Niall’s message to volunteers

It has been an exciting few months for Mellon Educate as our new charity initiative goes from strength to strength.

We had a phenomenal blitz in March – the first one under the Mellon Educate initiative in South Africa and the first ever for the Niall Mellon Township Trust to be held in more than one location.

And then, just last week we officially handed over our new school buildings in Kenya, with a joyous ceremony at the newly-completed Ruben Centre in Nairobi’s Mukuru slum, and the thrilling announcement that the Kenyan Government is going to partner with Mellon Educate to build a further three schools in the city.

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At Mellon Educate we talk about ‘Building better lives through better Education’. It is events such as these which make that aspiration a reality.

For those of you who made the trip to South Africa, I hope you are well and rested following your incredible efforts during our recent Building Blitz. It was fantastic to see so many of you there.

The nature of having volunteers in both Cape Town and the Eastern Cape made it one of the most complicated trips we’ve ever organised – but you pulled it off, it was a phenomenal success.

A total of nine new classrooms were built, a new drop-in pre-school and feeding centre was completed and several school buildings were refurbished in Cape Town’s Imizamo Yethu township, and in Kokstad, Franklin and Bizana in the Eastern Cape.

Thanks to your incredible efforts more than 1,400 children across South Africa now have a much better chance in life. I hope you feel a sense of pride in the crucial role you played in this. I also hope you enjoy the March Blitz Week DVD enclosed with this letter. I think it really shows what our charity is about: its volunteers – like-minded individuals working together and the amazing things they can achieve. So thank you again for all your hard work.

We’re already building steadily towards this autumn’s Mandela Blitz. So far 180 people have signed up. Incredibly, due to demand, we’ve also opened up applications for the 2015 blitz.

The exciting news from Kenya could not have come at a better time than when we were officially opening the new Ruben Centre School building, a three-storey building which has 24 classrooms. The fact that the Kenyan Government has come on board with us to fund our school-building programme there shows what an impact our charity has made there.

The Ruben centre itself is a truly remarkable place – an oasis of opportunity in the desperate poverty of the Mukuru. We handed over a medical centre building there last autumn which has proved a valuable resource for the community, while this new building will provide huge opportunities for the 2,000 children who go to the primary school in the Ruben centre.

This wouldn’t have been possible without our wonderful volunteers, and your support is going to become even more important as Mellon Educate plays on ongoing role in providing educational opportunities for the children of the Mukuru and other impoverished communities in Africa.

We are already starting to provide resources for St Catherine’s School in Nairobi, where we built a new school last year for 1,300 pupils.

However, to continue this process we need your support, which is why we will soon be sending out a direct debt/standing order mandate to give you the opportunity to donate a small amount – as little as €5 per month – to Mellon Educate.

In the meantime, you can check out the latest with the Niall Mellon Township Trust and Mellon Educate here on our website or on our Facebook page.



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Niall Mellon Township TourNiall Mellon, Sister Mary, St. Catherines, NairobiNIall Mellon and Gabriel in Mukuru