Volunteer Trip 2014

This January 34 volunteers left Shannon airport and embarked on the yearly trip to South Africa. Every year a group travel with a mission to make a difference to the lives of the people of Missionvale. This year was no different, the group set off with several targets in mind. First, was to construct a shelter for the people of the township who often queued for hours in the blistering heat everyday for food to feed their families. This shelter will supply a much needed respite from the heat, sun and torrential rain. Three television screens were also fitted into the shelter. These will be used to play educational videos while people queue for food.

Another important aspect of this year’s trip was a project to harvest rainwater. Water supply in the township can be a huge problem as Missionvale suffers from a water shortage for most of the year. However, when rain does fall, it comes in the shape of massive thunderstorms. The large green tanks fill immediately and most of the storm water is not captured. Andy & Liam, who travel every year as volunteers, and their crew dug a large channel through the church carpark. They then connected in two large pipes leading to  underground collection tanks, all the storm water will now flow into this tank. This water can then be used for multiple purposes; one of the main assets of this new system is the supply of water now available to the community gardens. This project shows that while the volunteers are only there for a small period of time they are still able to make a huge difference to the lives of the residents of the township.

One of the main aspects of Ethel’s work is to teach life skills to the poor of Missionvale. While the residents may be poor they also have pride. Ethel’s ethos is to create a way for the residents to support themselves and their families through work. One factor of this is the community gardens. The people of Missionvale are encouraged to plant and work on these gardens in order to grow food. Not only are they supplying food to their families they are also learning a new skill. On this trip eight more community gardens were completed.

Once again the people of Ireland who support Missionvale have made a huge difference to the residents of the township. This trip has proven to be a huge success with all planned projects completed. If you are interested in volunteering or donating please get in contact through admin@missionvaleireland.org or please visit our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/missionvaleireland.