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I’m 4 the Fatherless

I’m 4 the Fatherless – 11 Jun 2015

Father’s Day is fast approaching, whether or not you are a father yourself we would like to invite you, to help us stand with the many children who have become fatherless this year. Children who have lost their father or both parents to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, children fleeing from conflict in the Middle East and children recovering from the trauma of the cyclone in the Philippines and more recently the earthquake in Nepal – all need our help.

This Fathers Day, we are partnering with Team Hope and are gathering together in 13 locations around the country supported by over 50 churches to walk, pray and fundraise for fatherless children. Want to join us? Find out about a walk in your area here.

Register here and receive your ‘I’m 4 the Fatherless’ pack which includes a t-shirt and sponsorship card. Suggested donation for registration is €20.

Make a difference this Father’s Day!

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Nepal Earthquake - need grows following a second quake

Nepal Earthquake - need grows following a second quake – 14 May 2015

The latest quake is similar in magnitude to the first and was felt as far away as Dhaka in Bangladesh and Delhi in India. The extent of the damage is still unclear at this stage but our partners on the ground are assessing the immediate need.

Tearfund’s Country Director for Nepal – Steve Collins, was working at the Tearfund offices in Kathmandu at the time.

‘Everything suddenly started shaking. It wasn’t too severe at first and we all managed to get out of the building, then when we were in the yard outside everything started shaking very strongly and we were all bending down on the ground to stop from falling over, and keeping as far away from the walls as possible.

I cycled to find my wife and children and there were trees down in the road and some walls, but it’s difficult to tell because lots of walls are already down. What was really noticeable was everyone was out in the street and everyone was clearly very shaken. There is a lot of fear and nervousness on the street.

The earthquake felt like it carried on for a long while and even when it died down the earth was shaking under our feet, like standing in a boat. It probably lasted about a minute, and there were quite a lot of aftershocks.

We’re all outside at the moment. It’s very difficult to know what to do. This has definitely added to the sense of fear and uncertainty.’

Steve was interviewed yesterday by SKY News. You can watch the video here

The initial quake 18 days ago killed over 8,000 and left millions in need of aid and assistance. Tearfund staff and partners trained in emergency response are already in Nepal following the first quake. More funding is urgently needed to provide shelter, food and sanitation. Teams have been trekking over landslides and mountains to some of the remotest unreached communities. We urgently need your prayers and donations.

To donate to our Nepal Emergency Appeal please follow this link.

Thank you to the many churches and individuals who have already responded generously. Please continue to pray for the country of Nepal, for all those involved in the relief efforts, for Tearfund partners and staff on the ground and for all those affected by both of these earthquakes.

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Nepal Earthquake Update

Nepal Earthquake Update – 6 May 2015

As the search for survivors of last weeks earthquake comes to an end, the impact of this natural disaster is starting to sink in. Mass cremations are taking place and the stench of death emanates from collapsed houses where many bodies are still trapped in the rubble underneath. Livestock, food grains and family members are buried under great piles of rock; grocery stores, workshops and livelihoods are destroyed. The risk of the spread of disease is high and people are drinking dirty water and don’t have enough to eat.

In the midst of this, our partners on the ground are finding reasons to thank God; the earthquake happened at midday on a Saturday, schools and offices were closed. There was little transport on the roads and families were together, not scattered. Also, people were awake and able to move out of collapsing buildings rather than asleep in their beds.

Kathmandu, a city of two million people is perched on the edge of the tectonic plates that form the Himalayas. An earthquake of this magnitude had been predicted for this part of the world for many years, with estimates that the death toll would be in the region of 100,000. At the moment the total death toll for the entire country stands at 7,557 with 14,536 people injured.

Tearfund have been active in reducing poverty in Nepal since 1970. Local partners on the ground include the United Mission to Nepal and the International Nepal Fellowship. Our partners are trained in earthquake preparedness in anticipation of an earthquake and so are well placed to participate in the relief and recovery efforts.

Please help us to rebuild Nepal in the aftermath of this earthquake. Click here to donate a gift of €50 which will provide a family with a months supply of food and cooking utensils. Please also consider making a monthly donation to our disaster and relief fund (click here to download a regular giving form) which enables us to respond immediately when a disaster strikes.

It is estimated that in the days since the earthquake nearly half a million people have left the capital Kathmandu to return to their homes and villages to help with relief work there. However due to landslides and damaged roads this exodus which is through two main access roads – is chaotic. For those trying to coordinate relief efforts access to fresh water and food supplies is the biggest challenge.

Some of the worst affected communities are in isolated mountain areas and are extremely hard to reach due to landslides and difficult terrain.

  • Please pray for relief workers as they overcome these challenges to get help to where it is needed most.
  • Please pray that all those who are injured, mourning and traumatised will draw on God’s comfort and strength at this time.
  • Pray for protection for children, women and the elderly – all of them extremely vulnerable to trafficking, abuse and crime in the chaos of disaster.

Please consider being a part of the Christian response to the rebuilding of Nepal, donate now and help us to bring help to where the need is greatest.

Click here to download a prayer power point for Nepal that can be used by churches, groups or individuals.

Above picture:_International Nepal Fellowship (INF) aid workers prepare medical and other aid supplies for distribution to quake survivors

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Partners provide emergency aid to Nepal quake survivors

Partners provide emergency aid to Nepal quake survivors – 1 May 2015

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world at the best of times, but the earthquake last Saturday has brought this country to its knees. Over 7,000 people have been killed and nearly 14,000 people have been injured.

So much of this beautiful country has been destroyed – homes, crops, historic sites, roads and more. Many are camping outside but temperatures are low and those who are injured and suffering from shock are at risk of respiratory infections.

Tearfund partners in Nepal are providing urgent medical treatment, food and water to survivors. Dozens of volunteers from Rescue Network Nepal are helping communities in the badly affected districts of Makwanpur and Lalitpur, supplying plastic sheets for shelter and emergency food.

They have also been treating injuries, such as broken limbs and open wounds, and within the first few days 300 people had received medical care. The teams have also been helping rescue people from collapsed buildings and transporting the seriously injured to hospitals.

It’s estimated that a quarter of Nepal’s population – 8 million people – have been affected by the earthquake and the country’s Prime Minister fears the death toll could rise to 10,000 as information from remote areas comes in.

The earthquake is the worst to hit Nepal in living memory and it’s feared that nearly one million children have been severely affected by it. As well as damage in Nepal, the earthquake has claimed about 50 lives in Bihar state in neighbouring India.

Please support our Nepal Earthquake Appeal, you can donate here.

Click here to download a prayer power point for Nepal that can be used by churches, groups or individuals.

Reality of Trafficking

Reality of Trafficking – 1 May 2015

1.2 million children are trafficked every year, that is one child every 30 seconds and 2.4 million people across the globe are victims of human trafficking at any one time. Each of these people have stories, similar to so many others but unique to themselves.

Amran is a mother of eight from the Horn of Africa. Two years ago, her son embarked on a journey to Europe, trying to find a better life. But he fell prey to traffickers. This is her story, in her own words.

‘Sadiiq is my eldest son. He is 17 years old. He was always a good and kind-hearted boy. He used to be clever at school. He was my heart.

When I heard that he was in Addis Ababa, I was shocked and worried. I knew he didn’t have money to pay for food. I made every effort for his return but I didn’t succeed.

Seven days later, he contacted me from near the border between Ethiopia and Sudan. ‘Dear mother, I emigrated to Europe to find a better life for you and the rest of the family,’ he said. ‘Don’t worry and pray to keep me safe.’ I asked, ‘Who gave you the money to travel?’ and he replied, ‘My friend.’

I tried to convince him to come back home. But he continued his travels.

I met a lot of people whose children have emigrated. Finally I realised that smugglers take young people across borders without payment and later force them to pay all expenses and a ransom. I became anxious, lost sleep and was afraid for his life. I didn’t have one dollar to save him. His father died seven years ago. There are no assets, except a small yard next to my house. Most of the youths migrating from my country have been from poorer families.

Then, I received a phone call from a stranger asking me to speak with my son. The stranger told me to pay him US$4,000 in smuggling fees: otherwise, he said, ‘I shall cut his legs then arms until he dies.’ I replied, ‘I will look for the money. Give me some time, please.’ He then passed the phone back to my son, who started crying and told me that he had been beaten. Before I could question him further, the call was ended abruptly.

To get the ransom money, I informed my family, relatives abroad, friends and members of the self-help group I am part of, and pleaded for their help.

Fortunately, they collected and granted me part of the money. To raise the remaining sum, I sold my land. The smugglers freed my son, who had suffered several injuries, and he made his way to Tripoli. I was now forced to raise more money to fund his costs to cross the Mediterranean Sea and get to Europe. I am still paying back the money.

Finally, he arrived in Italy but was still not happy. He called to tell me, ‘It is different from what I expected; there is no place like home. I have caused you stress and miss you, Mum, and I can’t send you even one dollar. I’m sorry, Mum.’’

Amran’s son remains in Italy where he is awaiting the outcome of an asylum application.

Please pray about the issue of trafficking that is a reality in every country around the world, including our own:

Pray for politicians and agencies across Europe as they discuss the best way to deal with migrants being trafficked across to Italy.
Pray for Tearfund partners around the world that are educating churches and communities about the danger of trafficking.
Pray that vital legislation that will tackle human trafficking and help end the exploitation of women in Ireland is brought into law quickly.

You can read more about trafficking and Tearfund Ireland’s No Child Taken campaign here.

*This article first appeared in Footsteps, Tearfund’s magazine for people working at the frontline of the fight against poverty across the world.

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7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal

7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal – 25 Apr 2015

Tearfund’s Disaster Team are warning that Nepal’s largest earthquake for 80 years – which struck early on Saturday April 25th – ‘is likely to be our worst earthquake scenario: a “perfect-storm” disaster’.

The 7.8 magnitude quake, which was centred between the capital Kathmandu and Nepal’s second largest city Pokhara, has brought down many buildings. Tearfund is treating it as ‘cross-border’ disaster for its impact in India also. Over 7,000 people have already been confirmed dead with almost 14,000 injured. The country’s Prime Minister fears the death toll could rise to 10,000 as information from remote areas comes in.

Many bodies are still trapped under the rubble and rain and landslides are making it even more difficult to reach people in remote communities. The UN estimates that 8 million people have been affected by this earthquake.

Right now, Tearfund staff and partners are dealing with the most urgent needs, such as emergency shelters, food and safe water. The next few days are critical in the race to save lives.

Please pray for all those affected, that those who have been injured receive treatment quickly. Pray for speedy and effective rescue efforts to reach those who are trapped in destroyed buildings. And please pray for Tearfund’s Christian partners and staff as they decide how to best respond.

Click here to download a prayer power point for Nepal that can be used by churches, groups or individuals.

To donate to our Nepal Earthquake Appeal please click here.

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