THE small change dropped into this year's Trocaire box will help some of India's poorest people speak out for their right to improve their lives.
Trocaire hopes to raise more than €8m this Lent.
Director Justin Kilcullen said the money collected in the boxes distributed yesterday at churches and sent to schools would help families in the remote village of Jhilligoan in Odisha state, one of the poorest parts of India.
Ambika Paraja (9), from the Jhilligoan village of 50 tribal families in Odisha, is the face of the 40th anniversary Trocaire box, pictured, which features a design by children from Northampton National School in Kinvara, Co Galway.
Mr Kilcullen said the charity was working through local organisations to help people advocate for their rights and to work with local government to improve their village. He said the Jhilligoan community now had clean water, a road, a basic school, a health worker and farming practices had improved.
Ambika lives with her farmer father Hari (38), mother Dharama (32), who is a health worker, and two siblings.
Mr Paraja received a basic house through the Trocaire Christmas gifts scheme. He has learned how to use better seeds to produce stronger crops. He now dreams that his children will become teachers.
The Lenten box campaign runs until Easter Sunday, March 31, and funds will go to projects in all 27 countries where Trocaire works.