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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 – 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.
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.
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.
‘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 – 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.