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María and her mother, Adela, holding the 2019 Trócaire box which featured their story.

Trócaire’s Lenten Appeal is Ireland’s biggest annual fundraising campaign. Each year, tens of thousands of people across Ireland come together to show their solidarity with people facing poverty and injustice overseas.

The Lenten Appeal is powered by schools and parishes across Ireland, north and south, who hold a range of fundraising events to raise vital support for Trócaire’s work.

The Trócaire box is distributed to schools across Ireland. The Trócaire box is accompanied by a detailed teaching resource which allows teachers and students to explore issues of global justice in great depth.

As well as raising funds for Trócaire’s work, the Lenten Appeal also increases young people’s knowledge and interest in global justice.

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The Trócaire Box is an iconic symbol of global solidarity. For almost 50 years, people in Ireland have filled boxes each Lent to show their solidarity with people living many thousands of miles away.

Boxes are distributed through schools and parishes each Lent. The box is primarily aimed at primary school children. In order to increase their understanding and affinity, the box features the story of a family and child of primary school age. This is to show children in Ireland the similarities of young people around the world, and also the challenges some young people in the developing world face.

The box is accompanied by a detailed teaching resource that allows students and teachers to explore issues such as climate change and human rights. The material is presented in a way that fosters a sense of global solidarity – a belief that we are all the same and we have a responsibility to each other and to our planet.

Meet some of the Trócaire box families:

Daniel Okweng

Daniel (left) with his brother Emmanuel in 2018.

Daniel was 9 years old when he featured on the Trócaire Box in 2012. Back then, his family was struggling to get back on their feet after years of violent conflict in northern Uganda. They had spent two years living in a camp with 8,000 other displaced people. With your help, our Lenten Appeal helped Daniel and his family – as well as many more like them – get access to land. The family’s life is now much better. Today, Daniel is doing well at school. His family have land, a steady income and, above all, hope for the future.



Josiane Umumarashavu

Josiane visiting Ireland in 2017 poses with the 2004 Trócaire Box.

In 2004, Josiane Umumarashavu was a 13 year old whose family was still trying to recover from the devastation of the Rwandan genocide. Her father was among the victims of the brutal violence that tore Rwanda apart a decade earlier.

Josiane featured on the 2004 Trócaire Box. Today, 15 years later, Josiane is married with a beautiful baby boy. Graduating with a qualification in business management and accounting, she now works in Trócaire’s office in Rwanda.

“Trócaire made my dreams come true,” she says. “Thanks to Trócaire supporters, not only was I able to go to secondary school, but I then went to university. I am very proud that I now work for Trócaire and can help others, as well as taking care of my baby son. I want to say a big thank you to Trócaire supporters in Ireland – you have helped to change my life and that of my family, and you should be proud that you are helping so many people.”


Digna Portilla Amador

Digna in 2019 holding the 2011 Trócaire Box.

In 2011, the Trócaire box featured Digna when she was five years old. Digna is from La Confianza, in the Aguan Valley in Honduras. Her family was at risk of losing their land. Powerful businessmen wanted to evict them to make way for large-scale plantations.

Today, Digna and her family have managed to stay on the land they were at risk of losing. The family is now in a much better situation and are now entering each day filled with fear.

Digna loves going to school. Her favourite subject is technology, but she really dislikes maths. She wants to follow in the footsteps of her uncle’s friend by becoming a hairdresser. “I want to learn from him and, one day, be a stylist and have my own salon,” she says.

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