KILDARE people turned out in their droves over Christmas to take part in a GOAL Mile. Communities right across the county celebrated the festive period by walking, running and jogging a mile for GOAL in 13 locations, and CEO Siobhan Walsh thanked those who took the time to support the most vulnerable in our world.
“A huge thanks to GOAL Mile organisers in Kildare and around Ireland for their support this year,” she said. “Millions of euros have been raised to support GOAL’s work in the developing world since the first GOAL Mile was staged in 1982. The widespread support of the people of Ireland for the GOAL Mile embodies the true spirit of Christmas. I would like to thank the thousands of people who started their Christmas day taking action to support others.”
Celine Cronly was the organiser of the inaugural GOAL Mile in Allenwood and said that she was blown away by the turnout. “It was unbelievable for a first year,” she explained. “People came out in their hundreds and everybody got into the spirit and really enjoyed it. I cannot thank the community enough for their support.”
The GOAL Mile is now in its 38th year and is one of the country’s largest and longest-running annual fundraising events. Alongside events in Kildare and Ireland, GOAL Miles were held abroad in places like South Sudan, Texas, Sweden and with the Defence Forces in the Golan Heights.
Last year the humanitarian aid agency reached more than 5.5 million people in need around the world. The vital work of 2,500 GOAL personnel working in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America included supporting those displaced by the ongoing conflict in Syria, running nutrition programmes saving the lives of infants under the age of six months in Ethiopian refugee camps, and providing emergency response to thousands of people affected by Cyclone Ida in Zimbabwe.
“The theme of our Christmas campaign this year is Far From Home, and I am grateful to all of the dedicated GOAL workers who themselves were far from home this Christmas caring for the families who are displaced from their homes through war, conflict, drought and extreme poverty,” Ms Walsh added. “The Christmas GOAL Mile is much more than an event. It is a very powerful reminder that the people of Ireland will always go the extra mile and in doing so, help create a better world.”