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01 June 2016

Big Church Day Out funds more than a million meals

Big Church Day Out funds more than a million meals

Big Church Day Out festival-goers have generously contributed to more than a million meals to those suffering extreme hunger, says Tearfund.

The international development charity received enough pledges of £5 per month to fund 1,066,530 meals for people in need.

More than 22,000 people attended the annual music festival over the bank holiday weekend.

Steve Adams, Tearfund's head of global brand and communications, said: "Disasters reduce people's ability to live safely and have an impact on health and a family's ability to earn a living.

"We are grateful for the generous response of festival-goers to the campaign, which will help communities affected by the complex consequences of disaster."

Tearfund will help provide meals and support people to go on to lead more secure and fulfilled lives.

Every pledge of a regular gift made at Big Church Day Out will be matched for the first 12 months up to the value of Tearfund's target of one million meals.

Will Torrent, a Tearfund ambassador and award-winning chocolatier and pâtissier, gave a baking masterclass at the festival, and shared the story of Amarech, a mother of seven that he met during a visit to Ethiopia.

Amarech's family had suffered after erratic weather patterns and El Niño resulted in two failed harvests. With support from Tearfund, Amarech was able to join a self-help group and improve her circumstances.

Amarech said: "We were in darkness. Our lives were difficult and we borrowed from lenders at high rates when we faced emergencies.   

"With the self-help group, we know how to better manage our resources - seed, grain and money. We save for difficult days."

Tearfund continues to work to relieve the suffering of people in the Sahel region in Africa through interventions such as long-term support for livelihoods, farming and self-help groups, alongside emergency food aid.

The organisation is currently appealing for funds through its Give Like Jesus campaign.

Will commented: "It was incredible to see how Tearfund works through local churches to unlock people's potential and in doing so, helps them discover new ways to help themselves.

"The self-help groups in particular are clearly having a very positive impact on communities in Ethiopia. Seeing the support for Tearfund's Give Like Jesus campaign this weekend made me realise there are thousands of generous people with a real passion to help others like Amarech."

You can support and find out more about Tearfund's Give Like Jesus campaign by visiting http://www.tearfund.org/disastersappeal