Attitudes to Trócaire boxes
Sir, – In an otherwise informative and enlightening interview, I was disappointed by Dr Mary Toomey’s negative characterisation of the Irish tradition of supporting people in less wealthy countries (“I would consider every child born in this country as Irish”, New to the Parish, August 12th).
Dr Toomey states that people in Ireland donated money to people overseas “so they would stay at home”. This is a sad misunderstanding of Ireland’s proud tradition of standing in solidarity with people experiencing poverty and injustice around the world. We give to people experiencing war, hunger and displacement because we know that our ancestors experienced the same. It is an act of solidarity, not colonialism.
Dr Toomey asks, “When you bring home a Trócaire box what does that say to a child?”
As a Trócaire volunteer, I know the terrific work that organisation does in engaging with schools and communities all over Ireland to present positive and diverse stories based on themes of solidarity, not to mention their immense work for justice and humanitarian causes overseas.
In answer to Dr Toomey’s question, bringing home a Trócaire box tells a child that we are all one human family and that we should support each other to create a world where everybody’s rights are respected and take care of every one of our brothers and sisters in the global family. – Yours, etc,