Refugees and migrants on their way to western Europe approach the border into Croatia near the Serbian village of Berkasovo
Christian Aid is asking Offaly people to mark the UN International Day for Migrants, on December 18, by remembering the millions of refugees and displaced people fleeing conflict, war and violence around the world.
The overseas aid charity recently launched its ‘Light The Way’ Christmas appeal to raise funds so they can continue to provide critical support to some of the millions of people who have been forced to leave homes and countries.
Rosamond Bennett, Chief Executive of Christian Aid Ireland, said:
“More than 65 million people worldwide, many of whom are children, have been forced to flee their homes and countries through fear and uncertainty in the worst global displacement crisis of our time.
“When conflicts happen, it is the poorest people who suffer the most. Everyone is affected, but the poor are the most vulnerable.”
The conflict in Syria alone has forced 4.9 million people to seek refuge in neighbouring countries and more than 7 million are displaced within Syria. Every day, thousands of people are making life-threatening journey across to Mediterranean in search of refugee in Europe.
It is not just Syrians who have been forced to flee. Ongoing violence and instability in South Sudan, DRC, Afghanistan, Colombia and Nigeria have resulted in the huge scale movement of desperate people.
“Christian Aid is responding, in Europe, and in other countries including Syria and Iraq. We are providing immediate basics including food, clean water, warm clothes for the winter, shoes and hygiene kits,” Rosamond Bennett added.
“We are profoundly grateful for the generous support for our work that the people of Laois and Offaly have shown. Last May, over 70 people joined the Tullamore Churches Together for the Slieve Bloom Hike and raised €1,700 to help refugees.
Over 70 walkers on the Slieve Bloom Hike
“This Christmas we are asking people to remember displaced families – men, women and children – around the world, who are in desperate need. Donations to the Christmas appeal will help us continue to provide much needed aid to refugees and displaced people. You can help us bring them relief, hope and light the way towards a brighter future.”
Just €6 could give an essential set of clothes to a person fleeing violence, €13 could supply a week’s worth of hygiene essentials to a family of five in Serbia, €24 could provide a basic set of clothes and shoes, and €50 could provide seeds and tools to help a displaced family to grow food to feed themselves.
To donate to the Christmas Light The Way appeal, visit www.christianaid.ie/Christmas