Lunchtime concert to raise funds for women in need

CELEBRITY chef Rachel Allen has backed a special fundraising concert next month that will help women who are victims of violence in Cork and women who survived the Haiti earthquake.

The lunchtime concert featuring the Irish Sopranos will take place in Cork’s City Hall on Monday, March 8 – International Women’s Day (IWD).

All funds raised by the concert, which is supported by the Irish Examiner, will be split between the Cork Sexual Violence Centre and the Women of Concern initiative.

Ms Allen, who is an ambassador for Women of Concern, urged people to attend the concert – one of hundreds of events taking part around the world to mark IWD.

“The statistics about how women in developing countries are treated are absolutely shocking,” Ms Allen said.

“The advantages we have here are really incomparable. We have to be aware of how fortunate we are. We are happy, we have jobs, and we have ways of making money. We all should have a sense of responsibility around this issue.”

Lady Mayoress Tanya Murphy announced details of the concert in City Hall yesterday.

The Irish Sopranos, Wendy Dwyer, Kay Lynch, and Deirdre Masterson, will perform free of charge, from 12 noon to 3pm, and will be accompanied by Cork School Choirs.

A photographic exhibition in Millennium Hall displaying the work undertaken by Women of Concern globally will also take place at the same time.

Director of the Sexual Violence Centre Mary Crilly said the money raised will help the centre, which was established in Cork in 1983, continue its work.

Today, about 20% of its clients are men, and it is also the only such centre in the country which works with 13 and 14-year-olds.

The Women of Concern initiative works on three specific projects designed to help and empower women, including an education project in Bangladesh and a gender-based violence project in Ethiopia.

Liz Yeates, Concern’s director of corporate and major donor fundraising, said the money raised from the concert will go towards its work with women in Haiti.

She said Concern Worldwide has raised some €6 million from the Irish public for its Haiti earthquake appeal.

“The need is absolutely huge,” she said.

The money from the Cork concert will help fund the setting up of nutrition centres for under fives, and the establishment of bathing and sanitation centres.

Tickets, priced at €20, are on sale from today at Pro Musica on Oliver Plunkett Street, and Brown Thomas, on St Patrick’s Street, on Fridays and Saturdays only.


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