By Kim O'Leary
Overseas development charity Trócaire is launching it’s annual Lenten campaign in Co. Kildare and across Ireland this week on Ash Wednesday (14th) which is the six month anniversary of the devastating mudslide that killed hundreds of people in Sierra Leone.
A little girl and her family from the Matome area of Freetown, which was obliterated by the mudslide, feature on the Trócaire Box this year. Kumba (7) and her family were seconds away from death last August 14th. The family woke in the early hours just before the mudslide came down and wiped out their house.
The whole community was devastated and only 20% survived. Estimates put the number of dead at 500 but the true figure will never be known and could be over 1,000.
Trócaire immediately responded to the disaster by providing emergency kits with essential supplies and counselling to help survivors. Over the coming months families will also be supported to rebuild their business and their livelihoods.
Eamonn Meehan, Trócaire’s executive director, said, “As the community continues to try to recover from losing everything, Trócaire is there to provide support. We are only able to do this because of the generosity of people in Co. Kildare. Last year people throughout the county helped to raise €775,305 to support Trócaire’s Lenten campaign through the Archdiocese of Dublin and the Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin allowing us to support hundreds of thousands of people living in devastating poverty or affected by humanitarian crises across the developing world."
He added: "By supporting Trócaire this Lent you can help people like Kumba and her family to rebuild their lives after disaster and tragedy strike. I would like to thank you for your continued support and generosity.”
Trócaire boxes are available from parishes across Co. Kildare, by visiting www.trocaire.org or by phoning 1850 408 408.
Main photo by Kipp Wettsein: Kumba (7) from Sierra Leone appears on the this year's Lents Trocaire Box
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