Niall Mellon group kick off school building blitz
SOME 320 volunteers from all over Ireland are travelling to South Africa where they have a week to build a new school and drop-in centre.
This is the first building blitz for 'Mellon Educate', an extension of the Niall Mellon Township Trust which constructed 100,000 houses for South Africa's poor between 2002 and 2012. The charity is now focusing on the educational needs of children in the country.
Unlike previous years, the group of volunteers will be split into two, with one group constructing a pre-school facility and drop-in centre near Durban, while the remainder will transform a school in Cape Town. Almost 1,200 pupils attend the Oranjekloof Moravian Primary School in the township of Imizamo Yethu in Cape Town. Meanwhile, on the Eastern Cape, some 100 volunteers will be working on projects run by Friends in Ireland.
There, the volunteers will be building a classroom for 40 pre-school children at St Theresa's Children's Project in Kokstad, near Durban, as well as working on a new drop-in centre in Mount Zion in Bizana in which after-school care will be run for 120 children. Developer and philanthropist Niall Mellon says they are fortunate to have enough volunteers to work on two separate projects. For more information on the project: www.nmtownshiptrust.com