Musicians across north Antrim are getting ready for Trad for Trócaire week, which takes place from Friday 25th September to Friday 2nd October.
Trócaire has reported an outpouring of concern from trad musicians for Syrian refugees and is asking people to support their local Trad for Trócaire ‘seisiún’ to aid people living through poverty and conflict.
“This year, we have had an overwhelming response from trad musicians and members of Comhaltas, who are concerned about the suffering of refugees that they are seeing on their TV screens,” said Kevin Donnelly, Trócaire’s regional manager. “This crisis has moved people to reach out to their communities and to see what they can do to help people in the world, who are struggling through war and poverty.
“Some musicians are holding two sessions this year, one to support Trad for Trócaire, which funds Trócaire’s long-term overseas development projects and a second to fundraise for our work with refugees from Syria and Iraq. It’s a remarkable show of solidary and generosity from the traditional music community here at home.”
In Syria, over 7.6 million people have been forced to abandon their homes and a further 4.1 million Syrian people have become refugees in neighbouring countries such as Jordan and Lebanon, which are hosting 1.75 million Syrian refugees.
Trócaire is responding to the growing needs of extremely vulnerable refugees in Europe by funding sleeping bags, hygiene kits, health services and psychosocial support.
Trócaire is also working in Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon providing food, shelter, clean water and other basic needs and has reached over 93,000 people to date.
“This year, as we prepare for Trad for Trócaire, we do so while thinking of the suffering of so many Syrian people,” said Kevin. “But we are hugely encouraged by, and grateful to, trad musicians and music lovers from across the country who are showing immense support for this crisis and for our wider work with people from the poorest parts of the world.”
Trad for Trócaire, an annual week of fundraising and traditional Irish music run by Trócaire in partnership with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, takes place between Friday 25th September and Friday 2nd October. Since it began in 2010, over 1,500 Trad for Trócaire sessions have taken place across Ireland, the UK and even as far away as the USA and over £405,000 has been raised by musicians and music lovers to fund Trócaire’s programmes overseas.
To organise a session in Co. Antrim or find out when local sessions are taking place, log onto www.trocaire.org/trad or call 0800 912 1200.