Carnmoney twins to take on challenge for Christian Aid

Identical twins from Carnmoney are preparing to begin a walking challenge to highlight the impact of climate change on some of the world’s poorest people while raising funds for international development agency, Christian Aid Ireland.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 4:02 pm

Nikki Strain and Jane Millar, who are members of Carnmoney Presbyterian Church, will complete a 5km walk on May 15 while carrying buckets of water.

In a normal year, the pair would collect house-to-house during Christian Aid Week (May 10-16) but have opted to do a ‘walk with water’ this year instead.

Their walk is inspired by Rose Jonathan (68), a widowed grandmother from Kenya where severe drought and a changing climate mean that she must spend up to seven hours a day walking to fetch water for her family and livestock.

Jane Millar and Nikki Strain.

Rose has been the sole carer for her six grandchildren since her husband died and her daughters moved to the city for work.

Climate change has brought drought and hunger to the Kitui region of eastern Kenya, leaving Rose and many other women and girls in Dili village with no option but to walk long distances each day to collect water.

In the rural areas of many African countries, it falls to women and girls to collect water for their families and farm animals, and in drought-affected regions this can involve long and often dangerous journeys on foot.

In Kenya, Christian Aid is responding to the crisis by funding the building of low-tech, sustainable earth dams which capture and store water when the rains do come.

Nikki and Jane aren’t just the mirror image of each other, they also have identical occupations. Both work as bank managers, albeit for different companies.

Detailing why she decided to take on the challenge, Nikki said: “Jane and I are walking in solidarity with our ‘sisters’ in the developing world. Women and girls like Rose haven’t caused climate change but they’re bearing the brunt of it - it’s so unfair. But we’re excited to be involved and glad we can do something to help.”

Christian Aid Ireland Chief Executive Rosamond Bennett has thanked Nikki and Jane for taking on a ‘walk with water’ challenge.

She said: “In a year when our fundraising has been impacted by the pandemic, we’re delighted that our supporters are finding new and imaginative ways to make up for the lost income.

“The kindness of our supporters in Newtownabbey and across south Antrim is already reaching countries such as Kenya, bringing hope to people living in poverty - people like Rose.”

To support the Carnmoney ‘walk with water’, visit caweek.ie/carnmoneyswalk to make an online donation or post a cheque made payable to Christian Aid Ireland and marked ‘Carnmoney walk with water’ on the reverse to Christian Aid Ireland, 96 Beechill Road, Belfast, BT8 7QN.

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