Kilkenny hurler, Henry Shefflin has extended an invitation to the people of Kilkenny and further afield to the Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny on Thursday, November 22 (8pm) for the launch of a Christmas CD, writes Barrie Henriques.
He won’t be singing on it himself or anthing like that.
The launch is in association with the Building of Hope Project.
The CD was recorded by the blind children of the Likoni School in Mombasa.
Over 180 volunteers from all over Ireland travelled to Mombasa in January 2012 and built a home for the blind children.
Delighted to help
Outside of Co. Clare, the largest number of volunteers came from the Kilkenny/Carlow area. Henry is delighted to lend his support to the launch of the CD as he knows of the struggle it is for these children through his sister, Aileen, who has travelled and worked on two of the Building of Hope Projects.
The Building of Hope charity was set up to build community facilities for some of the poorest areas in Africa, and on the second project, the volunteers were invited to meet the beautiful children at the school for the blind.
Hard men cried when they saw the conditions.
Sleeping three to a bunk with no sheets, no running water for showers or no flush toilets; nothing to cook on but an open fire pit and classrooms where lumps of the ceiling regularly fell in.
That was the sight that greeted them.
The volunteers decided there and then that they would return and build the children a new home.
The dream became a reality at the end of February, 2012 when the home was officially opened by Bishop Willie Walsh.
The CD comprises of eight Christmas carols.
The children put a great effort into the recording of the CD as they had to learn the words through Braille, and they had to learn the songs in English.
Toucher her heart
Aileen Shefflin said that on her first visit to Mombasa in 2010, the children touched her heart. They were very withdrawn and sad, but they came on in leaps and bounds since they moved into their new home.
The Building of Hope are fortunate to have as their patron, RTE’s Derek Davis and he gives freely of his time to host fund-raising events. Allen Flynn of the Newpark Hotel is a director of the charity and also supports the charity in their many fund-raising events in Ennis and Kilkenny.
Olive Halpin, Project Co-Ordinator, said it was wonderful that Henry was giving his support and time to launch the CD on the charity’s behalf. The CDs will be on sale on the night for €10 each. All the proceeds from the CD will be used by the charity for the children’s medical, social and educational needs.
Go on, go on, as a famous TV personality might say. Head along and meet Henry on Thursday, November 22 in the Newpark Hotel and support a very worthy cause.