African mis­sion

Bray People - - News -

LO­CAL WOMAN Dorothy Ja­cob is cur­rently in­volved in or­ga­niz­ing events and co-or­di­nat­ing a busy pro­gramme of fund-rais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in Wick­low, to sup­port the work of Self Help Africa.

At the cen­tre of the cam­paign will be Ire­land’s first ever ‘Na­tional Sand­wich Day’, to take place on Fri­day, Novem­ber 14.

The long term last­ing pos­i­tive im­pact that the work of the Ir­ish de­vel­op­ment agency is hav­ing in Africa was un­der­lined when an Ir­ish del­e­ga­tion vis­ited a 20 years old ir­ri­ga­tion scheme last week, and found a com­mu­nity that had been trans­formed by the project.

Vi s i - tors on the fact-find­ing visit to Ethiopia with Self Help Africa learned that an ex­ten­sive ir­ri­ga­tion project that was de­vel­oped with fund­ing sup­port from Bob Geldof’s ‘Band Aid’ in the late 1980s was still thriv­ing, and that more than 23,000 fam­i­lies in the re­gion were earn­ing a liveli­hood from the ven­ture.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of a num­ber of na­tional news­pa­pers who vis­ited the Adami Tulu area and re­ported to their read­ers that ‘the Band Aid legacy was liv­ing on’ amongst the peo­ple of Ethiopia, and that the work of Self Help Africa had trans­formed an area that had tra­di­tion­ally been blighted by drought.

Re­ports on the re­mark­able project were de­scribed by Dorothy Ja­cob as ‘a real boost’, as she pro­motes ‘Help Plant the Seeds of Change Cam­paign’ to raise fund­ing, and build the pro­file of Self Help Africa in the county over the Au­tumn months.

‘Peo­ple al­ways talk about the im­por­tance of last­ing de­vel­op­ment, but the peo­ple who trav­eled on the fact find­ing trip to Ethiopia were able to see, and to re­port on the very real im­pact that a scheme that was un­der­taken 20 years ago, was still hav­ing to­day,’ said Dorothy.

‘I am con­tact­ing peo­ple and en­cour­ag­ing them to sup­port Self Help Africa over the com­ing weeks, and it is great to be able to tell them, with com­plete con­fi­dence, that the projects work, and that by em­pow­er­ing African peo­ple to help them­selves, Self Help is able to trans­form the lives of the con­ti­nent’s ru­ral poor– per­ma­nently’.

The Ir­ish vis­i­tors who met with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Band Aid funded ‘Adami Tulu Farm­ers Co­Op­er­a­tive’ heard that the group’s num­bers had grown from an ini­tial 480 mem­bers to a present level of nearly 23,000, and that farm­ers were pro­duc­ing sur­plus quan­ti­ties of fruit, veg­eta­bles, wheat, maize and beans ev­ery sin­gle year.

Not alone have the coop mem­bers worked their way out of poverty – they are also cre­at­ing em­ploy­ment each year for hun­dreds of ca­sual labour­ers in the area.

To find out more visit www.sand­wich­day.ie, or e-mail Dorothy Ja­cob on w i ck l o w @ s e l f h e l - pafrica.com.

An Ethiopian farmer who ben­e­fit­ted from an ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem funded by char­ity work.

Dorothy Ja­cob, Wick­low county co-or­di­na­tor of Self Help Africa’s ’Help Plant the Seeds of Change’ au­tumn fundrais­ing cam­paign, pic­tured at the launch with Dy­lan (8), El­liot (9) and Jas­mine (5) Goode from Del­gany.

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