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Tears of joy as volunteers complete building blitz

DONE and dusted. The 330 Mellon Educate volunteers may have brought the Irish weather with them for the first few days of their building blitz in South Africa, but the sun made a blistering appearance when it came to their final day.

Weather aside, their work will transform the lives of schoolchildren from impoverished backgrounds through the power of education.

That was the message delivered to them by the principal of a primary school that has been transformed beyond all recognition in the space of a week.

The charity's volunteers have finished work on four education projects in South Africa – a primary school in the township of Imizamo Yethu in Cape Town and three educational projects across rural locations near Kokstad in the Eastern Cape.


Yesterday, the school principal of Oranjekloof Moravian Primary School in Imizamo Yethu wept tears of joy as she told Irish volunteers how much their work will mean for the 1,300 schoolchildren.

"These are tears of joy for what you have done for these kids. I am so grateful," Lungiswa Makae said.

One volunteer looking forward to a rest is Cassie Moore (23), from Dalkey, who said she was "slightly exhausted".

But she added: "I simply can't wait until the next building blitz in November – I've already booked my place."