Northern Ireland news

Charity launches Give2Grow campaign

PEOPLE are being asked to back a charity appeal which will help thousands of families in north-east Uganda to rebuild their lives following a generation of conflict and instability.

All public donations to Self Help Africa's Give2Grow campaign will be doubled by the UK government, allowing the charity to reach twice as many people.

The Northern Ireland charity, which formerly operated as War on Want NI, is appealing for support to rebuild the lives of 1,000 families in Teso, affected by years of violence and struggle.

Collections are being accepted at Self Help Africa charity shops, while a programme of events is being organised to support the campaign.

Farming families in this area of Uganda, like Angella Atim's from Teso, will benefit.

She was 13 when she lost her parents. Although a decade has passed she is still struggling to make a life for herself and her young family.

The young mother described her return to a small family farm that had been looted and burned by the Lord’s Resistance Army.

"We left here with nothing and we came back to nothing," she said.

Today, Angella farms just one acre of the land she inherited. With only the very basic hand-tools and little other support, she said that it had been near impossible to cultivate more, as she cares also for her infant son, two younger brothers, and a sister.

Mark Ireland, Self Help Africa's Head of Programmes, said many households struggled to restore small farms that have grown wild following a generation of neglect.

"Teso is one of the poorest areas of Uganda, with more than half of the people living on less than 15p a day," he said.

People can also support the campaign by visitingwww.selfhelpafrica.org or by contacting the charity’s Belfast office on 028 9023 2064.

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