BY Ian Dunn | February 18 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

12 Susan Boyle

SCIAF’s Wee Box gets a star-studded big push

Susan Boyle (above) and Nicholas McDonald join Kaye Adams and Bishop Joseph Toal to launch charity’s 50th anniversary Lenten campaign, backed by UK Government fund matching

SCIAF this morning launched its annual Lenten Wee Box, Big Change appeal with a little help from Bishop Joseph Toal of Motherwell, singing stars Susan Boyle and Nicholas McDonald (below) and pupils from Scottish Catholic schools.

This year is SCIAF’s 50th anniversary and every pound given to the 2015 Wee Box appeal—that focuses on helping woman farmers in Malawi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo—will be doubled by the UK Government.

Bishop Toal welcomed everyone to the Ash Wednesday launch in Glasgow and said being named the new bishop president of SCIAF was a ‘great honour and responsibility.’

“The SCIAF Wee Box Appeal provides vital funds for the life changing work done by SCIAF in the world’s poorest countries,” he added. “It’s wonderful that the Government is double the money raised this year and I want everyone to be as generous as they can, even if it hurts a wee bit!”

The campaign encourages people to give up something for Lent and donate the money they save into one of the famous Wee Boxes for the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund, the aid agency of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.

Susan Boyle and Nicholas McDonald said they were delighted to be taking part.

Ms Boyle said she would be giving up sweets this year because it was a great cause.

“I’ve been a SCIAF supporter for more years than I care to remember because I know that they help the poorest of the poor,” she said. “I would encourage everyone to pulls the stops out and really help SCIAF in every way you can.”

Nicholas McDonald said that he had always helped SCIAF when he was a pupil at St Ignatius Primary and it had been ‘an honour to ask to be involved’ today.

“I’ll be giving up crisps which will be hard!” he said. “But you know it’s worth it when they’re so many people who don’t have enough to eat.”

BBC broadcaster Kaye Adams was also at the launch and said though she didn’t come from a Catholic background she was delighted to support SCIAF because she ‘shared their values.’

Philippa Bonella, SCIAF’s head of communications and education, said the charity was focusing this campaign on women farmers because ‘most of the food in the world is actually grown by women.’

“You’d think it would be on big farms but actually it’s still women trying to support their families,” she said. “That’s worth highlighting. And often women in these situations do have very difficult lives, and in keeping SCIAF’s mission to help the poorest of the poor by helping them we’re also helping their families.”

The celebrities and SCIAF staff were joined by pupils from St Aidan’s High, Wishaw; Holyrood Secondary, Glasgow; St Columba’s High, Gourock; St John’s Academy, Perth; St Andrew’s Primary, Kilmarnock; and St Francis Xavier’s, Primary, Falkirk.





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