24 May 2006

A sporting chance for Tsunami survivors

Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF) partners will feature in a Sport Relief documentary to be broadcast on BBC1 on Wednesday 7 June.

Sport Relief GoesÉAll Out For India follows a group of famous faces as they play a series of cricket matches across India and witness first hand how money raised through Sport Relief is being used to change lives. With former England spinner Phil Tufnell leading them, the NatWest Sport Relief Red Socks face three mighty cricketing challenges - first against two teams who have benefited from Sport Relief money and then the grand finale against a line-up of Bollywood superstars.

MRDF partner organisation, Rural Development Society, received a Sport Relief grant last year to help fishing communities who had lost everything in the Tsunami. This grant, combined with money donated to MRDF by UK Methodist churches, is being used to help people recover from their trauma, re-establish ways of earning a living and regain hope for the future.

In the documentary, TV presenter Dermot O'Leary visits women from a coastal village that was almost entirely flattened by the Tsunami. He joins the women at work picking oysters and visits a clinic in their village set up by Rural Development Society to deal with health problems caused directly by the Tsunami and by the subsequent rise in poverty.

Sarah Hagger, MRDF's Media and Communications Officer, who accompanied the film crew in India, says: 'I was privileged to visit these communities and see for myself that progress is being made, despite the scale of the devastation caused by the Tsunami. It is encouraging that, thanks to this documentary, millions more people will be able to see how MRDF partners are caring for communities in desperate need. The filming itself had a positive effect on morale in the village, as they were touched that so many people in the UK were concerned about what had happened to them during the Tsunami. I'd urge all Methodist churches and individuals who gave to MRDF's Tsunami appeal to watch this documentary, it's an ideal opportunity to see how your donations can have a real impact.'

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