Newry woman has just the ticket for a winning summer

Newry Times News Posted by
info@newrytimes.com
Saturday, May 19th, 2012
Community

Joanne with Zainab, who is a beneficiary of Concern’s livelihoods programme in Rwanda

Newry woman, Joanne Smyth is calling on her home city to lend its support to the Concern Worldwide Northern Ireland summer raffle. The local woman has pledged her support to the aid agency’s annual raffle by sharing her experiences of working as a humanitarian worker in poverty stricken countries. Concern Worldwide first began working in Rwanda in 1994, providing aid and relief. Eighteen years on and the charity continues to work in four sectors: livelihoods, agriculture, primary education, nutrition and health, livelihoods and AIDS.

The local woman joined the international development charity in 2006 and is now Assistant County Director in Rwanda, which is slowly rebuilding itself after the Genocide in 1994. Joanne also spent two years in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she was inspired by the courage and resilience of women displaced by conflict, many of whom have been victims of sexual violence.

During a recent trip back home to the city, Joanne spoke to Newry Times and said, “The most interesting and rewarding part of my job is talking to people in the communities where Concern works, understanding their challenges and priorities and listening to them describe their hopes and vision for the future and seeing how Concern can help them to achieve this. When I was asked to support the Concern Northern Ireland summer raffle by sharing my experiences of Rwanda, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Concern works with some of the world’s poorest people who have experienced a degree of hardship and suffering in their day-to-day life that is hard for many of us living in Northern Ireland to imagine.”

Joanne Smyth shares a meal with Epiphanie Mukamusoni and her daughter who are beneficiaries of a Concern livelihoods programme

Joanne added, “I have seen first-hand how even the smallest donation can make a huge difference to their lives, Knowing that people have reached out to them, gives programme beneficiaries a sense of confidence and hope, as well as providing them with tangible life improvements such as eating more than once a day, sending their children to school, or being able to farm their land successfully.”

To buy tickets for the Concern Summer Raffle, please contact our raffle hotline on 01628 511705. Each ticket costs £1. Closing date for entries is 15th June and winners draw will take place on 22nd June. 1st Prize: £3000 cash, 2nd Prize: £1000 cash, 3rd Prize: 25 runners up will receive a £20 M&S gift card.


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