posted on February 20th, 2024

Trόcaire appeals to people of Northern Ireland to support annual Lenten campaign

Trócaire launches its annual Lenten campaign this week with an appeal to the people of Northern Ireland to support the world’s most vulnerable who continue to pay the price for the global climate crisis. Unchecked, climate change is set to push up to 132 million into poverty over the next ten years.

“Trόcaire has changed the lives of tens of millions of people around the world over the past five decades. Its annual Lenten campaign sees the iconic Trócaire Box displayed in hundreds of thousands schools, churches and homes all over Northern Ireland in the buildup to Easter.”

2023 provided a stark picture of climate breakdown, from devastating wildfires in Greece, Hawaii and Canada, to a crippling food crisis due to drought in the Horn of Africa, and vicious storms, such as Cyclone Freddy that ripped through communities in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

This year’s Lent Campaign

This year’s Trócaire Box tells the story of one Malawian family who are struggling to survive. Living in a small homestead in southern Malawi, Malita, mother of six children, including 12-year-old twins Patricia and Patrick feature on the front of the 2024 Trócaire box. Their story is unfortunately one that’s typical in Malawi, as they struggle every day with the many problems that water, both too much and too little, causes the family. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. Malita was already struggling to support her family before the burden of increased droughts and floods.

Malita makes an hour round trip up to five times a day to collect 20 litres of water. Photo: Muiru Mbuthia

Trócaire Head of Region for Northern Ireland, Peter Heaney, said “Trócaire’s Lenten campaign is focusing on Malawi, where climate change has become increasingly dangerous and unpredictable, causing devastating flooding and droughts in already-vulnerable communities. Repeated cyclones and weather extremes have left nearly 2.3 million people with limited access to food and more than 3.8 million (20% of population) facing critical food insecurity. This is a shocking scandal.”

Trócaire’s work in Malawi is focused on supporting communities, particularly women like Malita, to adapt their livelihoods to cope with the impact of climate change and ensuring families can continue to survive when faced with the extremes of too much water when storms and cyclones hit and too little water in times of drought. Working with partners throughout Malawi, Trócaire’s programmes support communities to access safe water through the construction of water supply schemes; to sustainably manage their natural resources through agroforestry, soil and water conservation; to increase their access to food through supporting training in improved climate resilient agricultural practises and facilitating access to seeds and planting materials;  and to support women’s empowerment by providing training and support to female community leaders.

“We are asking the people of Northern Ireland to donate to help families in Malawi, and others like them across the world, to build a more secure future.” Peter Heaney

Trócaire and partners also advocate to and coordinate with government to ensure that the work is contributing to national efforts to address the impacts of climate change. Trócaire’s emergency humanitarian response programmes also enable the team and partners to act quickly and effectively when devastating and record-breaking cyclones like Freddy in 2023 hit Malawi and put lives and livelihoods at risk.

To find out more about the Lenten appeal or make a donation visit or Phone 0800 912 1200 (NI)

Malita with her 12-year-old twins Patricia and Patrick. Photo: Muiru Mbuthia.


Class P1 Blue, St. Brides PS in Belfast help launch the Trócaire Lenten Appeal 2024. Photo: Justin Kernoghan.


Class P1 Blue, St. Brides PS in Belfast help launch the Trócaire Lenten Appeal 2024. Photo: Justin Kernoghan