30 November 2006

Thank you! MRDF receives £250,000 this Harvest

The Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF) announced the results of its Harvest appeal this week, with over £250,000 received in donations over the Harvest period.

'We are very grateful to all the churches who made a special effort to celebrate MRDF's 21st birthday this year by dedicating their Harvest offering to long-lasting development work,' said MRDF Director, Kirsty Smith. 'The theme of 'small miracles' struck a chord with many and we are grateful for the generous response. We can now use these new donations to make more small miracles possible in the world's poorest communities.'

Hanworth Methodist Church was one of many groups that baked a birthday cake at Harvest to celebrate MRDF's 21st birthday. Minister Keith Rowbottom said: 'Happy Birthday to MRDF was sung in the service and the cake was enjoyed by the congregation afterwards! As a small church working in an area of social deprivation in West London, but seeing gradual growth and development, Hanworth Methodist Church readily identified with the theme - small things can make a real difference."

The benefits of the appeal will be felt by people like Radika Rokaia, from Nepal, whose story featured in MRDF's Harvest resources. Despite living in a remote and harsh environment, she has learnt how to grow fresh food all year round thanks to agricultural training from MRDF partners. Giving an update this month, Radika explained that she has grown cauliflower, tomatoes and cabbages for the first time this harvest. She said: 'This year, there were so many different crops that if one was attacked [by pests] there were still plenty of vegetables from other varieties.' Thanks to the initial support that they received from MRDF partners, Radika's group has made a profit of 2,000 rupees this season, which is equal to a third of average annual income in the area, simply from growing vegetables.

'We know that MRDF supporters are keen to ensure that each donation makes as big a difference as possible,' said Amanda Norman, MRDF's Supporter Relations Director. 'That's why we are pleased to report that more Harvest donations than ever before were gift aided this year.' In addition, the charity is especially thankful for an increase in regular income through new standing orders set up this Harvest. This will secure an extra £40,000 over four years to support long-term development projects, which offer new skills, knowledge and opportunities to those living on the edge, helping them to withstand the effects of natural disasters.

MRDF makes small miracles possible for those living in the world's poorest communities through: long-term development, emergency relief and campaigning against the causes of poverty. For more information, visit www.mrdf.org.uk.

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