Thanks to Leader readers

DEAR Editor,

On behalf of Concern Worldwide, I wish to express my grateful thanks to the readers of the Banbridge Leader for their generosity during 2012. This year the people of Banbridge donated approximately £24,639.41 to Concern Worldwide.

Even with the economic downturn, the pressure of family budgets and the increasing demands on local charities, responding to the needs of the poorest people in the world remains a priority for the readers of the Banbridge Leader. It is only through support like yours that our work is possible.

Today Concern works in 25 of the world’s poorest countries, helping people that live in absolute poverty achieve major, sustainable improvements in their lives. As well as our emergency work we place great emphasis on long-term development projects, empowering people to tackle hunger and malnutrition.

In October, I visited Concern’s hunger reduction projects in the remote Chinde District of Mozambique. There, I saw the impact of our work, in helping people like Luisa Chapepa. Her family is part of a Concern-supported garden association. Their quarter-hectare farm had previously only grown enough cassava and rice for the family to survive. Now, thanks to the garden project, they are growing more vegetables, eating better food and have improved their income. With the extra money, Luisa has bought pots, plates and clothes for the family. The garden association plan to double the reach of the project next year and include various beans and sesame seeds, which can be sold at the local market.

This is just one example of how your readers make a life changing and often lifesaving difference to the world’s most vulnerable communities.

However, while so much has been achieved this year, the fact remains that 1 in 8 people will go to bed hungry tonight. But I hope that with your ongoing support we can continue with the fight against hunger together. And with 91p of every £1 donated going directly to our overseas programmes, we are committed to ensuring funds go to where they are needed the most.

Again on behalf of all those who the people of Banbridge have helped, thank you.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all the readers of the Banbridge Leader a very happy and prosperous New Year.

With warmest wishes,

Peter Anderson, Head of Concern Worldwide, NI