Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Anne prepares to swap tax for townships


Anne Fitzpatrick. 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 Building Blitz.

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 or telephone 9032 3466.

Ulster Star