Call to support International Day for Migrants

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Banbridge woman and Christian Aid worker, Gemma Murray is asking the local community to help light the way for refugees on International Day for Migrants.

The date for this event is Sunday December 18, and the charity is asking Banbridge people to mark it by remembering the millions of refugees and displaced people fleeing conflict, war and violence around the world.

The overseas aid charity recently launched its ‘Light The Way’ Christmas appeal to raise funds so they can continue to provide critical support to some of the millions of people who have been forced to leave homes and countries.

Said Gemma: “More than 65 million people worldwide, many of whom are children, have been forced to flee their homes and countries through fear and uncertainty in the worst global displacement crisis of our time.

“When conflicts happen, it is the poorest people who suffer the most. Everyone is affected, but the poor are the most vulnerable.”

The conflict in Syria alone has forced 4.9 million people to seek refuge in neighbouring countries and more than seven million are displaced within Syria. Every day, thousands of people are making life-threatening journey across to Mediterranean in search of refugee in Europe.

It is not just Syrians who have been forced to flee. Ongoing violence and instability in South Sudan, DRC, Afghanistan, Colombia and Nigeria have resulted in the huge scale movement of desperate people.

Gemma continued: “Christian Aid is responding, in Europe, and in other countries including Syria and Iraq. We are providing immediate basics including food, clean water, warm clothes for the winter, shoes and hygiene kits.

“This Christmas we are asking people to remember displaced families, men, women and children, around the world. Donations to the Christmas appeal will help us continue to provide much needed aid to refugees and displaced people. You can help us bring them relief, hope and light the way towards a brighter future.”

Just £5 could give an essential set of clothes to a person fleeing violence, £11 could supply a week’s worth of hygiene essentials to a family of five in Serbia, £20 could provide a basic set of clothes and shoes, and £50 could provide seeds and tools to help a family forced out of their home in the DRC to grow food to feed themselves.To donate to the Christmas Light The Way appeal, visit www.christianaid.ie/Christmas

Christian Aid is the official relief and development agency of 41 British and Irish churches, and works to support sustainable development, stop poverty, support civil society and provide disaster relief in South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

It also campaigns to change the rules and systems that keep people poor, speaking out on issues such as tax justice, trade justice, climate change, and Third World debt. Christian Aid has fought poverty for more than 65 years.

Christian Aid’s essential belief is summed up in the statement: ‘We believe in life before death,”often used alongside the organisation’s logo.

It works with 570 local partner organisations in 45 countries around the world to help the poorest communities.

It is a major member of the Stop Climate Chaos, The Fairtrade Foundation and Trade Justice Movement campaigns.