A DONEGAL aid worker recently returned from Angola has as brought thanks all the way from Africa as the county celebrates St Patrick’s Day.
“Working so far away from home I’m always proud to tell people that I’m from Ireland, and in particular being from Donegal” said Mary Teresa MacBride from Greencastle.
“In Angola Ireland has a reputation of being a caring and giving country because of the incredible contribution we have made to helping the poorest people.”
Mary Teresa works for development agency Trócaire, whose projects provide agricultural support, water and healthcare support to thousands of communities.
Trócaire’s work also encourages people to stand up for their human rights and tackle injustice; work that she says is vital for preventing poverty in the long-term.
“The progress being supported by people from Donegal is having a lasting impact and I see this change growing all the time.
“It’s wonderful when you meet families who were once on the brink, but now have enough food and are contributing to their own community and society, because of donations from Ireland.
Ireland was recently ranked as the most charitable nation in Europe and the second most generous nation worldwide in a study carried out by the Charities Aid Foundation.
The report ranked Ireland second globally in terms of the percentage of the population who give money to charity each month, who volunteer time to charity, and who help strangers.
“We have a strong tradition of empathy with those less fortunate and even as we go through a recession, that tradition has been retained,” said Mary Teresa.
“At the moment there are Trocaire boxes in homes, schools and parishes across Ireland. Irish people have made this box a symbol of hope for so many people and a firm part of our history of making the world a more just place.
“The generosity of Irish people is quite remarkable and it is something we should be extremely proud of, especially as we celebrate all that’s great about our nation on St Patrick’s Day.”
Trocaire’s Lenten campaign runs until Easter Sunday, 8th April. To order a Trocaire box or make a donation call 1850 408 408 or visit trocaire.org or contact your local parish.