AID MISSION

Tipperary students from Glenstal Abbey School prepare for aid mission to Kenya

Ten students from the Murroe-based post-primary school travel to the Rift Valley in July to help improve facilities

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Tipperary students from Glenstal Abbey School prepare for aid mission to Kenya

Glenstal students Sean Carey & Harry Swan from Tipperary

Glenstal Abbey School in County Limerick will lay foundations to change lives of children in Kenya for the better this summer.

Ten students from the Murroe-based post-primary school, including Sean Carey and Harry Swan from Tipperary, travel to the Rift Valley in July to improve facilities and opportunities for young people at the Oloika School.

The students, along with project coordinator Fr John O'Callaghan and teacher Thomas Franklin, will spend 23 days on this aid mission to build two classrooms and girls’ toilets as well as providing computers for the school.

The Oloika School has 415 Masai boys and girls up to the age of 16 and ten teachers.

"It has the barest of facilities, although they have electricity. The floors need cement, the walls should be upgraded from corrugated iron and there is a great need for toilets," Fr John O'Callaghan explained.

"Computers are also needed. Any donations go directly to meet these needs and the renovations will be carried out by local skilled help while our 'Kenya Crew' members share their computer skills, and mix with the Kenyans in sport and music."

Since 2008 Glenstal Abbey School has been supporting schools in Tanzania and Kenya, leaving a lasting impact on hundreds of African schoolchildren.

This year's 'Kenya Crew' includes students Matthew Cannon, Seán Carey, Max Downing, Richard Enright, Peter Fahy, Antoine Japy, Art Keane, Matthew Lyne, Tiernan Ryan and Harry Swan.

"Our young Irish students provide basic tuition in computer skills to their African peers, and enjoy doing so. It is a win-win situation for both groups of young people. The expenses of the project are paid by the parents of the Irish boys so that any funds donated go exclusively to the school in need," Fr O'Callaghan said.

"We have never worked in a school with greater needs. Our hope is to pay for a proper classroom to be built. They currently study in ones made from corrugated iron, which are too hot. We also want to renovate a room for laptops that we bring and provide toilets. Currently four latrines are available for over 400 students," he concluded.

Glenstal Abbey School is currently trying to reach its €20,000 fundraising goal before breaking for the summer holidays on May 31. To donate visit the 'School Project in Kenya' in the news section of glenstal.com.