Self Help Africa and Gorta complete historic merger
TWO Irish development charities with strong Wicklow connections completed an historic merger last weekend.
Self Help Africa and Gorta unanimously approved their amalgamation at two extraordinary general meetings of their memberships at the weekend. The merger creates one of Europe's largest agricultural development charities working in Africa.
Self Help Africa was established in the early 1980s by Knockananna priest Fr. Owen Lambert and operated for many years across the west Wicklow border in Hacketstown, Co. Carlow.
CEO Ray Jordan said that by working together, Gorta and Self Help Africa would save costs on administration and help more people in rural Africa in the years ahead.
'We do the same thing, in many of the same countries. When we sat down and started looking at this together it made complete sense that we should team up, ultimately for the benefit of the people in Africa that we serve,' he said.
In the coming year the newly merged charity estimates that it will support more than three million people in 12 African countries. The focus of work will be on supporting farming communities to grow more and earn more from their land.
The new charity, to be called Gorta-Self Help Africa in Ireland, will have a turnover of close to €20million, this year.