A Galway couple has announced today that they will continue to fundraise in Galway to build classrooms in Haro Jila, a rural primary school in Sebeta, Ethiopia.
Patrick and Mary Clarke aim to raise €25,000 this year for their overseas volunteering work and the couple will host a musical and dancing fundraising event from 11am to 6pm on Saturday 16 June on Shop Street in the city.
The couple have led construction and teaching projects in Sebeta, Ethiopia, since 2010 and last year, they built a classroom in the same school from money donated from the community in Galway City.
The school caters for over 350 pupils, some of whom have disabilities.
The fundraising event will include entertainment by Sean and Patricia Caseys’ social dancers, Tony Ryan’s set Dancing group, Carroll’s Pub session musicians, Gerry Darcy and fellow musicians, Egyptian dancing and a traditional music group from Tulla, County Clare.
An event they held last year raised over 4,000 euro towards the construction of a classroom in Haro Jila and this year the couple aim to match and exceed this sum.
Speaking about the event, Mary Clarke the co-organiser said: “Fundraising events such as this play an essential part in enabling us to build and maintain the Community School in Haro Jila.
“Using the generous funds from last year’s event, we constructed a primary classroom which today provides education to over 30 local school children who previously had to learn outdoors under a tree!
“As a former primary school teacher in Galway, I understand that we can sometimes take for granted the access we have to basic supplies, such as crayons, pencils and paper.
“From the funds that we raise from this event, we will complete the construction and furnishing of three classrooms and equip them with child centered early childhood materials.
“This has the potential to improve the lives of children in Haro Jila especially children with special needs who will be introduced to Inclusive Early Childhood Education.”
The Galway City based couple will return to Ethiopia in October this year where they will stay for a month to lead and direct the construction and to train teachers for the new classrooms.
They initially began working as volunteers with VSO Ireland over 8 years ago and have gone back every year since to continue to volunteer independently.
For further information on the work Patrick and Mary hope to do in Ethiopia, visit https://www.facebook.com/SupportingSebetaStudents/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED .
To donate money to the appeal for Sebeta’s Haro Jila primary school, visit https://supportingsebetastudents.wordpress.com/ to support the campaign.