by JULIE-ANN SPENCE
LISBURN woman Anne Fitzpatrick is preparing to travel to South
Africa in November as part of a 1,350 strong volunteer group to
take part in the week-long Niait Mellon Township Trust Charity
The charity was set up following a visit in
2002 to the Imizamo Yethu Township in Cape Town, South Africa by
Irish property developer Niall Mellon. He was so moved by the
horrendous living conditions that he set up the trust to help
alleviate the plight of its residents.
Since 2003 over 1,200 volunteers have
travelled 6,000 miles to the townships of Imizamo Yethu, Netreg
and Mfuleni and have completed the extraordinary task of
replacing 450 corrugated iron shacks with proper brick houses.
With 2.4 million families living in shacks or informal
settlements across South Africa there is still a great need for
this vital work.
"I'm really looking forward to this challenge,"
said Anne, Tax Partner in leading accountancy firm Baker Tilly
Mooney Moore. "We are travelling to Freedom Park near Cape Town
with the aim that after the week over 200 families will move
from a 3m x 3m one roomed shack to a house with two bedrooms, a
kitchen and a bathroom. The houses will have running water,
electricity and sanitation, facilities that we take for granted.
"The work of the trust is incredible and we
will be joining local staff in South Africa whose work continues
all year round," she added.
To take part each volunteer must raise
Euro4000 and Anne is already busy fund-raising. If you would
like to sponsor her and support the charity, or to find out more
about their work, you can contact her by email
firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 9032 3466.