We began in 1993 with a desire to help refugees fleeing the fighting in Bosnia. Just a handful of volunteers at first collecting food, toiletries and clothes which we took over to Bosnia in convoys of small vans which were also freely given or purchased cheaply.
We are still based at St Alphonsus RC church in Old Trafford, Manchester.
We are very much a grass roots , prayer centred charity; the emphasis being on participation and sharing of skills and time. For example volunteers have included mechanics servicing and repairing vehicles for the convoys, journalists publicising our work, typists preparing literature, everyone packing food and blankets, hospital workers securing second hand equipment and supplies, and numerous others using their contacts to obtain the necessary aid and financial support.
All of our donations come from individuals, church parishoners, school children etc so its a real community effort.
Over the last 29 years we have been able to help out, often in small ways, in 30 countries. About 70 tons of food, 125 tons of clothes, 17 vehicles including 5 ambulances and lots of goods that have been redistributed to find a second life , like redundant medical equipment.
Nowadays its mostly fundraising efforts but with a few operational projects like the recycling and annual backpack appeal.
Generally we work with other Christian charities particularly the religious orders as they are the most reliable partners.
One of our favourite projects has been the shoe box (and later backpack) appeal Almost 10,000 shoe boxes filled with food, toiletries, school supplies etc were sent to many countries, including Liberia, Zimbabwe, Bosnia, Romania and to asylum seekers here in the UK.Here is a short video of pics from preparations and delivery:-