Galway volunteers bring ray of light to Ethiopian kids

Mary and Patrick Clarke from Newcastle, with some of the children at the Sebeta Blind School in Ethiopia.

Galway City Tribune – A Galway charity – working to improve the lives of people in countries across Europe – is now trying to help those less fortunate in Ethiopia.

The North East Galway Friends of Belarus charity is hitting the city’s streets today (Friday) to raise funds as they seek to travel to Ethiopia to provide accommodation for people suffering with visual impairment.

The charity is hosting a feast of music and dance on Shop Street with well-known local musicians and dancers providing the entertainment. They will be raising funds from 11am-6pm.

Dancers from Scoil Iognáid are part of the line-up of performers, as well as Sean and Patricia Casey’s social and line dancers. Tony Ryan’s set dancers will be present and live music will be provided by well-known local musicians Gerry D’Arcy, Patsy McDonagh and Carroll’s pub session music group.

The charity will send 10 tradesmen to Sebeta in Ethiopia to provide housing for around 30 children who suffer with visual impairment.

The children in the region can attend Sebeta Blind School. However, they are often forced to walk for miles to and from the facility due to inadequate housing near the school. They are required to live on €12 a month and often do not have access to basic facilities.

Patrick and Mary Clarke, originally from Newbridge and now living in Newcastle in first travelled in Sebeta in 2010.

They volunteered for two years in Sebeta Special Needs Teacher Training College and in Sebeta Residential Blind School which caters for blind/low vision children from all over the Oromia region. They enjoyed volunteering with VSO Ireland so much that they have returned every year since.

■ People can contribute on Shop Street today, or click on the ‘Donate’ button on the website supportingsebetastudents.word
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