THE Goal charity has called on members of the Irish diaspora to run or walk a virtual mile this Christmas to support the world’s most vulnerable communities.
Launching their Virtual GOAL Mile: Run Apart, Stand Together initiative this month, the Irish humanitarian aid agency called on Irish people around the globe to support their work in impoverished nations this festive season.
GOAL board member, former Diaspora Minister and Kerry football legend, Jimmy Deenihan explained the importance of their Christmas campaign.
“In my time as Minister for the Diaspora I met so many Irish people all over the world and in America, and witnessed at first hand the inspiring contribution they make in all walks of life,“ he said.
“I am appealing to Irish communities all over the globe to support GOAL’s work by registering to do a virtual GOAL Mile this Christmas.
“There are many who would have taken part in the event at home but will be unable to travel due to COVID-19. So they can join in on the fun wherever they are in the [world] and make a virtual connection.“
He added: “The Irish have never been found wanting when it comes to supporting those in our world most in need. We are renowned for our generosity. Whilst this Christmas we are all being asked to keep apart, all of us at home and abroad can stand together by doing a virtual GOAL Mile.”
The GOAL Mile is a much-loved tradition which usually sees family and friends across Ireland take time out on Christmas Day to do a Mile to support GOAL’s work in 14 countries in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
Last year GOAL reached more than six million people in need with nutrition, health, livelihood and emergency response support.
GOAL Director of Fundraising, Eamon Sharkey, said: “The Irish community have always been hugely supportive of GOAL’s work, wherever they are around the globe. Our target this Christmas is to get 10,000 people at home and abroad register to do a GOAL mile.”
He added: “The pandemic means the GOAL Mile is more important than ever as we work to rebuild communities shattered by disease, conflict and climate change.
“Since March GOAL has supported over 17 million people in our thirteen countries in preventing the spread of the virus, rolling out Covid-19 awareness programmes and teaching people the importance of keeping a safe distance, wearing masks and observing a handwashing regime.
“We could not do this without the support of Irish people everywhere.”
You can register to do a GOAL Mile here.