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The network of charity giving hope and rebuilding lives in Kerala

Press release received from St Vincent de Paul Society, England and Wales

As media focus on the Kerala floods gradually fades, a charity in England and Wales is drawing attention to its continued efforts to rescue and restore lives in this latest climate catastrophe.

With 10,000 volunteers in England and Wales and 66,000 volunteers in India, the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) is well placed to carry out its extensive aid efforts to help lives damaged by the floods. Together, volunteers in the two countries are busy raising and distributing funds to people affected by the flooding, using donations to purchase materials including food, clothing and livestock to help Indian people rebuild their lives. UK members are fundraising in their local communities, and sending aid through the SVP’s network to groups on the ground in Kerala, where they can directly reach and help vulnerable people. In this way, lives that have been destroyed by loss of loved ones, homes and livelihoods are gradually being given hope.

Johnson Varghese, National President of the SVP in India said: ‘The SVP in India has been extremely busy working with local fisherman to help rescue people trapped in flooded homes. SVP volunteers are collecting and coordinating the distribution of aid materials, using resources available from British donations together with their own money to buy vital goods.

‘We desperately need donations as the rescue effort goes on.  As people move back to their damaged homes, we’ll be using funds to help rebuild their houses, purchase household utensils, school materials such as uniforms, books, and even livestock to replace lost farm animals.’

The floods, the worst in decades, have so far cost 400 lives and destroyed 20,000 homes, with 800,000 people displaced. The full extent of the damage and cost to life will only become clearer once the flooding has receded and people have returned to their homes so that the number missing can be identified.

The SVP, founded in 1833, now has 800,000 volunteers in 153 countries worldwide. To donate to the SVP’s Kerala flood appeal, go to www.svp.org.uk or telephone 020 7703 3030. Donations made to the appeal will be passed to the SVP in India without deductions of any kind.

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