"WHEN you look down as you're flying into Capetown, you will see over 20,000 red tiled roofs, these are all Niall Mellon houses built by Irish volunteers with funds raised here in Ireland."
Locals pulled out all the stops, turning up in colourful African tribal costumes complimented m Kilbrin, who is in the building trade and who has built houses in Capetown every year since 2008, explained to the Corkman the vital role volunteers from Ireland have played in improving the lives of African people who live in such appalling poverty.
Last Saturday night, John held his annual fundraiser in Kilbrin Social Club, which included a four course meal, African music, and a disco. This year the event was called 'The Kenyan Gathering' to coincide with our own 'Year of the Gathering'.by exotic jewellery and flamboyant head dresses. Jennifer and Edwin Casey even brought along an animal they had captured earlier to supplement the banquet. However, on closer inspection, it turned out to be a large soft toy hippo borrowed from their children!
As the South African government has committed to providing its citizens with adequate housing over the next ten years, the Niall Mellon township trust has now turned its attention to constructing schools and this is what John, his sons, and fellow volunteers will be doing when they head to Kenya in October.
"This year we are going to Nairobi to build three schools. Up to now we worked in Capetown, where over one million people live in shacks," John explained, "When you've actually been there and experienced the sights and smells of the dire poverty and you come home it's hard to explain to people the real extent of it even though I would have DVDs and photographs.
"So many of the African people have nothing, they are nobody, so I really appreciate the ongoing support of my own local community here in Kilbrin and surrounding areas," John added.