The Reverend Tony Murphy, an auxiliary minister in the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, was sent on his way on Friday 30th April with the goal of walking 100 km in the month of May throughout the Diocese in aid of the Diocesan Project in Burundi. Ranking 185th out of 189 countries, Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world.
The Bishop, Dr Paul Colton, and Andrew Coleman of Christian Aid, who is also the Bishops’ Appeal representative in the Diocese, waved Tony off from the forecourt of Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.
Tony visited Burundi in 2019 to see the project first hand. Tony’s goal in May is to walk 5 km in every parish of the Diocese, supported by socially distanced clergy and parishioners, to raise funds for and awareness of the the project.
Bishop Paul Colton said:
In the midst of our own challenging times it is all too easy to lose sight of the commitments we have to others beyond our own shores. In Cork, Cloyne and Ross people of all ages have embraced and supported our Maize Project in Burundi from its outset in 2017. We are now in the second phase and through the visits of Archbishop Martin Blaise Nyaboha to us in 2017 and the Reverend Tony Murphy’s return visit in 2019, we all feel we know well what is needed from this important partnership.
I congratulate Tony on this initiative to walk 100km in May to raise funds for the project and, equally important, awareness of it. I hope everyone will do their best to support him generously.
Cork, Cloyne and Ross agreed to fund an agricultural development project in Burundi from 2017-2019 and then agreed to extend this support for a further 3 years from 2020-2022. The existing state of agriculture in Burundi has many problems, many of which existed in Ireland in the past. The farms are very small, the food is subsistence, the type of crop Cassava has low nutritional value, there is little access to finance to gain more land or improve the inputs. The project, in stages, which focuses on maize production, involves working with cooperatives, purchasing or renting land, training, providing storage, adding value by milling the maize into flour, expanding markets and, finally, obtaining ‘seed certification’ to a national standard so that it can be sold to other farmers and cooperatives.
Burundi is a country one third the size of Ireland: the third smallest on the African continent with Tanzania to its east and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west. It was governed by Belgium until 1962. A civil war ended with a peace treaty in 2000. The population of 11.9 million is 90% dependent on agriculture but the average farm size is 2 acres sustaining an average family of 6 people.
The Burundi Maize Project, in partnership with Christian Aid (Ireland) and the Bishops’ Appeal: Church of Ireland World Aid and Development, works locally in Burundi with the Anglican Church in Burundi (a Church of 1 million members). The Archbishop of Burundi , the Most Reverend Martin Blaise Nyaboha visited Cork, Cloyne and Ross in 2017 at the start of the project.
You can follow Tony in the Diocese or join him (socially distanced) for part of his walk as follows:
- 1st May, Morning: Kilmocomogue (Durrus)
- 1st May, Afternoon: Kilmoe (Schull)
- 4th May, Morning: Ballydehob
- 4th May, Afternoon: Abbeystrewry (Skibbereen)
- 6th May, Morning: Rosscarbery
- 6th May, Afternoon: Kilgariffe (Clonakilty)
- 10th May: Bandon
- 11th May: Douglas
- 12th May: Carrigrohane
- 13th May: Mallow
- 15th May: Fanlobbus (Dunmanway)
- 17th May: Moviddy (Aherla)
- 18th May: Kinsale
- 19th May: From Saint Anne’s Shandon to Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral in Cork City
- 20th May: Fermoy
- 22nd May: from Carrigaline to Crosshaven
- 25th May: Cobh and Glanmire
- 26th May: Kinneigh (Ballineen and Enniskean)
- 27th May, Morning: Cloyne
- 27th May, Afternoon;:Youghal