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Charity Charlene's Project raises £18k to feed villagers in Guatemala

Dickie Barr

People of all ages across Northern Ireland have rallied to support an emergency appeal for funds to feed two Central American villages after they ran out of food following six weeks of lockdown.

Charlene's Project launched the appeal after discovering that dozens were going hungry in the villages, which the local charity has supported for many years.

The Dollingstown-based charity, set up by the late Charlene Barr and now run by her family, including parents Dickie and Janice, put out a call for people to take part in a sponsored half-marathon to raise £12,000.

Dozens of friends, family and strangers from Northern Ireland and beyond responded with over £18,000 raised in the last two weeks.

Explaining the incredible effort will save many lives, Dickie Barr said: "Two weeks ago we felt compelled to organise a fundraiser for the villagers of Vado Ancho and Las Escaleras in Guatemala who had indicated by putting white flags outside their homes during Covid-19 lockdown that their food was running out.

"We could never have believed the incredible support as so many came on board and supporters - friends, family and general public - embraced the fundraiser to surpass our target of £12,000.

"Some people walked and some ran while others cycled with everyone completing their own half-marathon.

"Some did the distance in a single outing, others did it over a few days.

"But each gave their time, enthusiasm and wonderful support to the fundraiser."

Mr Barr said due to a Covid-19 curfew in Guatemala and the fact that the area is currently going through its dry season, no food has been brought into the villages and supplies have now been used up.

Working with a partner charity on the ground they are hoping to get the first food parcels to villagers this week.

The appeal can be supported at https://www.gofundme.com/f/food-support-for-guatemala-during-covid-19

Belfast Telegraph