Friday 24 January 2020

A lending hand

• I am writing in response to the article published in last Friday's Irish Independent, about Irish builders in South Africa.

I was disheartened to read the article, which offers an utterly false view of what the charity stands for, as well as a total misrepresentation of the Irish volunteers.

I am a volunteer builder with the Niall Mellon Township trust and I go to South Africa each year for one simple reason – we are needed there. I find it quite hilarious that you can compare Ireland's "schools with leaking roofs and stinking toilets" to the levels of housing and schools in the townships of South Africa. I understand there are people in Ireland who are certainly less fortunate than in previous times, but not many share the struggles and difficulties that the people in the townships face.

I have just spent another week there, where I bore witness to thousands of hungry, uneducated children, who have no clothes, no toys and live in shacks made out of pieces of scrap metal at best. I have met children who have been destroyed by fire, sexually assaulted, beaten and been subjected to a whole range of unimaginable things.

And do you know what? They are happy to see us coming to help them out, and give them the stability and security of a proper safe roof over their heads.

Claire Kelly

Address with editor

• It's easy to be pro-'choice' when you're not the one being chosen.

Dr Eimear Tierney
Clogherboy, Ballyglunin, Co Galway

Irish Independent

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