People across Northern Ireland are being asked to back a charity appeal that will help thousands of families in north-east Uganda to rebuild their lives following a generation of conflict and instability.

Launching Self Help Africa’s Give2Grow campaign in Belfast, charity spokesperson Frankie McClure said that until 15th May, all public donations to Self Help Africa’s Give2Grow appeal will be doubled by the UK government.

He explained that the locally-based charity, which formerly operated as War on Want NI, is appealing for support to rebuild the lives of 1,000 families in Teso, affected by years of violence and struggle. Collections to the appeal are being accepted at Self Help Africa charity shops across Northern Ireland, while a programme of events is being organised to support the campaign.

Mark Ireland, Self Help Africa’s Head of Programmes, explained that many households are still struggling to restore small farms that have grown wild following a generation of neglect. “Teso is one of the poorest areas of Uganda, with more than half of the people living on less than 15p a day.

“We’re supporting households to restore their small farms, so that they can grow and earn more from the land, rebuild their communities, and provide a better life for their families,” Mark said.

Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt congratulated Self Help Africa for its important initiative and said that backing from the UK government meant that donations to Give2Grow would go twice as far. “In sub-Saharan Africa women grow 70% of all the food grown on small-holdings, but these women and their families are only just surviving.”

People can also support the campaign by visiting www.selfhelpafrica.org or by contacting the charity’s Belfast office on tel 028 9023 2064, or by dropping in to the charity’s local shops in Ballynahinch; Banbridge; Bangor; Belfast at Andersonstown, Antrim Road; Ballyhackamore, Botanic, Cregagh; Coleraine; Downpatrick; Dunmurry; Holywood and Lisburn.

In early 2018 War on Want Northern Ireland merged with Dublin-based Self Help Africa. The organisation implements farming development programmes across sub-Saharan Africa, and will work with approximately three million people, this year.

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