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Looking back – 2017

In Turkana County, Northern Kenya, 2017 began as the third consecutive year of drought. In response to the crisis, and in addition to our usual education, water and agriculture projects, we rolled out emergency feeding projects reaching 6,000 primary school children at risk of malnutrition.

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As the drought continued we hosted a benefit gig Aidlink for Turkana at the National Concert Hall. We are so very grateful to the choirs and artists who performed, and to everyone who came along to show solidarity and help raise funds for our work in Turkana. I am delighted to report that rain has finally come in Turkana! We are cautiously optimistic that things are improving in the region.

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Alongside the drought response, our usual development programme continued in 2017, reaching thousands of the world’s poorest people across Kenya and Uganda. Over 15,000 people now have access to safer, cleaner water for the first time in their lives, and over 12,000 children are now attending a healthier primary school with improved water and sanitation facilities!

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The very special visit from our Kenyan colleagues and friends, Mercy, Peris and Willimena to Dublin, was a major highlight in the Aidlink calendar this year. With a jam-packed itinerary of fundraising, development education and project-planning, the visit was also an important opportunity for many of our donors, big and small, to hear first-hand about the work on the ground, and learn about the impact of their support.

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So what’s in store for 2018?

Next year our work will focus on Nomadic Pastoralist communities – communities where poverty rates far exceed national averages. In Kenya, working with the Masai and Turkana communities, our programme will make school a safer, healthier, happier place for primary school-children; constructing water and sanitation facilities at schools, training teachers, children, mums and dads, and empowering individuals and communities to advocate and act for their own human rights and needs. Funds permitting, we hope to expand our work over the Ugandan border to include Karamojong communities too.

During 2018 we will again facilitate a number of immersion projects, linking communities in Ireland and Africa, building solidarity and showcasing our development work in practice.

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But to continue our work, we need your help. If you are making a Christmas donation to charity this year, please consider giving to Aidlink. Your gift, no matter how big or small, will make a difference.

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Finally, on behalf of the Board and staff at Aidlink, thank you so much for your support in 2017!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Anne Cleary
Executive Director

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Aishling, Myself and Tom celebrating Aidlink’s win at the Chartered Accountants Ireland Published Accounts Awards 2017, not a fortnight after our win at the 2017 Good Governance Awards!⭐️⭐️⭐️

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