Seven-day building blitz in South Africa ends in tears – of joy – for our volunteers
Tears of joy flowed as the 330 Irish volunteers finished their seven-day building blitz.
They have finished work on four different educational projects in South Africa.
The principal of Oranjekloof Moravian primary school yesterday told the volunteers from the Mellon Educate charity that their work will change the lives of its 1,300 pupils who come from impoverished backgrounds. "These are tears of joy for what you have done for these kids. I am so grateful," said Lungiswa Maka.
"What you have done today, nobody else could have done but you have sacrificed your time to come here and change the lives of these kids.
"If you give education to these disadvantaged kids, nobody can take it away from them. I really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart," she said.
Charity founder Niall Mellon said the children's lives "will truly begin from this day forward. Every one of you should treasure this moment and what you created this week".
The school has been completely refurbished and eight new classrooms have been constructed. A new playground and garden have also been added.
The schoolchildren rushed to Oranjekloof primary school at lunchtime yesterday to see their new surroundings and express their heartfelt thanks to the volunteers.