10 Youths from Loyalist communities (Among them members of Dalaradia in conjunction with the Loyalist Communities Council and the REACH Project) have been selected to participate in a pilot scheme under the chairmanship of Mr. David Campbell CBE which will facilitate a team trip to Africa for 10 young volunteers drawn from various areas of Northern Ireland. They will undertake charitable work with a local orphanage in Tanzania consisting of a building project (building, painting etc.) and working / interacting directly with the children of the orphanage.
The volunteers will spend 4 weeks working with the Kidzcare (www.kidzcaretanzania.org ) orphanage and schools in Tanzania during September 2017. The purpose of this project is to promote team building, international work experience and youth development with the volunteers and to expose these youth to different cultures, religions and challenges and at the same time benefit the needy children of the orphanage. The aim is to make a difference both at home and in Africa.
Leading the project is Mr. Bob Thompson who recently returned to Northern Ireland after many years living and working in Africa and during this time he was an enthusiastic patron of the orphanage and a close friend of its founders Mary and Robert Nottman. The orphanage and school was founded in 2000 by Mary and has since grown into a number of rural schools catering for over 400 children, an orphanage with currently 30 plus children and numerous health and medical camps giving support to children from all over Tanzania regardless of Tribe, religion or culture.
It will be a challenging project for the volunteers who will travel to very remote and underdeveloped areas of Tanzania where they will be undertaking a classroom building project and also will be preparing a football pitch and running a small tournament for the children. The group will be running a daily blog and doing live Facebook postings during the project
The volunteers from Northern Ireland have been undergoing various training courses such as First aid certificate, Child protection course, building works (brick laying, carpentry and painting). These skills and experience will be of value to the volunteers in their future career choice development and will encourage better community responsibility.
We have been fortunate to have a number of sponsors and core funding for this project. However, we are actively fund-raising and seeking sponsorship for operational costs thus releasing more funds for the children and would encourage all local businesses and residents to support your local community representative in his endeavors.
We very much hope to make this an ongoing project in the future and to expand its scope to encompass more diverse communities in our future projects. We are pleased to announce our major private funder has confirmed our core funding for another project in 2018.