Trócaire Mission Trip – The West joins fight for a just world

Last week (7th-13th November), a number of diocesan personnel chose to leave the comforts of home behind and embark on the now annual church mission trip with Trócaire. The chosen country for this year’s trip was Kenya as it will be the focus of the 2016 Lenten campaign. Throughout the week, the group witnessed just a small flavour of the tremendous work carried out by Trócaire on behalf of the Irish people.
The nine delegates who made the journey included Fr. Tom Brady and Ms. Maura Garrihy – Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora and Ms Siobhán Bradley – Archdiocese of Tuam .
The mission trip was led by Trócaire’s Kenyan country director – Mr. Paul Healy who has been working in the most poverty stricken areas of Kenya for almost a decade. Realising that Trócaire works incredibly hard in a number of different ways throughout Kenya, Paul chose wisely the projects that we were to see over this short period of time.
“Poverty is something real in Kenya. It has a real smell and it has a real face. It exists on a very large scale. For many it looks like no shoes, no access to support, corruption in its leaders and institutions, no medical support, HIV, living conditions we can’t even imagine in the ‘Developed’ World, commercial sex just for ‘survival’, drought- no means of farming or vegetation, filthy water, no access to education, and much, much more” – Ms. Maura Garrihy
Some projects and issues highlighted included visiting the slum area of Kangemi in central Nairobi and a more rural slum in the area of Nakuru where HIV & Gender based violence is on the increase.
Trócaire through its work with the local partners are offering solutions and programmes to address these issues. One very effective programme visited is the Love and Hope Centre in Nakura being run by Sr. Patricia Speight (Belfast) and her team. The delegates met with the faces and heard the stories of the young people availing of this life saving service. “Thank you Trócaire for not forgetting about me” were the words of one young bed ridden mother of two.
Other projects included making a visit to the family chosen as the focus of this year’s Lenten campaign. Here we travelled to Tharaka Nithi – a rural village three hours outside Nairobi where we met Teresina, a young mother of six whose husband had to leave home to look for work due to the serious consequences of climate change. Their story echoes the lives of so many in this rural village as up to 80% of families in this region do not have enough food. Here we saw the stark and cold reality of poverty at its highest as we met with children living in huts the size of our bathrooms, who had no shoes, change of clothes, and with one child even wearing a Facebook t-shirt without an awareness of what this multi-million social media website is. The gap between their world and ours was certainly highlighted once more.
“Trócaire could not carry out this invaluable work to support and empower these people without the generosity of the Irish people. And as we approach this year of Mercy (Trocar in Irish) let us all dedicate ourselves ever more intently to ‪#‎jointhefightforjustice‬” – Siobhán Bradley‬
For more information on Trócaire’s great work, please check out www. Trocaire.org.

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