Bishop Michael Burrows’ peregrination raises funds for Burundi and Madagascar women’s projects

Participants in the Mothers’ Union’s literacy and financial education programme in Burundi. Photo credit: Taking Pictures, Changing Lives.

Bishops’ Appeal warmly welcomes the support of Bishop Michael Burrows in his peregrination around the dioceses of Tuam, Limerick and Killaloe this month and early December.  When he visits every church building in the diocese, he will be collecting donations towards two projects he has chosen to support through Bishops’ Appeal.

The first is in Burundi, still one of the world’s poorest countries and one where women are severely impacted.  A literacy and financial education programme run by Mothers’ Union has dramatically improved the lives of those taking part.  Literacy impacts every aspect of life; whether you can give yourself or your children the correct dose of a medicine, or if you can read the correct prices in shops or are at risk of being cheated. The programme brings transformation to local communities, helping with financial empowerment, improves gender equality, and helps the Mothers’ Union deliver its aims of promoting legal marriage and positive parenting.

As one recent participant in the programme explains: “The programme is life changing…. It gives you a new lease of life. We have learnt to read and write so it has opened our eyes.  We make money and can feed and clothe ourselves and our children. We have bought land and built our own homes.” And nearly all the participants reported their joy that they could now read the Bible for themselves.

The second ‘Peregrination project’ to benefit will be a project in Madagascar which encourages people living in a remote village to set up sustainable silk businesses. The discovery of silkworms in the mangrove forest has opened up new possibilities for the villagers, instead of the traditional timber harvesting and charcoal production which caused significant damage to the land and environment.

Sustainable business training in Madagascar. Photo credit: Feed the Minds.

Feed the Minds charity works with local women to provide training in setting up sustainable silk businesses, providing education and training on silk production, ecology, financial and management skills to start their own micro–businesses to support themselves and their families. And the bonus is that the land is protected, and the climate is also benefitting as the ecosystem of the forest is protected.

More information about the Peregrinations and Bishop Michael’s route can be found on the diocesan website.