Wee Box appeal raises £3.4m for Scots charity

Baroness Verma, in her visit to the SCIAF office, with Philippa Bonella and Percy Patrick. Picture: Paul McSherry

Baroness Verma, in her visit to the SCIAF office, with Philippa Bonella and Percy Patrick. Picture: Paul McSherry

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A CHARITY working with some of the poorest people in the world has raised £3.4 million in its Lent appeal - three times more than the previous highest amount.

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (Sciaf) Wee Box appeal sees those taking part give up a favourite treat like coffee or chocolate for the 40 days of Lent while putting the money saved in a Wee Box.

Schools, parishes and individual supporters raised £1.7 million but the appeal received UK Aid Match funding which means every pound received is doubled by the UK Government.

Baroness Verma of the Department for International Development visited the charity’s offices in Glasgow to hear about how the money raised will help women farmers in Africa.

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She said: “Sciaf may be a smaller charity but they are making a massive difference to the lives of people in some of the world’s poorest countries. They are a fantastic example of the immense contribution Scotland is making to the UK’s international development effort and what we can achieve working together.”

Singer Susan Boyle helped to launch the appeal earlier this year, with the help of X Factor finalist Nicholas McDonald and broadcaster Kaye Adams.

Boyle said: “This is an amazing result - beyond our wildest dreams. When I helped to launch the appeal in February I thought it would do really well but I’d no idea it would be this successful.

“It’s really fantastic that people have taken Sciaf’s Wee Box appeal to their hearts and given so generously.

“Many more people who are hungry and poor will now get the help they need to improve the lives and have a better future.”

The money raised by the appeal will help women farmers in Malawi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to grow more food, earn money to support their children, and play an active part in their communities, as well as helping other poor people around the world.

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