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£3.2 million raised by SCIAF’s Wee Box Appeal

The charity are on track to receive an aid booster following their ‘tremendous’ success — By Ryan McDougall

SCIAF’S Wee Box Big Change Lenten appeal has this year raised almost £3.2 million.

Lord Bates, the UK Government’s minister for international development, revealed the news at Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral Primary School in Motherwell on Tuesday, August 28.

Scottish Catholics, schools and parishes raised £1,663,918, which will be doubled to £3,198,056 thanks to Aid Match funding from the UK Government.

The scheme saw funds from 25 UK appeals between September 2017 and June 2018 doubled by the government.

SCIAF run their Wee Box campaign each Lent, and this year’s total saw an increase of £2.1 million compared with a total of £1.1 million from last year’s campaign, which did not have Aid Match funding.

This year’s Wee Box focused on families living in the rural Stung Treng region of Cambodia

The Lang family—whose story was told earlier this year in the SCO—featured on SCIAF’s Wee Boxes that were given to parishes and schools throughout Scotland.

After having struggled for over a decade with poverty, ill health and poor sanitation, SCIAF helped the Lang family and others overcome their struggles and fight back against illegal fishing and land grabbing.

The money raised in Scotland for SCIAF will provide Cambodian families with the tools and knowledge to grow more food, improve their access to clean water, protect their rivers and forests and enable them to better deal with natural disasters.

Lord Bates, who will help decide whether SCIAF obtain Aid Match Funding again next year, said this year’s campaign has been a ‘tremendous success,’ and that ‘the success of parents, children and teachers, all involved in a community effort to help children less fortunate than themselves has been phenomenal.’

When asked if SCIAF will receive Aid Match Funding next year, Lord Bates said: “They have a great track record. I think the key part of it is that they involve the children and their parents in this particular charitable effort.”

He added: “It’s a huge competition for these things because there’s so many organisations with great causes.”

As well as Cambodia, SCIAF last year provided long-term practical support and emergency aid to more than 207,000 people in 27 countries across the globe, including South Sudan, Malawi and Colombia.

Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral primary raised £1,000 for SCIAF this year through crazy hair days, pyjama parties and other activities.

Because of the UK Aid Match scheme, their total donation has been raised to £2,000.

The school has supported the charity for 26 years, and has given £35,500 to SCIAF in total.

Headteacher Maria Shields stated that she and the school are ‘really proud today to be associated with SCIAF,’ and that she was happy to see the children were all so involved in this year’s appeal.

She added: “I’m really proud of the children for everything they do—their commitment to giving aid across the world is commendable, it really is.

“Not just the children, but their families, because their parents are really involved and motivated to help and for their children to appreciate that we are very fortunate.

“Our school motto is: living to learn and learning to live and I really feel the work of SCIAF is teaching our children the meaning of that.”

Paul Drury, SCIAF’s fundraising manager, observed the generosity of both the school and Scotland as a whole.

“The thing is, this isn’t about SCIAF,” he said, amid a chorus of smiling children chanting ‘Wee Box’ as a photographer snapped away in the playground.

“It’s to show the sheer generosity of the Scottish public and what they can achieve through their donations. Because of the Aid Match this year as well as a general increase in donations, it’s been an absolutely huge increase which will go a long way in helping countless families in places in need.”


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