Deacon Blue stars ask Falkirk district residents to help women brutalised by conflict

Aid charity SCIAF is asking Falkirk district people to repeat last year’s generous support to help limit the impact of Coronavirus on their vital work overseas.

By Roy Beers
Saturday, 28th March 2020, 3:48 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th March 2020, 3:48 pm

The money raised will help women affected by widespread rape in the troubled eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where atrocities carried out by rogue militias have left thousands of women and girls injured, traumatised and in urgent need of help.

In 2019 Falkirk district residents raised more than £20,000, including over £2000 from Denny, £2700 from Grangemouth and £800 from Larbert, helping to bring the total donations from Scotland to £925,869.

SCIAF’s Director Alistair Dutton said: “We’re extremely grateful for everything we receive from the people of Falkirk every year.

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Deacon Blue stars Lorraine McIntosh and Ricky Ross launch Sciaf’s (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund) 2020 WEE BOX BIG CHANGE appeal having just returned from seeing the charity’s work in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Pictured at Glasgow's St George's Tron Church in the city centre.

“Every global crisis hits the people we’re working with in the poorest parts of the world hardest, and the coronavirus is no different.

“In these very difficult times, I urge you not to forget thousands of women and girls who need our help to recover from horrific sexual violence they’ve suffered.

“However, bleak things feel here, their circumstances are much worse. Please give whatever you can to the Wee Box appeal to help us provide the help they need.

“The money you give will be doubled by the UK government until May 20 and will make an even bigger difference to some of the world’s poorest people.”

Money given to SCIAF’s Wee Box appeal this year will help the charity’s life changing work around the world, while match funding from the UK government will provide a lifeline to ,000 extremely vulnerable women affected by sexual violence in the Democratic Republic

of Congo.

Survivor Bernadette (60) is still suffering from the atrocity enacted by armed men who attacked her village a decade ago, committing terrible acts against many local people.

Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh of Deacon Blue recently travelled to meet women the charity is supporting.

SCIAF gives victims medical care, trauma counselling, free legal support to prosecute their attackers and help so they and their families can become financially independent.

Lorraine said: “The scale and brutality of sexual violence in eastern DR Congo is extremely disturbing.

“The lives of thousands of women and their families are being torn apart.

“The strength and courage of the women I met was truly inspiring and many more urgently need our help.”

Ricky Ross said: “Years of brutality and conflict in the areas we visited are taking their toll. Women and children are bearing the brunt of this.

“The money raised from the appeal will allow SCIAF to help thousands more women and girls to get the urgent help they need, and I would urge everyone to please give what you can.”

Each year people across Scotland give up a favourite treat such as coffee, chocolate or wine, put the money they save in a SCIAF Wee Box and then donate it to help the charity’s work in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

There is more information on SCIAF’s campaign, and a link for donations, at https://www.sciaf.org.uk/