Welcome to the story of my exploits in Zambia over the past few years and my hopes for continuing this work into the future.
Habitat for Humanity
Until 2008, I had a comfortable life and a healthy family living in Ranelagh, Dublin. I then got the opportunity to travel to Zambia with the charity, Habitat for Humanity, to work with some of the world’s poorest people and it opened my eyes to a new reality. With a bit of a jolt, I saw for the first time the reality of life and death on our planet and how close we all are to each other and to hunger. A day’s journey in a jet will bring any of us to the edge of the world where deprivation, hunger and death are daily events.
Having seen it once, I have been unable to forget it and to return to living blind in Ireland, not seeing the rest of humanity around us. I decided to personally try in a small way to change things, by devoting some of my time and talent to Habitat for Humanity and to the people of Zambia. I have been visiting Zambia every year since 2008 and I am returning to Zambia again at the end of July 2017.
I invite you to participate and to support in any way that you can. I am always looking for volunteers to come with me to Africa, I am always looking for financial support and I am always hoping that people will educate themselves and spread the word. Please start here.
What I do
Every year since 2008, I have worked with Habitat for Humanity Ireland, which is a world-wide charity whose aim it is to eliminate poverty housing everywhere. That sounds like an enormous goal given the prevalence of poverty in the world, but my part in the scheme is only to do whatever I can do myself – and with the help of my friends. In practice, I try to provide basic, decent, safe housing, concentrating on the three essentials of a basic house structure, a clean water supply and a rudimentary latrine.
It has been found that if people have a basic home with a roof and a door, and if their health can be protected by having clean water to drink and a safe place to deposit human waste, they will have a chance. The chance just might be taken for education, or for work, or even just for a disease-free life.
Having spent some time in Zambia listening to people’s stories, I became involved in two other substantial ventures. The first is that I have been supporting Graceland School near Ndola by collecting and delivering books and educational material every year, which has had a marked effect on the quality of the education which their young students receive. Following on from that, I have now sent a 40 foot shipping container filled with books to Zambia so that, in partnership with Graceland School, we can expand the library service to several other schools in the area. This new library, to be located in many schools, will be called the Sister Grace Library. You can read a lot about Graceland School in the reports on former years or in their tab above or look at their website by pressing the link on the right.
Zambian Development Support Foundation
The other venture is that I have become involved with Voster Tembo and other like minded individuals in a small micro-finance enterprise which we call the “Zambian Development Support Foundation”. Since early 2014, based on starting capital of just a few thousand euro, we have assisted in the foundation and expansion of 34 start-up businesses. As these businesses have all been successful and are re-paying their loans, we are getting our seed capital back and therefore continuing to fund more business ideas. After receipt of some fresh donations in 2016, we are building up for a considerable expansion in 2017. You can read the ZDSF annual report for 2014 by pressing the link on the right.
Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s Programme
In Zambia, I work with some of the world’s poorest people, in what is called the “Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s programme”. This programme aims to assist those most vulnerable children who are affected by the HIV/ AIDS virus. Most of them have the virus themselves, and one or both parents have died of the virus. On top of that, the people with whom I work have to cope with tuberculosis and malaria as well as a host of other common diseases and an unimaginable depth of poverty, and all this has to be borne with a compromised immune system. These are my friends. Can you help me?
You can see how we fared in previous years by scrolling down on the previous years tab.
If you wish to donate, you can send it by post or you can donate by credit card by clicking on the “Donate by Credit Card” link on the right of this page.
If you want to volunteer – send me an email.
Please look around my website and take your time to browse.