International development agency Concern Worldwide has praised its charity shop volunteers and support group in Derry for contributing to its £1.7 million appeal to help the world’s hungry.
The local support group and more than 30 bookshop volunteers helped to raise £25,000 last autumn for Concern’s Food in a Fragile World appeal – which included matched funding from the UK government.
The money was raised from a street collection and art auction in Derry, and from selling donated pre-loved books at the charity’s Ferryquay Street shop.
Concern’s Derry Support Group member Charlie Glenn said: “Yet again, the people of Derry have been very generous – not only digging deep into their pockets but also giving up their time to help. When people knew their donations would be doubled, they gave that little bit extra.
“It’s a fantastic amount raised and when you think about what it can achieve, it’s pretty impressive.”
Across the UK, the public donated just over £850,000 to the appeal which was then doubled to £1.7 million by the UK government as part of its Aid Match scheme.
The matched funding has already helped to establish a new project to tackle hunger and build sustainable sources of food in Burundi, East Africa, where more than 1.7 million people in the country do not have enough to eat and every other child under the age of five is malnourished.
Rose Caldwell, Concern’s UK Executive Director said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone in Derry who supported our appeal. It is only through the generosity of people across the country that we are able to help ensure a brighter future for the world’s most vulnerable people.”
The project in Burundi will focus on improving the nutrition and health of 43,000 children under the age of five in one of the worst-affected areas with high levels of food insecurity.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “Concern’s work in Burundi focuses on children who are often the most affected by malnutrition in fragile areas of the world. I would like to thank the public for their generosity in helping to raise such a life-changing sum.”
“Every donation made by the public has been matched pound for pound by the UK government, meaning we have doubled the difference that Concern can make in getting vital food, water and medicine to thousands of children in Burundi.”