A Tipperary nurse has returned from a two week volunteering placement in Uganda where she played a key role in helping to improve health services for people in one small town in the African country.
And Anne Hayes from Clonoulty says she would recommend the experience to anyone
Anne, a public health nurse based in the County Clinic in Clonmel, travelled to Uganda with an Irish charity called Nurture Africa, which has a targeted focus on healthcare, education, child protection and economic empowerment.
She says it does amazing work in Nansana, a town 6 km from the capital city of Uganda, Kampala.
A health centre has been built, which provides free care and medication to children under 5, from very poor families in the local area.
It also provides free counselling and HIV drug treatment to families.
It runs an ante natal clinic for pregnant mothers infected with HIV, and provides free medication and free food for these mothers.
Working with University College Dublin VSO, a new physiotherapy department has just opened in June this year and now treats children with cerebral palsy, and they have made amazing progress in a very short period of time.
Anne says Nurture Africa also offer small loans to local individuals and groups, in building and developing small business, such as fruit and vegetable stalls, in order to sustain their families, and send their children to school.
She says - "Nurture Africa' are very closely involved with local schools, and we as a group of volunteers were fortunate to visit and carry out library reading, and health education workshops with these children.
"The charity is supported by Deloitte' and 'Friends First and this summer an Information Technology centre has been built by Irish volunteers, and computer training and classes have just commenced for children from local schools.
"I was privileged and humbled to be part of the incredible work during my two week placement - working in the clinic, carrying out HIV testing, visiting homes of people infected with HIV, and visiting local schools, and local small businesses.
"The most amazing thing is that everyone in Uganda is smiling, and so grateful for our help and involvement with 'Nurture'.
"For anyone who might be interested in a volunteering placement in Africa, I can wholeheartedly testify to the incredible lifesaving work of Nurture Africa".
Anne is pictured with groups of familes and children in the town of Nansana while one shot (below) shows the difficult conditions that people live in.
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