Shoppers in Bow Street stopped and stared as two Lisburn grandmothers were seen carrying two huge loads of firewood on their backs on Friday.
The two Christian Aid volunteers, Mrs Margaret Moore and Mrs Pat Bates, said they were doing it to highlight the plight of women in Ethiopia who have to work long back-breaking hours to collect and sell firewood, if they want their children to eat even one meal a day.
Both Margaret and Pat are long-time supporters of Christian Aid and each year act as volunteer collectors, raising funds for Christian Aid’s vital work with the poor overseas.
Margaret said: “I’ve been moved by the story of a 29-year-old mother called Loko who lives in a remote part of Ethiopia. Four times a week Loko has to make a back-breaking eight-hour trip to find and gather wood. When she sells the firewood she earns just £1 – barely enough to feed her children.
“Christian Aid want to give Loko, and other women like her, the means for her to earn a decent living. A cow, for example, will mean that Loko can sell the milk and butter to earn enough money to feed her children properly and send them to school.”
Margaret’s friend Pat added an appeal for everyone in and around Lisburn to show their support this Christian Aid Week, May 10-16.
Pat said: ”Please put what you can into the Christian Aid Week red envelope when it comes through your door. All the envelopes are delivered and collected by volunteers like me.
“If we don’t get around to your house, then please still consider giving online at www.caweek.org or phoning in a donation to Christian Aid at (028) 9592 2015.