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Last Friday night in Lucan Sarsfields' Clubhouse, our fundraising Quiz night was a great success. After a Covid lack of quizzes, it generated a buzz of enthusiasm with 27 tables of four. The craic was good and scores were very balanced among the teams. Congrats to the eventual winners.
Fachtna, Doc, to many of you, had sent a slideshow of the work in Nepal, photos from Nagarhope Basic School, from past fundraisers, from the annual women’s picnic. This was screened at the interval.
Sadly, we were missing two of our regular quizzers, Don Dardis and Mick Mulhall, fondly remembered on the night. May they rest in peace.
The total amount raised was 2780 euro, all of which goes directly to Nagarhope.
Many people must be thanked.
Lucan Sarsfields for allowing us to use the hall and for the ongoing support from the Club and its members over many years; Maeve and all the bar staff; Lucan Newsletter staff who give us so much coverage; Liffey Sound FM for promotion interview; Mick O’Byrne of DUAL PRINT who has sponsored all our printing since the beginning; Nagarhope Ireland committee for all their efforts on the night and over many years; people who couldn't attend on the night , but who dropped in donations; Tracey and Dónal who contributed some of the quiz questions; Ray for his speedy expertise doing the raffle; many people who spread the word on various Whats App groups etc; local businesses, friends, neighbours who donated quiz and raffle prizes as follows: Spa Hotel, Diamond & Gem, Newcastle Golf Centre, Pain & Performance Clinic, Lucan Village Pharmacy, Supervalu, O’Neill's Pub, Kenny's, Courtney's, Centra, Carroll's, Mullan Grid, All Season's Flowers, John & Sinead Egan, Kathleen Roche, Michael O' Grady, Rita Mc Cabe, Kevin Nolan, Liam Hayes , Dermot O' Brien, Paul O' Farrell, Bill Ryan, John & Colette Condon , Colette Drumm, Cormac Gordon, Tracey Walsh and anyone whom I may have omitted. Please support our local businesses.
And of course, a super thank you to all who attended on the night. Ni neart go cur le cheile.
Lastly, a date for your diary. Our next fundraiser is in the Spa Hotel on February 10th. That will be an Elvis night with Lucan's very own Kevin Doyle and the Way It Was Band.
Thank you all
Niamh & Séamus Clandillon
Malawi three years later
Covid has affected so many in so many and such varied ways that I find it hard to describe what happened us pair, when we were helped down the steps off the plane after a 10,000 km trip south to Lilongwe and feel the force of gravity and age vanish into the warm sunshine. We were back with our smiling, black, friendly faces where the coach driver whizzed off with our hand luggage and presented us to the covid testing guys and along to passport control. Losing our main piece of luggage had only the slightest of impacts, which too vanished when our nearest and dearest descended on us with hugs, flowers and goodies.
After a restful overnight, the 400 km north flew by, with old memories and the latest miracles. I feel miracle is the right word to describe many of the amazing happenings achieved by the most amazing uneducated, poor and often hungry people who have just dragged themselves up with a little help from two idiots who believed in them and their ability to help themselves.
Way back in 2005 it was pumps and clean water and as we passed villages heading North we saw pump locations but also, tree plantations and schools for girls who have their fees paid, a training college for primary school teachers and hospitals where we support trainee nurses. So many mad notions, which so many people from so many places supported, from Alaska to South Australia!
In the past three years, Covid arrived and strangely (maybe) much of our regular support vanished, but into the void stepped our eldest Eamonn and his German friend Kevin to replace our tree planting project with a reforestation and soil restoration programme which has enabled us to fund the planting of indigenous trees on a grand scale: (7.3 million last season).
A new large drone enables our newly qualified pilots Harisen and Lovemore to enter GPS coordinates and scan any given planted area to give a film of the minutest details of all plants growing including every seedling and tree.
A lot of extremely hard work with absolute precision has enabled us to procure funding for so many amazing projects.
Funding from the likes of Mastercard and others enables us to employ over 1,200 local villagers, 75% female (who never got wages before) to work in the nurseries and planting. It also helps us with preschools and most recently with food gardens where we support people to grow food like local maize, soya, sunflower, using a plant called tephrosia to replace the need for artificial fertilizer or pesticides thereby removing all dependence on Monsanto and their types.
We discovered early on that in terms of education, boys are educated in preference to girls (like in Ireland years ago), so we decided to support girls in Secondary school. We now pay fees and support over 300 girls and continue when they qualify to go to third level like, Teaching, Nursing or University. This figure is over 30 at the moment
The most recent new project was to open a medical clinic in a remote rural location called Kadakechi. It is an area where we have a tree nursery where much of the work is done by women walking long distances, regularly carrying babies and toddlers.
I thought about two things, a preschool and a Health Clinic. When I visited the place I noticed that we have rented a house for two of our supervisors. It was a lovely place, maybe built by some white organization? I talked to the old chief and he was all on for it.
A health clinic next door to his house, delighted
Next day I brought Peter, our builder out to see it. There were walls to be knocked, doors and frames to be installed, ceilings of course, two new desks, a new high level bed for examinations, painting, a toilet…..
I talked: Peter did the drawings.
We departed at 5 pm. We had 5 days, as Alepher our first Nurse had an appointment for her fourth section birth, on the sixth morning and she couldn’t miss the opening, as the leading force behind all the medical arrangements. Next morning I arrived at 9am. First, I saw sand, then bricks, then timber, doors, and, and……… By the time I stepped in walls were knocked and door spaces built up.
Total chaos in the most organized fashion
We opened on time on the day. We had 90 patients. We had four nurses including our own Cecilia (a past student of ours), who now works as a nurse in Mzuzu Centra Hospital on HIV/AIDS/) and Alepher (who works as a senior nurse for the Health Ministry online). Our deal with the nearest Hospital is that they provide the meds and we provide transport and pay the nurses. End of first day, All exhausted but happy.
Three women brought to the hospital for Cervical Scans, and brought home again. Alepher went into St John’s Hospital and baby girl ETHNA was born by section next morning at 10.30.
Baby and mother doing well
We are having our third Clinic on Friday Dec 2, to include nutrition testing for under-fives.
The other four days each week we have a preschool with three newly trained caregivers
Is there a God?
Can Miracles happen?
Hardly all coincidence?
John and Mary Coyne