THE generosity of West Cork people has seen a life-changing tractor delivered to a local priest’s mission in Mozambique.
Having a tractor had, for years, been ‘a dream’ for Fr John Kingston, but now that dream became a reality when the disc plough, a disc harrow, a mower and a transport box were unloaded recently in Chimoio, Mozambique.
The dedication of the Clonakilty native inspired the community to reach their target of €40,000 for the vital machinery needed to farm the land sustainably and to teach the local community to do the same.
A spokesperson for the fundraising committee said: ‘The government in Mozambique is now telling communities that any of the parish’s unused land will be allocated to others, most likely large plantation farmers.
‘This would be a huge disadvantage to Fr Kingston’s mission. To this end, we hope our machinery would help them use and keep their land (approximately 100 hectares), thus helping those poor locals who would be in danger of eviction.’
Fr John has spent nearly 40 years on the missions. He made headlines when was shot, kidnapped and held hostage while working in Angola in 1985 and his family had an anxious wait before they got confirmation he was alive. Undeterred, he has continued his work and the 67-year-old is driven to make sure the next generation is educated.
For many years the West Cork community has also supported Fr John with his work in Mozambique, through an annual Christmas swim in Inchydoney and these funds
pay for school fees and accommodation for second-level schooling for very poor families.
The fundraising community extend their thanks to all those who helped in achieving this goal.
Donations came in from all over the country, and it was incredibly moving to have the support and encouragement of so many over the past 18 months.
• For more see westcorkfundraisingcommunity.com