Tuesday 21 October 2014

Giving training

Published 26/11/2012 | 05:00

• I was both sickened and saddened by the article written by Kevin Myers, 'We're addicted to house building, but why indulge it in South Africa?'

In these times where everything you read or hear is negative and depressing, how is it possible to take a cheap shot at a man and a charity born from trying to make a difference?

The piece was not only offensive to me and my fellow volunteers but full of inaccuracies. Since when does your paper give space to one person's personal rants?

I am all for freedom of speech but only when carried out fairly and written by people who fully know what they are talking about.

In the 10 years the charity has operated in South Africa, 100,000 people have been housed. Since when is this something to be ridiculed?

I believe the only person showcasing their moral superiority to the world is Kevin Myers.

The charity believes in the principle of 'teaching a man to fish', so it has also initiated a skills development programme, training young people from the townships in a wide range of construction disciplines.

The programme includes training in several construction disciplines including plumbing, bricklaying, carpentry, plastering, painting, roofing and electrical work.

Skills training brings three main benefits: employment, improved skills and better quality construction.

Ultimately the community stands to gain the most as they will have enhanced employment opportunities, and the beneficiary family will receive a better quality house with improved delivery.

If the Niall Mellon charity was never founded and all the volunteers decided to stay at home and not "interfere", would the 100,000 people have been housed?

Would the training programmes have been implemented? Would this make for a better world?

Valerie Finnegan Cahill
Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork city

Irish Independent

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