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Monday, 22nd December 2003

22nd December

Feast or Fast- Somebody should do something!

This Christmas morning while children here wake up and rush down to see what Santa has left, thousands in the third world wake up and hope not for presents but just that somehow they will get through the day. How often is our response: "That is awful, somebody should do something"? Yes somebody should and we want that somebody to be you!

On the 22nd December Young people throughout Ireland will be taking part in a Sponsored Fast for the children in Africa. Bangor based charity (Abaana) are organising this fast and they hope to get as many people as possible involved. "Life in Africa is a struggle for anyone, but the life of a child is even harder. Imagine, growing up in a world where you lack the very basics in life, food, clean water, medicine, shelter, safety, and a bed of your own. Beyond that, there are no toys, no dolls, no footballs, no sweets and treats, at best, a bed of reeds to sleep on." But these are more than just a statistic!

Jonah is 6 years old and HIV positive. He remembers the day when he came to Kampala and the people with him told him to wait by the bridge, he stayed there until night but they never came back. He was left to look after himself, alone in place where he didn't even know. Other street children found him, and they looked after him, and brought him to a home where he is now cared for. Catherine is 16 and was born on the streets. She remembers when she used to beg, people told her to 'go home'! She cried and said 'but this is my home!' Emmanuel was found at Christmas in a plastic bag in a rubbish tip, someone heard a weak cry. So many babies are being abandoned for unknown reasons, some are meant to be found, some are thrown away as if rubbish.

Fast4Africa (Monday 22nd December)

Young people often feel that they are not important, that they haven't a voice and that they cannot make a difference. Fast4Africa is a project, which encourages as many people to take part in a sponsored Fast (or other event) to raise money for children in Africa. The concept is quite simple. Instead of just taking part in the fast we are encouraging you also get as many of your friends involved as possible. By networking you can really make a difference.

What can I do? – Get involved Our goal is to get as many people taking part this Christmas. You can help us by: Taking part in a sponsored event. Get your school, your workplace, your church group involved. If you would like us to send you more information or sponsors forms, get in contact through the website or directly. This year with the money we raise we will build: Water Pumps £5,000 Orphans homes £3,000 Developing our medical Centre £12,000 Helping a Home for Street Children £20,000

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