UK government support for charity Lent appeal will help thousands in Zimbabwe fight devastating impact of Covid-19 and climate change
TRÓCAIRE, the local overseas development charity, has launched its annual Lent appeal with an announcement that the UK government will match public donations in Northern Ireland which could result in up to £2 million of extra funding.
The ‘UK Aid Match’ initiative will see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) double donations from the public in the North during the Lent campaign which starts this Ash Wednesday 2nd March. This year’s appeal highlights the challenges faced by people in Zimbabwe who are struggling in the face of the effects of climate change and the added challenges of Covid-19.
Siobhan Hanley, Trócaire’s Head of Region in Northern Ireland, said: “Around the world, Covid-19 and climate change have already taken so much from so many. People in Zimbabwe were already facing a daily struggle to provide food, water and education for their families and facing droughts due to climate change, but the Covid-19 pandemic has made this struggle even harder. People living in poverty, especially women, in drought-prone southern Zimbabwe have been disproportionately affected by the long-term impacts of Covid-19.
“The generous support of the public in Northern Ireland for Trócaire’s Lenten Appeal will provide vital support for families as they strive to become self-sufficient. Donations are being doubled by the government through UK Aid Match, meaning even greater impact.
“We are incredibly excited to have received this support from the UK government and it is a recognition of the loyalty and generosity of our donors. It comes as we hope for a more ‘normal’ Lenten Appeal with Mass attendances back, schools open and the iconic Trócaire Box back in homes once again. We are asking the public to support our Lenten Appeal so that we can maximise this matched funding. We are asking supporters to pick-up Trócaire boxes from their local Catholic church or make their donation online at trocaire.org.
“The Lenten Appeal this year features Thandekile, a young mother with two small children who lost her husband to Covid. Thandekile longs to be self-sufficient, so that she can provide a better future for her children. The overarching theme of this year’s appeal is about creating long term, positive change in people’s lives. Ultimately, a drive towards these families being self-sufficient without having to rely on aid. Trócaire turns your compassion into action so that together we can conquer the greatest fears, poverty and injustices in developing countries for positive, permanent change for families like Thanekile’s.
“This Lent, every pound the public in Northern Ireland and across the UK donates by 1st June 2022 will be matched by the UK government up to £2m, doubling the help you bring. These matched funds will enable thousands of people in Zimbabwe like Thandekile to continue feeding their families through climate shocks. We know that there is a lot of pressure on people here at home with rising costs but no matter what the challenges we face here the people of Northern Ireland always step up to the plate when it comes to supporting those less well off,” said Siobhan Hanley.
To find out more about this year’s Lenten Appeal or to make a donation visit www.trocaire.org or call 0800 912 1200.