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A group of people from Wexford who were in Nepal when the country was hit by an earthquake in April have raised over €170,000 for Trócaire’s relief efforts in the country.
Riverchapel parish priest Fr. Tom Dalton was one of eight people from Wexford who had just landed in Nepal when the earthquake struck on April 25th. The earthquake devastated large parts of the country, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless.
“We were very thankful that none of our group was harmed,” says Fr. Dalton. “We were also very conscious that we could leave but the people of Nepal, who had been so kind to us, were the ones who had to pick up the pieces. So we decided that we wanted to do something to help and we approached Trócaire and offered to support their appeal.”
Trócaire launched an emergency appeal for Nepal within hours of the disaster happening. Working through local partner organisations in Nepal, Trócaire has brought shelter, clean water and other vital aid to 220,000 people in Nepal.
The organisation’s response has been greatly helped by fundraising efforts in Wexford. Through a variety of events and initiatives, Fr. Dalton and other local organisers have raised over €170,000 for Trócaire’s Nepal appeal.
Among the events held was a concert at the National Opera House and benefit nights held at Kelly’s Hotel, Whites of Wexford and Tara Vie Hotel. Local schools also got behind the fundraising efforts, with bake sales held at Riverchapel National School and Gorey Community School, while St. Mary’s National School held a non-uniform day to support the campaign. Several other events were held, including charity runs and a link-up with Apple Green petrol stations.
“When we started out we very optimistically hoped to raise €100,000,” says Fr. Dalton. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would end up raising over €170,000. We have been astounded by people’s generosity. People have been so good and have been very enthusiastic about supporting the various events that have been run to support the people of Nepal.
“We really want to thank everybody who attended an event or contributed to the efforts in any way. It is wonderful to hear about the great progress Trócaire is making in Nepal and it is very heartening to know that the people of Wexford have contributed in a significant way to this.”
Trócaire’s focus for the first three months of the relief efforts was to get shelter to people before the monsoon season struck. It is now monsoon season in Nepal and once the rains clear Trócaire will move into a longer-term approach, building permanent, earthquake-resistant housing for people in Nepal.
Trócaire’s Conor O’Loughlin distributing shelter in a community badly affected by April’s earthquake. Trócaire has delivered aid to 220,000 people in Nepal thanks to the fundraising efforts of people in Ireland.
Trócaire’s Fintan Maher has paid tribute to the various communities in Wexford who got behind the appeal and organised events to raise money.
“To raise over €170,000 in three months is a phenomenal achievement,” he said. “Everybody involved deserves enormous credit – from the organising committee who put together a wonderful night at the National Opera House, to the schoolchildren who baked cakes. The hard work of people in Wexford has allowed us to get shelter, water and other aid to people who lost everything when the earthquake struck on April 25th.
“I know from speaking with our Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal that people there have been touched by the level of support and solidarity being shown to them from communities all over the world. Trócaire could not help people without the generosity of our supporters so I want to thank everybody who took part in an event or made a donation to the events in Wexford. It has made an enormous difference to the lives of people in Nepal.”