IT’S a long way from Tullamore to Fiji, but that is the aim for local student Daire O’Connell who has been accepted on the Volunteer Eco Students Abroad (VESA) programme which travels to Fiji this summer to undertake important sustainable community development projects.
The 19 year old University of Limerick student is a talented traditional musician and his colleagues in Killeigh Comhaltas, with the support of all Offaly Comhaltas Branches, are holding a Fundraising Day of Trad Music, Song & Dance in the Bridge Centre on Saturday, April 28 from 11:30am - 5pm to help raise funds for Daire’s trip. There will be a bucket collection throughout the day.
The featured project in Fiji this year is to help provide remote villages with access to fresh water, restore local school equipment and teach English to primary school children. The VESA programme combines a humanitarian and ecologically sustainable volunteer project with a cultural tour of the Fijian Islands.
Daire and the other VESA volunteers will work in conjunction with the villagers and the village chief in addressing the major issues faced by the village and the local schools such as the lack of fresh running water, dilapidated schools and generally poor infrastructure.
The funds raised by the Trad Day in the Bridge Centre will help to facilitate this work. Individual donations or contributions to Daire’s trip will go towards costs such as hiring local skilled tradespeople to supervise and assist in the building projects, building materials and donations to local organisations to continue the work. Every volunteer will complete a minimum of two weeks hands-on community based volunteer work.
Understandably Daire’s parents John and Mary are very proud of their only son and will be helping out with the fundraising too as they are also very involved in Comhaltas.
If you wish to contact Daire directly to make a donation you may do so by calling 085 702 0334.