Friday 24 October 2014

Damage done

Published 26/11/2012 | 05:00

• I have read your article regarding the Niall Mellon Township Trust involvement in South Africa and I have to say I am furious about your opinion on the ethos of the charity. I am in no doubt that it is also completely incorrect.

I have been a volunteer in this organisation since 2005. My reason for getting involved came following a holiday to South Africa where I came across townships spread around its countryside.

These people live in the most appalling conditions and are doing their utmost to improve themselves by getting employment and education, but due to the ethnic divide and segregation that still exists in South Africa it is a very difficult to obtain these.

You write about governments taking a non-hands-on approach, letting others bail them out: are we not as guilty as that here in Ireland as anyone else?

Like here, the common people are the ones getting all the pain while the 'fat cats' ignore the problems.

Niall started the charity in Cape Town as this is where he first realised the issue of squalor in townships. He quickly spread it to other cities around South Africa.

I do not mean to be disrespectful as I am sure you are an educated person, but I honestly believe that you do not have the first clue what work the charity does.

I challenge you to take a trip to Cape Town, have a walk around the township of Imizamo Yethu, speak with the locals, absorb the area and then write your article.

The damage from your article is done, the knock-on effect is that it will be even harder for me to get donations, and this will mean that you have caused another family to do without.

My belief is that the Trust gives the ordinary people of Ireland a chance to get involved with people in need. The people of Ireland are extremely generous – don't knock them for this.

Paul Crowe
Rathattan, Hollywood, Co Wicklow

Irish Independent

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