An Irish development charity has launched a novel Lenten appeal that can also help households with their spring cleaning.
Gorta-Self Help Africa is asking people, for each week of Lent, to select an item that they no longer use or need and donate it to charity. The charity is asking people to set aside a ‘Lenten bag,’ and for each of the six weeks of Lent pop an unwanted item into it.
When Lent is over, people can drop their bag into their nearest Gorta-Self Help Africa charity shop, or get in touch with the charity and arrange for their bag to be picked up.
“We all have goods in our homes and our wardrobes that we never use,” says Gorta-Self Help Africa retail manager Maggie Dwyer. “For Lent we’re asking people put an item a week into a bag, and then give it to us so that we can re-sell it to support our charity work. Our network of shops across the country is always on the lookout for items that we can sell, and we rely on the generosity of people to keep us going. Donating unwanted clothing, DVDs, bric-a-brac and other goods is one way that you can help to fund the work that we do in Africa.
For reasons of safety electrical items cannot be re-sold. Gorta-Self Help Africa works in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa, supporting rural poor communities to grow more food and earn a better living on their small farms.
“We work mainly in agriculture because that is the most effective way to lift people out of extreme poverty,” Maggie says. “Some 70 per cent of Africa’s rural poor rely on small-scale farming for their survival, and the United Nations estimate that improving farm production is far and away the most effective way to end poverty for millions of people,” Maggie Dwyer said.
To find out more about the charity’s work visit www.selfhelpafrica.org Those interested in finding out more about the Lenten appeal or to donate goods can call (01 ) 6778880.