Two young women from County Wexford are currently showcasing not just their inherent caring nature but also the power of volunteerism by working with children and families in the Kokrobite region of Ghana.
For 14 months, Clodagh Kent from Taghmon and, for seven months, Kate Byrne from Bree have been living and volunteering in the African country.
Kokrobite is a fishing town along the Atlantic coast and is located 30km west of Accra.
Highlighting the nature of the country the two said the standard of education in the country is quite low with schools often under-resourced and overcrowded.
During their time in the country Kate and Clodagh have acted as teachers in local schools, providing educational training and support for local teachers.
They have also gathered and distributed donations, planned and delivered health preventative workshops on a variety of topics including menstrual health, mental health, gender-based violence and environmental education.
Some of the other support work the two friends have carried out included providing first aid training and hands-on involvement in renovating and refurbishing schools in addition to delivering water safety and swimming lessons.
Now that the schools in Kokrobite are vacated for the summer Kate and Clodagh will travel over 230km through Western Ghana, to Busua.
Along the way they will visit many rural communities, schools and orphanages. While there they plan to distribute supplies and provide help and assistance where they can.
They have hired a bus to make the journey and it’s packed full of supplies and the plan is that when they stop off at various communities they will assess the local needs and do as much as they can to help and provide supplies.
They have been very fortunate so far to have received many suitcases of donations from Wexford, however it can be a challenging to transport these.
As a result, they decided to set up a fundraising campaign through GoFundMe to enable them to continue to buy as many supplies a they can.
Some of the items they’ve already accumulated include sanitary products, clothes, first aid items and school supplies.
Clodagh and Kate have been overwhelmed by the level of support they have received to-date from the people of Wexford and from local businesses including Farrell’s Chemist, Enniscorthy, Haven Kavanagh’s Pharmacy, Enniscorthy and Hickey’s Pharmacy, Gorey, who donated boxes of menstrual products which have been couriered to Ghana.
Another fundraising event in support of the two women took place in Bree recently when a walk took place and the organisers of that were thrilled with the support.
One of those involved commented to the Enniscorthy Guardian that the response was “overwhelming” and she highlighted the fact there is a massive amount of respect and support for what the two women are doing.
“The walk was really well supported and the girls were absolutely delighted with the support it received,” said one of the organisers.
Meanwhile, the GoFundMe campaign in support of Clodagh and Kate’s work is accessible online through www.gofundme.com/f/funding-on-the-go and they are truly appreciative of all the support they receive.