Bishops say: “Let’s double our Lent donations”

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Roman Catholic bishops are urging parishioners to send Wee Box Lent donations to charity SCIAF before May 8 in order to “double their money”.

This year all donations given to the Wee Box appeal before the May 8 deadline will be matched, pound for pound by the UK Government.

This means as many as 20,000 Cambodians affected by poverty, illegal fishing and land-grabbing can be helped.

Every year thousands of generous schoolchildren, parishioners and people all over the country fill their boxes during Lent or organise events to raise money to help the world’s most needy people.

This year the appeal tells the story of how Scottish money is helping families in one of the poorest provinces in Cambodia.

SCIAF’s Bishop President Bishop Joseph Toal said: “SCIAF (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund) supporters are amazingly generous.

“During the Wee Box Lent appeal thousands of people give their time and money to help the world’s poorest survive and thrive.

“However, time is running out to have the UK government double your Wee Box donations so please return your Wee Box to us before the May 8 deadline.”

Cambodian family Lang, Toma and their five children, feature on this year’s Wee Box.

They depend on fishing and farming to survive but were badly affected by gangs coming into their stretch of river and using dynamite and electrocution to harvest huge numbers of fish.

Stocks dropped by a staggering 50 per cent, leaving the family and their neighbours struggling to feed themselves.

Working closely with its local Cambodian partner, Development and Partnership in Action (DPA), SCIAF helped them form a Community Fishing Association.

It strove to establish the villagers’ collective ownership of their stretch of river and their unique right to fish on it.

They also work closely with the police and local authorities to set up regular patrols of theriver to prevent illegal fishing in future, and enable fish stocks could return to levels which can support local families and future generations.

The Langs also received training in how to grow more rice so they can support themselves all year round.

Money raised from the appeal will help SCIAF’s work with poor communities around the world so they can support themselves, overcome injustice and conflict, get an education

and learn new skills, as well as get help when disasters strike.

SCIAF Director Alistair Dutton said a huge thank you to supporters for their continued

commitment to the charity and its work.

“I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who’s filled their SCIAF Wee Box this Lent.

“Thanks to you we’re improving the lives of even more of the poorest people in the world”.

To find out more visit www.sciaf.org.uk or call 0141 354 5555.