St Michael & All Angels To Help People Of Rwanda
Msaada will be its overseas charity for the next three years
A charity supported by the BBC correspondent and local resident Fergal Keane to help the people of Rwanda has been chosen by St Michael & All Angels Church as its overseas charity for the next three years.
Msaada (the name means 'help' in Swahili) was founded by Irish journalist Billy Kelly, with support from Fergal Keane, to help restore dignity to the forgotten victims of the Rwandan genocide. The charity provides high quality dairy cows in calf, along with full training and veterinary support, to people who are living below the poverty line.
Msaada will be one of three charities supported by the church this year in its Lent and Christmas Appeals and at the Bedford Park Festival in June. The church already supports the Upper Room, which helps the needy in west London, and the Mulberry Centre in Isleworth, a drop-in centre for those affected by cancer.
Leslie Lyle, the chair of the charities group at St Michael’s, said: “This is a wonderful young charity. By providing families with an in-calf cow and appropriate training and support, Msaada offers them a sustainable future.
“The families not only benefit directly from the milk but can also sell their surplus milk and use the manure to improve agricultural yields, thus lifting their families out of poverty and achieving financial independence. The first female calf is donated to another family and so the cycle continues. Msaada really impressed us with this simple but sustainable approach to helping Rwanda's forgotten genocide survivors."
Journalist and author Bill Kelly mentored Keane during his first days as a reporter on the Limerick Leader in Ireland back in 1979. Kelly and Keane have remained firm friends since.
“I am deeply touched that Chiswick is answering the call to help people in Rwanda, especially through an organisation that puts power into the hands of the people themselves,” said Keane.
“I am so grateful always to Chiswick as a place which has given me calm and a sense of belonging – things which I am conscious are missing for so many people in the world where I spend my time reporting. This support for Msaada is an example of open heartedness which makes me proud of the place I live."
You can find out more about Msaada and make a donation online.
Last year, St Michael & All Angels raised more than £39,000 for charities and less-well off churches, through its appeals and events such as the Bedford Park Festival and the Chiswick Book Festival.
February 9, 2015