Hundreds of Indian orphans were able to celebrate Christmas with a festive dinner thanks to the generosity of people in the north west.
Derry charity Action With Effect set out to raise money to provide the special meal for one orphanage in Delhi.
However, the response was so overwhelming that they were able to supply three orphanages on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. They also raised enough to give out food parcels to impoverished families living on the streets on Christmas morning.
The charity was founded by civil rights veteran Eamon Melaugh (78), who has worked with orphans and the destitute in India for the past decade.
Mr Melaugh, who has also worked with the poor in countries from Mexico to Nepal, heaped praise on the people of the city yesterday.
“The money came flooding in,” he said. “The people of this town are amazing and on occasion people came to the door with cheques for hundreds of pounds. There is no limits to the generosity. It is staggering.”
Eamon said the gift of a winter blanket meant the difference between life and death for many homeless Indian people, with 180 people having died in Delhi during a cold night last year.
Mr Melaugh said it was an absolute disgrace that 10 million children a year were dying needlessly from starvation when governments were spending tens of millions on the procurement of arms and weapons.
“One days’ armament expenditure would feed these people in the world for the best part of a year,” he said.
To make a donation contact Action With Effect at 21 Bishop Street in Derry, telephone: 028 7127 1737.