SERVE: Flip-Flop Appeal
SERVE in Solidarity Ireland, a Cork based not for profit organisation is running their main annual fundraising event in May called the Flip-Flop Appeal to raise vital funds to assist marginalised communities in their partner countries; Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and India.
The appeal, which runs for the whole month includes several fundraising activities. Pre-COVID-19, SERVE would sell Fairtrade flip-flop pins made by their partners in Thailand as part of a women’s empowerment programme which promotes self-sustenance. This year owing to the several restrictions in place, fundraising has been moved online and well- wishers can support through standing orders and donating to the SERVE Flip-Flop Appeal JustGiving fundraising page.
To highlight this, Fr. Gerard O’Connor, the Chairperson of SERVE said, “SERVE play a pivotal role, in supporting young people in Africa and India to reach their potential and flourish as family members, citizens, and community activists. Our model focuses on young people from vulnerable communities to train them and to develop the skills necessary for sustainable employment. We have a track record of opening training opportunities for people with disabilities. All of this is achieved, through a strategic partnership with dynamic organisations such as Young Africa (Zimbabwe and Mozambique), Assumption Parish Community (Zambia) and Association of People with Disabilities APD (Bangalore, India)."
The term flip-flop is derived from the popular footwear of the poorest people of the world. The Flip-Flop Appeal is a gesture of solidarity, service, and a determination to work together. It helps SERVE to achieve SDG 1 concerned with eradication of poverty, SDG 10 to reduce inequalities in the communities they support, and SDG 4 to ensure inclusive and equitable education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Mr. Cledwyn Hamoonga, the Principal of Flamboyant Special School in the Assumption Parish Community in Mazabuka, Zambia said “We appreciate SERVE and all the people that are helping SERVE to raise funds. Without these funds, I do not know what we would have done, especially with the COVID-19 situation affecting us very badly.”
Donegal based Annette McGroary, has volunteered in numerous SERVE programmes in Mozambique and India. Annette explained, “The funds SERVE receive is used to raise more funds. It can be doubled through a funding application and so donations are so important to SERVE – it’s a lifeline to support the partners that SERVE work with.”
Over the years SERVE has received overwhelming support and generosity from the Irish community in the form of volunteers and financial donations but from 2020 owing to the COVID-19 travel restrictions they have had to rely more on financial donations.
Sarah Gleeson, based in Galway has volunteered with SERVE at APD (Bangalore, India). Sarah observed that beneficiaries that SERVE partners work with, “... are not looking for a handout. They are looking for an opportunity to improve their lives.”
To donate online, and or partner with SERVE, visit www.serve.ie. You can find out more about the Flip-Flop Appeal, read inspirational success stories from their partners and take part in social media challenges for prizes as part of their Solidarity Games Flip Flop Appeal Edition.