Parishioners at St John the Baptist Church, Upper Falls, have raised £1,125 for a project that will help poor and needy families in villages in Egypt.
The money was raised through the Sunday Club’s Lenten Project, and Don Howe, Northern Ireland representative for Middle Eastern Christian Outreach, outlined the charity’s work at a guest service in Upper Falls Parish on Sunday April 29.
Rector of Upper Falls, the Rev Trevor Cleland, said the money had been collected by filling plastic water bottles with coins – a way of raising not only money, but awareness of how the money will be spent.
MECO will use the funds for its Think and Do project to provide healthy housing for the poor in the Upper Egypt area by installing latrines and a supply of clean water in homes. These simple facilities will improve health, particularly for the younger generation, and healthy habits will replace bad ones, reducing social problems.
According to the World Health Organisation, 1.7 million deaths per year are caused by water related diseases. A combination of safe drinking water and hygienic sanitation facilities is a pre-condition for health and for success in the fight against poverty, child mortality and gender inequality, yet 2.6 million people lack even a simple ‘improved’ latrine. As a result, they remain locked in a cycle of poverty and disease.
The idea of collecting coins in bottles originated with Sunday School Superintendent Helen Sproule. Rev Cleland paid tribute to the parish for the sum raised.
“Every year the sum of money raised has increased and I am very pleased the Sunday Club Lenten Project has raised more than £1,000 this year,” he said.
“Mission is one thing I have been trying to instil in people – the idea that we need to be giving to others. The parish also raises around £4,000 per year in mission envelopes.”
Mr Howe was presented with a cheque from the Sunday Club Lenten Project during his visit.