. This church has set up a free school, in Port au Prince. This school has been established to offer free primary education within a safe environment that provides psychosocial support to its pupils, particularly those who are ‘restaveks’ or from extremely marginalised backgrounds.

Last year members of Open Arms in Newbridge, John and Dina Baciu went to visit this school and here they met some remarkable people who with the help of the church and the school are rebuilding their lives. image

From Left to right: Adlin Junues, Adlin is a widow, she sends her children to the afternoon school at Salem Baptist. She has 3 children herself and has adopted a fourth child. Esperanda Leande, is a widow with four children. LeMoine Jean Batiste is a widow with one child and has adopted two other children. She lives in an unfinished part of the church building and cleans the church. Eva Casseus has two children, one she adopted and one she had herself. She gave birth to her child two days before the earthquake in 2010 and needed to jump from the first floor of the hospital to save herself and her child. Clements Mondesir is an active member of the church, she is a widow with one child.

Half of the people affected by the earthquake were under 18 years of age and these women are amazing examples of people who have taken in children who have been left orphaned, as well as caring for their own children and attempting to rebuild their lives.

Last year 97 girls and 44 boys received primary education at Salem Baptist Church’s Bellevue School. 75% of registered children attend classes regularly and an additional two teachers have joined the teaching staff to focus on educational development. Children receive a free hot meal every day before class and are provided with practical help in areas such as materials for school, healthcare and food. Outreach is conducted with parents to encourage them to support their children in gaining an education.

Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti and for the people involved in Salem Baptist Church and the Bellevue School.



We regret to inform you that our Living Gifts website is currently experiencing technical difficulties and therefore we will be unable to be process any Living Gifts purchases until further notice. We apologise for this inconvenience and hope to remedy it soon.

If you would like to make a donation instead please follow this link

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience.

We wish you and yours a very happy and blessed Christmas.

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Defending 1.2 million Children from Monsters that are real.

Minister Frances Fitzgerald today received over 700 postcards from supporters of Tearfund’s No Child Taken campaign. The campaign highlighted Tearfund’s work in protecting some of the 1.2 million children that are trafficked annually around the world. Tearfund conduct trafficking awareness programmes for extremely poor children, vulnerable to being trafficked, as part of their projects in Cambodia (along the Thai border) and also in Malawi and Haiti. Tearfund partners estimate that about a third of children who are trafficked into Thailand end up in the sex industry. It costs €11 to protect a child from being trafficked, but over €8,000 to rescue and rehabilitate a child who has been trafficked.

Here in Ireland in 2013, 44 victims of trafficking were identified, 16 of these were children. Tearfund is an alliance partner of the Turn off the Red Light Campaign and believes that the best way to fight sex trafficking in Ireland and globally, is to fight the demand that fuels it. Supporters of Tearfund’s No Child Taken campaign completed postcards urging Minister Frances Fitzgerald to urgently introduce legislation that will criminalise the buyers of sex in Ireland, legislation that was recently passed by Stormont in Northern Ireland. Unless similar legislation is introduced here, there is a danger that Ireland will be seen as a low-risk and high profit location for traffickers.

Along with Tearfund supporters, staff and the general public who visited Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council and Dublin City Council showed their support for Tearfund’s No Child Taken campaign by signing postcards in council offices during October and November marking EU Anti Trafficking Day.

For further information contact Niamh Daly at niamh.daly@tearfund.ie 01 878 3200 and 087 245 1169

Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency working through a global network of churches to help eradicate poverty and is a member of DOCHAS. Sharan Kelly, Tearfund CEO, is the current Chair of DOCHAS.

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