Hastings area churches are joining together to support children and young women in the Congo.
Many young females in Congo have experienced abuse and war and do not have access to hot water for washing or basic feminine sanitary items
Their plight is the subject of the new 2019 Loaf Project fund raising campaign.
The Loaf Project was started by Hastings churches with the aim of helping those who live in some of the poorest parts of the world.
Loaf is encouraging local churches and people from all our different local communities to get involved to help raise the £15,000 target for Hastings.
A street carol singing event in December started the ball rolling for the 2019 campaign. Members of the St Helen’s Residents’ Association joined singers from St Helen’s Church and raised £350 in just one and a half hours.
Loaf Chairman, Dr John Geater MBE says, “We have already teamed up with our partner Eben-Ezer Ministry International in the Democratic Republic of Congo to provide water-filters, and it was through them that we became aware of the terrible plight of teenage girls living in the cut-off, remote DRC Minembwe Plateau.
“Many of these girls have suffered the ravages of war and abuse, losing their parents to diseases like HIV and having to raise younger siblings.
“They have no hot showers or soap and cannot afford expensive feminine products, which like sex- education, are ‘taboo’ - never spoken of in their very traditional culture.
“Having no sanitary care, they get teased by other pupils and even their teachers, and drop out of school, missing out on important education with no hope for the future.
“Our plan is for Hastings churches and people in the local community to raise £15,000 by the end of 2019 – enough to pay for 450 ready-to-use hygiene kits, plus sewing machines and training in how to run a business, so that young women can make these locally in the future. This badly needed money will also pay to re-train teachers in 300 Plateau schools.
“We want to appeal to everyone in our community to help us hit or exceed our target by giving a one-off donation or by raising larger sums by doing something challenging or fun on your own, or with your family, friends, work colleagues or church community. it’s incredible to think that people here are moved by the issues facing girls living nearly 4000 miles away.
“We have come up with an A-Z of FUNdraising ideas listed on our website, to get you all started.”
To find out more visit www.loafproject.co.uk/freedomproject or for the latest news www.facebook.com/Loaf-Project