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.