Celebrating 21 years of small miracles and changed lives

Methodist Relief and Development (MRDF) will be celebrating 21years as a registered charity at the Methodist Conference on Monday26 June. New President of the Methodist Conference the Revd. GrahamCarter will mark the event by blowing out the candles on a'virtual' birthday cake.

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

MRDF Director Kirsty Smith said: 'We can all be part of tacklingpoverty. We may feel overwhelmed by the scale of the world'sproblems, but even doing something small can change someone's lifefor the better. Over the last 21 years MRDF, with the support ofchurches in the UK, has helped tens of thousands of individuals andcommunities in Africa, Asia and Latin America to reach their fullpotential - these small miracles are worth celebrating!'

MRDF will also be launching its new Small Miracles Harvest Pack atthe Conference. The free pack provides everything you need tocelebrate Harvest with MRDF, including activities, posters, worshipmaterials and stories of 'small miracles' in Nepal, Ethiopia andCameroon. Radika Rokaia from Simikot village in Nepal is picturedon the cover, holding a bowl of fresh apples that she has growndespite the area's rocky terrain, low rainfall and freezingtemperatures. New techniques taught by MRDF partners havetransformed her diet: instead of only eating dried food during thewinter months, she is now able to grow fresh fruit and vegetablesthroughout the year. Conference representatives will each a receivean MRDF 'identity card' on arrival, encouraging them to find outmore about Radika's life and the lives of four other individualswho 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 cakeserved at Conference will be the first of many, as hundreds ofchurches and groups across the UK mark MRDF's birthday at Harvesttime with special services and fundraising activities. The pack isinitially being mailed to over 3,000 contacts, with many moreorders expected over the summer.

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