Mahlet (13) is the girl on this year's Trócaire Box. She comes from a small mountainous village in northern Ethiopia that is suffering from an ongoing drought due to climate change. The community are working harder than ever to support themselves, but the unreliable rainfall is making it difficult to grow their crops. Trócaire is working to change this. With your support we are helping hard working communities in some of the poorest parts of the world to adapt to the changing climate, and grow food for their families to eat. For children like Mahlet, fighting drought means better health and more nutritious food.

Mahlet enjoys going to school and helping her parents on their family farm. Mahlet’s family are small farmers, grazing cattle and relying on the rain to grow cereals and vegetables. But rain is a special event for Mahlet and her family. Last year it rained for just three days in their village. The biggest problem the family faces is drought. They are working harder than ever to support themselves but the unreliable rainfall is making it difficult to grow their crops.

But the land wasn’t always dry. Mahlet’s parents remember a time when the mountain tops were green and covered in vegetation. “When we were young the rainfall was good but now it’s much worse”, Mahlet's parents told us. The effects of climate change are now visible for all to see. The lack of rain is making people hungry and malnourished. “Because of the lack of rain last year, food production was low, so we couldn't feed ourselves for months.” Mahlet’s parents work hard every day to feed their children, but without the resources to cope with the changing climate, they are fighting for their future.

But there is hope. Thanks to your support, the community is building a system to water the land, so they don’t have to rely on unpredictable rainfall. This water irrigation system will enable Mahlet’s family to grow enough food to eat and to earn an income. This time next year, the family will be waiting for crops, not praying for the rain. There are many more communities who need your support. This Lent, please support hard working families to fight drought and hunger - together we can fight poverty and injustice.

Click on this link for the video of Mahlet's Community https://vimeo.com/119324617

Sometimes Lent accidently becomes the season of “Me”. We focus on ourselves our faults and failings and how we can change them and become better. Perhaps the real road to Repentance (which means a change of heart) is to focus on someone other than ourselves. The very act of paying attention to someone else other than myself, immediately begins the process of “a change of heart”. It’s no accident that the “Trocaire Box” arrives for the Season of Lent. The campaigns that Trócaire run are about helping other people, but not through a condescending act of “charity”, but rather by achieving Justice for those who cannot achieve it by themselves.

Fr. Martin


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