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Charity wants public to skip to help coronavirus sufferers

Founder and director of the Children in Crossfire charity, Richard Moore is calling on people to join a skipathon to help vulnerable children.
Seamus McKinney

The Children in Crossfire charity has issued an appeal to people to join an online skipathon to raise funds to help vulnerable children and families in East Africa cope with the coronavirus crisis.

Director Richard Moore said vulnerable children and families were being forced to deal with the worst plague of locusts in 70 years on top of the pandemic.

The charity is urging people to do 1,000 skips on Saturday June 13 to raise money for communities in Ethiopia and Tanzania.

Founded by Mr Moore, Children in Crossfire was established to tackle poverty and help children in war zones. Mr Moore's motivation came from his own experiences and suffering as a child in Derry. At the age of ten in 1972, he was blinded when he was struck by a rubber bullet while walking home from school. In adulthood, he met and developed a close friendship with the then retired British officer who fired the rubber bullet.

He said it was vital that essential resources be made available in Ethiopia and Tanzania.

“It's horrifying to think of the impact of Covid-19 in those communities and countries, given the depth of poverty that already exists and the lack of adequate healthcare provision.

“In addition, a dreadful locust plague – the worst in more than 70 years, is decimating crops across east Africa. It is now clear that a great many of the people we support are facing a humanitarian disaster,” he said.

Mr Moore said Children in Crossfire would be delivering emergency feeding programmes in Addis Ababa.

“We need to provide additional PPE, medical resources and equipment for St Luke's hospital in Ethiopia, to help the team there treat patients with Covid-19.

“This is on top of our long-term support for the hospital's life-saving therapeutic feeding unit which will be more essential than ever when crops fail and food shortages kick in. St Luke's serves a catchment area of more than one million people which underlines the pressure they will be under.”

Children in Crossfire can send skipping ropes to anyone who needs them. The organisation is suggesting people record their skipping preparations over the next fortnight building up to the actual skipathon on June 13 when all should join in. Full details are available by contacting coordinator, Shauna O'Neill at or at

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