'Send a doughnut to Africa' on Fat Thursday
PR dla Zagranicy
As Poland marks pre-Lent 'Fat Thursday', Polish missionaries in Central African Republic have called for donations as international peace-keeping forces struggle to stop sectarian violence.
Brother Benedykt Paczka. Photo: Facebook
The campaign 'Send a Doughnut to Africa' was created by Brother Benedykt Paczka (pictured), one of the Capuchin missionaries stationed in the country (his surname is the genitive form of paczek, meaning doughnut.)
Poles consider it bad luck not to eat at least one doughnut on Fat Thursday (Tlusty Czwartek), with the day marking the last opportunity to be indulgent before the traditional fasting of Lent.
Pastry shops in cities across Poland will be donating part of their earnings from doughnut sales today, and it is also possible to buy a 'virtual doughnut' online, making the contribution by bank transfer.
“With 1 Polish zloty [0.2 euro] you can maintain a child in the Central African Republic for an entire day,” notes campaign coordinator Piotr Gajda.
France voted on Tuesday to extend its peace-keeping mission in the country indefinitely (the first phase was due to finish in April.)
As the former colonial power in the region (until 1960), France has 1600 troops stationed in the country, aided by 4000 peace-keeping troops from various African countries.
Polish missionaries in the Central African Republic have witnessed repeated bouts of looting and violence in recent weeks, amid clashes between the predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels and Christians.
Poland's foreign ministry offered to evacuate the missionaries, but the clergyman stated that it was their duty to stay in the country.
Fighting escalated after interim Muslim leader, President Michel Djotodia resigned on 10 January, prompting Seleka fighters to pull out of the capital of Bangui.
France, the former colonial power in the region (until 1960), has 1600 troops stationed in the country, aided by 4000 peace-keeping troops from various African countries.
Fifty Polish pilots and logistics specialists flew out to the country a month ago to assist French troops in the stabilization mission. (nh)
Source: Dziennik Polski