09 June 2006

Celebrating 21 years of small miracles and changed lives

Methodist Relief and Development (MRDF) will be celebrating 21 years as a registered charity at the Methodist Conference on Monday 26 June. New President of the Methodist Conference the Revd. Graham Carter will mark the event by blowing out the candles on a 'virtual' birthday cake.

Conference representatives will then tuck into a giant chocolate cake, made with Fairtrade ingredients, ensuring farmers in poor countries are paid a fair and reliable price for their crops.

MRDF Director Kirsty Smith said: 'We can all be part of tackling poverty. We may feel overwhelmed by the scale of the world's problems, but even doing something small can change someone's life for the better. Over the last 21 years MRDF, with the support of churches in the UK, has helped tens of thousands of individuals and communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America to reach their full potential - these small miracles are worth celebrating!'

MRDF will also be launching its new Small Miracles Harvest Pack at the Conference. The free pack provides everything you need to celebrate Harvest with MRDF, including activities, posters, worship materials and stories of 'small miracles' in Nepal, Ethiopia and Cameroon. Radika Rokaia from Simikot village in Nepal is pictured on the cover, holding a bowl of fresh apples that she has grown despite the area's rocky terrain, low rainfall and freezing temperatures. New techniques taught by MRDF partners have transformed her diet: instead of only eating dried food during the winter months, she is now able to grow fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the year. Conference representatives will each a receive an MRDF 'identity card' on arrival, encouraging them to find out more about Radika's life and the lives of four other individuals who have benefited from the work of MRDF partners.

The Harvest Pack also includes a Fairtrade birthday cake recipe, devised by celebrity chef Jane Asher. It is hoped that the cake served at Conference will be the first of many, as hundreds of churches and groups across the UK mark MRDF's birthday at Harvest time with special services and fundraising activities. The pack is initially being mailed to over 3,000 contacts, with many more orders expected over the summer.

MRDF's website is also being redesigned and expanded to coincide with the release of the Harvest Pack.

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