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Volunteers' Week Day 3 - International Aid - Tearfund

03 June 2016

Volunteers’ Week is a chance to recognise the tremendous contributions made by people on the ground, in their spare time, using their skills, working for the common good. At Tearfund, we’re grateful for the opportunity to celebrate the work done by our volunteers in Northern Ireland, as well as around the world.

As a relief and development agency, Tearfund works where the need is greatest. And what we’ve found is that when a community lifts itself out of poverty, everything changes. Because poverty does more than exhaust, starve, trap and kill people. It destroys their sense of worth, limits their horizons, robs people of the chance to reach their full potential. Tearfund longs for new life and a new sense of worth for people. We do whatever it takes to end poverty and rebuild poor communities. And our work could not be done without the many volunteers – volunteering is just in our DNA. It is the thread that runs through our projects, ensuring excellence and lasting support for communities.

Daphrose Muteho (pictured left) knows this very well. A part of Tearfund’s “Inspired Individuals” programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this mother of 7 (yes, seven!) set up Gratia Counselling Centre in response to the trauma she saw unfold in her community as a result of countless women and girls being raped, as well as children being stolen from their communities and forced to commit horrendous acts of violence. She knew that healing was vital to the peacebuilding effort, so she used her training as a teacher to set up a unique model of counselling support. Daphrose worked on this as a volunteer to begin with, and now is funded to bring it to several schools in the country. The efforts are powered by volunteers who, just like Daphrose, see a need and get to work with what is in their hands.

The fruits of this work are just incredible: children and young people receive the help they need to deal with traumatic events in their lives, and they go on to receive training and equipping so that they can stay in school, and later, earn a living. Just last month, Daphrose celebrated some of her young volunteers winning Amnesty’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for their fight for justice and development in the DRC.

If you would like to help support the work Daphrose and her team do, Diane Holt (pictured right) is hosting a fundraiser on 3rd June. You would be most welcome! You can also donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Diane-Holt2.

Daphrose and her volunteers remind us of Tearfund’s volunteers here in Northern Ireland. They see the need, and they set out to work with whatever is in their hands – by running, baking cakes, hosting wardrobe swaps, helping at events, making films, working with us in the office.

So here’s to all the volunteers we celebrate this week: thank you for the tremendous work you do. It is changing people’s lives.

Diane Holt

For more information about Tearfund visit www.tearfund.org


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