07 May 2011
Three West Kerry volunteers will travel to Lesotho this August in an effort to build a new school and sink a life-saving well in one of Africa's most improverished areas.
Ann Marie and Dominic Spillane from Castlegregory and Kevin Hilliard from Dingle will accompany 22 other volunteers from Irish charity Friends from Ireland as they travel to the Patiseng primary school, situated in the north of the country in the Butha-Buthe district.
This won't be the first trip to Africa for the West Kerry trio who travelled to Watamu, Kenya last September where they undertook two weeks of back-breaking work building a new school.
Inspired by the positive outlook of the people there, the volunteers hope to continue participating in these worthwhile projects with Friends From Ireland and they are hoping to raise more funds prior to their Lesotho trip.
“You don’t realise what you’ve got at home, even just toilets and basic things like shoes” explained Kevin Hilliard from Dingle.
“The trip to Kenya last September was a fantastic experience and really opened my eyes. This next trip is extremely important as Lesotho is one of the poorest countries in Africa. About 30 families live in the village we are travelling to; the existing school building consists of only two classrooms into which 120 pupils are crammed.”
“The buildings have broken rafters and ceilings, cracked walls and no proper toilet facilities to cater for the hygiene needs of the children. The conditions are exacerbated by the limited water supply.”
Ann Marie, Dominic and Kevin are currently fund-raising in an effort to construct this new school building and provide clean water for the children of the area.
People can support their efforts and donate through a special AIB bank account which has been set-up: A/C No: 19361015, Sortcode: 93-35-62.
Friends from Ireland are also hosting a fund-raising night in Dingle on Thursday June 30th in the Hillgrove. 'Santa Ponsa or Bust' , a comedy-panto by Cork comedians Pakie O'Callaghan and Frank Twoney of 'Funny Friday' fame, will be performed; the show recently featured on Dragons' Den and has been a major hit across the country. Doors, 8pm; for ticket information contact 066-915 1131. All proceeds go towards the Friends from Ireland project in Lesotho. Pictured: Dingle's Kevin Hilliard in Kenya last September where is participated in a school-building project.