Coleraine minister Rev Robert McMullan carried a huge load of firewood on his back through the centre of town last Friday morning.
The minister of New Row Presbyterian Church performed the feat to highlight the plight of women in Ethiopia who have to walk long back-breaking hours to collect and sell firewood, if they want their children to eat even one meal a day.
Rev McMullan is a long-time supporter of Christian Aid – his church is involved in the collection across Coleraine for essential work with the poor overseas.
He told The Coleraine Times: “I’ve been moved by the story of a 29-year-old mother called Loko who lives in a remote part of Ethiopia.
“Four times a week Loko has to make a back-breaking eight-hour trip to find and gather wood.
“When she sells the firewood she earns just £1 – barely enough to feed her children.”
Rev McMullan added: “Christian Aid want to give Loko, and other women like her, the means for her to earn a decent living.
“A cow, for example, will mean that Loko can sell the milk and butter to earn enough money to feed her children properly – and send them to school.’
It’s a task she dreads, but she steels herself to do it because if she doesn’t her children will starve.
Rev McMullan is appealing to everyone in Coleraine to show their support this Christian Aid Week which runs from May 10-16.
He encouraged the entire Coleraine community to support the Christian Aid Week fundraising campaign to make a difference in Ethiopia,
“Please put what you can into the Christian Aid Week red envelope when it comes through your door,” he urged.
“ All the envelopes are delivered and collected by volunteers.’
“If we don’t get around to your house, then please still consider giving online at www.caweek.org or phoning in a donation to Christian Aid at (028) 9592 2015.