Derry GOAL walk for Syria on St Stephen’s Day

Some of the young Syrians who are benefiting from the work on the ground of Irish charity GOAL.
Some of the young Syrians who are benefiting from the work on the ground of Irish charity GOAL.

Local people are being urged to “go the extra mile for GOAL” on St. Stephen’s Day in support of the charity’s work at the coalface of the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

Local people are invited to gather at the meeting point for the Derry GOAL Mile at Sainsbury’s Car Park, Strand Road on Monday, December 26, at 12.00 noon.

People can just turn up on the day with a handful of loose change to throw in the collection bucket before making their way on foot, bike, roller blades, or with buggies to the Peace Bridge, across to Ebrington Square and back.

A spokesperson for the organisers said: “The continued conflict in Syria has led to the internal displacement of families, with millions of people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Millions of others are refugees in neighbouring countries with not much more than the clothes on their backs. Irish humanitarian charity GOAL has been working in Syria since 2012, with current projects benefitting over two million people in the war torn country. GOAL’s immediate priority is to help sustain life and its focus in Syria is on delivering food and non-food items such as blankets.”

She added: “In Syria, GOAL staff also face formidable security challenges and risks in providing the necessary humanitarian assistance. They frequently confront bombings, shelling and getting caught up in clashes between rival parties in the conflict.

“GOAL Miles are held at over 140 venues around the country so when you walk along the River Foyle next Monday, you’ll be walking in solidarity for the Syrian refugee with upwards of 30,000 other participants the length and breadth of Ireland.”

The first GOAL mile in Derry was organised by Sister Bernadine, who at the time was principal of Nazareth House P.S. Sr. Bernardine has since retired and is living in Sligo but she said she is delighted that local people have taken on the challenge of organising the GOAL Mile and making it a popular family Christmas tradition in Derry.