Annual Lent fundraiser
SCIAF’s Wee Box appeal has raised more than £2.8m this year.
The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund thanked its supporters for helping people in some of the poorest countries in the world.
The total includes £1.3m of match funding from the UK government.
Each year, Scots up and down the country give up a favourite treat for Lent, such as coffee, chocolate, wine or crisps and put the money they save into a SCIAF Wee Box. Many people, including in schools and parishes, also hold their own fundraising events.
With COVID-19 restrictions in place during Lent 2021, many collection events were unable to go ahead. SCIAF recognises the extraordinary generosity of individuals this year who went above and beyond to donate.
As part of UK Aid Match, this year’s appeal benefited from match funding which means all donations given to SCIAF’s Wee Box, Big Change appeal were doubled by the UK government.
The charity also thanks all schools and parishes involved for their fantastic fundraising efforts. This includes St Andrew’s and St Bride’s High School in East Kilbride where pupils raised over £11,600.
Money raised from the appeal will support SCIAF’s work around the world. This year’s campaign focused on helping children with disabilities in South Sudan access education and life-changing support. SCIAF and its local partner works to tackle discriminatory attitudes towards children living with disabilities and break down the barriers that prevent them from accessing the support and opportunities they need to thrive.
Match funding from the UK government will help to adapt six schools in South Sudan so that pupils with disabilities can access mainstream education. Teachers will be trained to better understand the needs of children with disabilities and how to effectively include them in their classes. The children will receive aids such as wheelchairs, ramps, hearing aids and canes, as well as medical support to help them live more independently and actively participate with their classmates.
Alistair Dutton, SCIAF director, said: “Thank you to everyone who gave so generously to our appeal. We couldn’t have reached this total without the fantastic fundraising efforts from people across Scotland, especially those in parishes and schools.
“This is the second Wee Box appeal we have run during the pandemic and we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of people who have found it in their hearts to donate during this difficult time. We are incredibly grateful.
“Money raised from the appeal will support SCIAF’s work around the world to reduce poverty and give a helping hand to those who need it. And this year’s focus on children with disabilities in South Sudan means we can help them build a healthy, promising future every child deserves.”
Fiona Mullen, head teacher, St Andrew’s and St Bride’s High School, said: “Despite the challenges that the pandemic has given us, St Andrew’s and St Bride’s has continued to support those in need of our help through our ongoing charity work; charity that I believe isn’t simply the benevolent acts of giving but rooted in compassion and love.
"Galvanised by the excellent work of SCIAF and their campaign for 2021, our Sixth Year CARITAS students wanted to take action, not only raising much needed funds, but an awareness of the plight of children in South Sudan. They saw this as the chance for children to reach out to other children.
“With the help and guidance of staff, their ‘Stride to South Sudan’ initiative quickly picked up momentum. Staff, pupils, parents and friends of the school got involved raising an incredible £11,670. I feel very proud and humbled by their empathy and responsiveness.”
Caritas student Hannah Dalziell, S6 at St Andrew’s and St Bride’s High School, commented: “Being involved in the school’s Stride to Sudan for SCIAF really opened my eyes to the issues facing people in some of the world’s most deprived countries and I was so grateful to be able to take part and help raise much needed funds.
"I am beyond thankful to have been a part of SCIAF’s campaign as it really showed how we can help other people and the happiness that comes from thinking about other people. The amount of staff, students and families who came together certainly highlighted how God’s love grows in all of us.”