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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Bishop visits quake zone

The Bishop of Carlisle has visited one of the world’s poorest countries to see how fundraising is helping people there.

The Right Rev James Newcome visited Haiti, in the Caribbean.

He went as a guest of the charity Christian Aid to see how its relief work makes a difference.

Mr Newman, 59, will talk about his experiences at a Caribbean supper taking place tonight.

He said: “In Haiti they (Christian Aid) are involved with a number of partner charities to take relief to people who have been affected by the earthquake.”

The earthquake happened was in 2010 and was the country’s worst in more than 200 years. In excess of 400,000 people remain homeless as result.

The capital city, Port-au-Prince, was the worst affected part of the country.

Many fled it to rural areas in the aftermath of the devastation.

Christian Aid, with its partners in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, are aiming to provide these people with homes.

So far it has re-housed 135 families in new hurricane and earthquake-resistant homes, with 400 more dwellings being built this year.

The bishop was there to see first hand the work that is going on, and also as a way to see that money raised in Cumbria was being well spent in Haiti.

He said: “So often with charities which are helping people abroad, you can’t see if the money is having an effect. Having someone go out there is useful.”

As well as helping provide home to the displaced people, the charities are also teaching them skills to help them get back on their feet.

“They were teaching skills like making candles and looking after chickens. With that they have food but also something they can sell,” Mr Newcome added.

He was also impressed with the resilience of the people he met in Haiti, especially those he met in displaced persons’ camps.

“When you see some of the sort of poverty people are living in, and the total devastation, in some parts of the country it puts everything in perspective. You realise how lucky we are.”

This evening’s dinner takes place in the Tithe Barn and is part of efforts by Carlisle’s Christian Aid group to raise the money to build one of the new houses.

This will cost £1,310 in total.

The evening will feature a traditional Caribbean supper, with a presentation from the bishop and live music.

Tickets are available from the Carlisle Tourist Information Centre and the Carlisle World Shop.

dbick@cngroup.co.uk

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