Bringing dignity to Lenten campaign
ALL the pennies, shillings, pounds and euro dropped into Trocaire boxes over almost four decades have added up to more than €250m for poverty-stricken regions.
This year, the face of little Digna (5) -- meaning 'dignity' -- from the impoverished community of La Confianza, in north Honduras, will be seen in thousands of homes in Ireland.
The agency's director, Justin Kilcullen, said the charity hopes to raise more than €10m during the Lenten campaign as people have continued to support it "through recession and bad times".
He said the need was still as strong as ever, as the number of people dying each day from poverty -- around 50,000 people -- would fill the Aviva Stadium.
The Lenten campaign gets under way on Ash Wednesday, March 9, and the proceeds will be used to help communities in 27 countries.
Mr Kilcullen has just returned from La Confianza in Honduras, where communities are being tortured and attacked by private security employed by landlords to take their small plots. The charity has helped 62,000 families get legal title to their land in the region.
"In December, little Digna and her family were held at gunpoint and threatened," he said.
Digna Portilla Amador lives with her brother Umberto (8), mother Carmen and her farming father Carlos Umberto Portilla in a wooden shack with no running water.
More information is available online at www.trocaire.org.