independent

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Local women to travel to Tanzania

Fiona Magennis

Published 11/12/2013 | 05:28

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Eimear Collins and Aoiveen Matthews who are going to Tanzania in January to build a school.

TWO local women will travel to Africa in January to work with locals in the north east region of Tanzania.

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Aoiveen Mathews, an Ardee-based GP who is originally from Collon and now lives in Drogheda and Eimhear Collins, a photographer from Drogheda, will travel to Moshi in Tanzania where they will spend three weeks working in the local area.

Moshi is a large town of approximatley 180,000 people, at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, in North East Tanzania, in East Africa.

The trip will involve voluntary medical work in villages and clinics with health team workers, where the illnesses include cholera, TB and malaria, which is the number one killer of children in the villages. Other illness common to the region are malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, polio and measles.

Health education seminars and health promotion, will also be an important part of the trip, with the pair providing education on First Aid for burns and other injuries, mother and child health and education, antenatal care and education on such things as oral hygiene etc in primary schools.

The two women plan to spend three weeks in the area and also hope to fundraise money which will go towards the building of a new school in the area.

Aoiveen has always wanted to travel to Africa to do some voluntary work so was delighted when the opportunity came up, through a contact in the medical field, she realised it was a fantastic opportunity to fulfill that ambition. She then approached her friend Eimhear to see if she would be interested in joining her in Tanzania and the pair decided to take part in the project in the New Year.

The community in Moshi are commited to providing quality education from kindergarten to primary school and the parish has just initiated a project to build a new primary school.

The school will be owned by the community and will be open to all pupils with preference given to orphans and children from very poor families.

The projected cost of building one classroom is €14,000.

Aoiveen and Eimhear decided that aside from volunteering their services to the community's health needs, they would like to make a meaningful donation from the people of the North East to this very worthwhile classroom building project. All funds contributed will be put towards the cost of a new classroom.

A fundraising table quiz was held in Mathews' Lounge, Collon on Friday, November 29 and there was a fantastic turnout with a great sum of money raised.

Both Aoiveen and Eimhear said they were overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of everyone on the night, and would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all those who attended the quiz and all those who have donated to this cause to date.

'Everyone's efforts and generosity are greatly appreciated,' they commented.

To raise further funds for the cause, Eimhear is raffling one of her framed seascapes. This image is currently on display in the window of Mahers Photographic on West Street in Drogheda.

Tickets are €2 each or three for €5, and can be purchased in Mahers, or in Tierney Street Surgery, Ardee. They can also be purchased via Eimhear's website, www.eimhearcollins.ie.

Fr Wili Maningi, Aoiveen and Eimhear's contact in Tanzania, is due to visit Ireland on December 27 for a few days.

Aoiveen and Eimhear hope to meet him and present him with a cheque for the total amount of the funds raised for this project.

The pair are keen to stress that they will be travelling to Tanzania at their own expense and all monies raised will go directly towards the building of a new classroom.

Drogheda Independent

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