VITA is one of the most effective charities working in Africa and last week it celebrated its 25th anniversary with the volunteers who run its successful charity shop off Parliament Street, Kilkenny.
Founded a quarter of a century ago by two outstanding Kilkenny born clerics it has minimal administration costs, concentrating on achieving food security for families in Africa.
Those running the shop and a number of visitors from Ethiopia celebrated in the back of Bollard’s with tea and sandwiches.
Vita was set up by deceased priest, Fr Kevin Doheny, from Ballyouskill, outside Ballragget and his brother Fr Mike Doheny. Their legacy has endured and the charity shop run by VITA in the heart of the city by a wonderful group of volunteers brings in the much needed cash to fund the dynamic, sustainable work being carried out on the ground across Africa by a dedicated team that continues to build enduring relationships and partnerships with the people and organisations on the ground.
And a Kilkenny man is playing a leading role in helping Ethiopian farmers to become self-sufficient.
John O’Shea of Iverk Produce and O’Shea Farms is the heart of a successful initiative to improve potato production in the Gamo Gofa region of Ethiopia.
He helped establish the Potato Centre of Excellence.”
As a result, traditional growers have trebled yields and this means that more and more families are growing potatoes for the first time, creating food and selling the surplus.