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Packie's Legacy in Ethiopia (Video transcript)

A Trócaire production

Margaret - Packie's sister: "He was always doing good - he was and that's what the priest said the day he died."

Margaret Rooney, Trócaire: "Every year in Trócaire we are incredibly grateful to receive donations from people who have taken the extraordinary step of remembering the world's poorest people in their will.

Packie Lee from Manorhamilton in Leitrim was one of those people.

This is his grand-niece Carrie on the right and that's me, Margaret Rooney on the left. I work with Trócaire. Earlier this year Carrie and I travelled to Ethiopia to see first-hand the difference that Packie's wonderful gift is making there. But before we left for Ethiopia Carrie caught up with her grandmother Margaret, Packie's sister, in the house where Packie lived."

Carrie - Packie's grand-niece:  "I think the good thing is, is that his memory lives on as well through his work and what he's done."

Margaret - Packie's sister: "I'd have loved now Carrie, to be going where you are going. If I had two good legs, I would be there, you know. But I'm glad now that you are going to take over and I know you'll do a good job."

Margaret Rooney, Trócaire: "On arriving in Addis Ababa signs of a construction boom are all around. Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In this land-locked country, home for 90 million people, many sectors are booming but we're here to see Trócaire's work in agriculture. It's a big sector that employs over 80% of Ethiopia's workforce and has faced many challenges.

Leaving the city we travelled south for 4 hours to Hossana. Here we were struck by the beauty of the landscape, but sadly because of climate change, the rain has become unpredictable, making it much harder for families to grow food. Sometimes the rain doesn't come at all. Even when it does, there isn't always enough water to grow food that will last into the months ahead."

Carrie - Packie's grand-niece: "As you can see over here we've got a traditional thatched cottage. You can just about see smoke coming off the top.

It's 7.45 in the morning here so they are likely to be doing their breakfast."

Margaret Rooney, Trócaire: "For farmers surviving on tiny plots of land life is getting more and more difficult. That's why Trócaire is supporting people to irrigate their land, rear livestock and learn new ways to farm. It's wonderful to think that Packie's donation is making this possible.

We travelled further into the countryside where we met Ester Lucas who invited us into her home to meet her family."

Carrie - Packie's grand-niece: "Thanks again for inviting us to your lovely home. Can you tell me exactly what the project has done for you and your family?"

Ester: "Three and a half years ago the project gave us goats. We've crossbred the goats with ones from the goat research centre.

Every year we have births of goats now. We've a lot of goats now around the house. I also got improved seeds and vegetables to plant in my garden. And I got training on how to take care of the goats."

Carrie - Packie's grand-niece: "You seem like a very happy, positive family, and healthy as well. Do you think your children have benefitted as well?"

Ester: "I can see that my children have benefitted. I have eight children. I can see the difference between the younger and older ones.

The older ones didn't have enough food when they were young and so they did not do so well in school.

But my younger ones who've had enough food are doing well in school. They are performing very well because now I can feed them three times a day."

Carrie - Packie's grand-niece: "It's been a real privilege to have been invited along by these families and to have them share their stories with ourselves. it gives us the opportunity to see exactly what these projects do for these families and it's not only supporting them, it's supporting the community around them as well."

Margaret Rooney, Trócaire: "At a Trócaire supported health clinic we saw how young children are helped when crops have failed to provide enough. We met Sister Celine and her team who provide healthcare and feeding programs to children under five."

Sister Celine: "I'm Sister Celine Louise, coming from India. Now I'm 26 years working in this health center."

Margaret Rooney, Trócaire: "They give sick children a milky drink that provides all the nutrients they need to recover. Usually children stay in the clinic for two to three weeks. 

It was also wonderful to see the pride and energy behind a farming coop driven by an inspiring group of young people in the region."

Cooperative member: "I'm part of this cooperative. We are a vegetables and fruit cooperative. We are preparing the land for the vegetables. And for Irish potato too."

Margaret Rooney, Trócaire: "The group built a water reservoir to irrigate four acres of land where they are now growing vegetables for the village and raising cattle."

Carrie - Packie's grand-niece: "This has been a really special experience for me - seeing the projects that Packie has helped support through his Will. If you are thinking of leaving a legacy gift, please do so. I'm extremely proud that my uncle chose to."

Margaret Rooney, Trócaire: "There is so much life-changing work being brought about in Ethiopia because of kind people like Packie. His legacy lives on in these remote parts of Ethiopia and closer to home in Trócaire where we will not forget his tremendous kindness and the hope he has brought to so many."



Each year Trócaire is privileged to receive legacy gifts.

These special gifts significantly contribute to important projects, brining light and hope to people throughout the developing world.

Video: Packie's Legacy in Ethiopia