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Clare community sending 40ft container to Tanzania

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A West Clare community is putting together a 40ft container full to the brim of donations to assist a parish in Tanzania.

Fr. David Mlemeta works in the parish of Chikopelo which is 500km from the Tanzanian capital city of Dodoma. A visit to Lough Derg in Donegal seven years ago was followed by a trip to Co Clare where he developed relations with people in Ballynacally and Lissycasey, he now comes to the county once a year.

Once they discovered the conditions Fr. David was coming from, they were keen to help. In the past they have hosted fundraisers but felt that aid would be of more benefit to the people of Tanzania.

Karen Clancy is one of the Clare people leading the cause to pack the 40ft container full of donations. She explains why she got involved, “When we realised the poverty that he came from, he was able to show us pictures. His parishioners live in mud huts for all the world like what Crauggownen would look like. In this day and age that’s what they’re living in, their huts only last for about one year and they have to rebuild”.

Torrential rain this year in the parish killed people in Mlemeta’s parish and washed away houses. It’s another reason why Karen and co are appealing for items. Desired donations include; Clothes, dried food, bicycles, tools, first aid kits, large plastic storage boxes, crayons and colouring books, school supplies, footballs, large water barrels, suit cases, reading glasses, saucepans, cutlery, blankets, solar lights and religious items.

A special request is being made for non electric sewing machines. Karen outlined that is hoped this will lead to the creation of an industry in the parish that will allow them to make their own clothing. Similarly the benefit of the container will be long term.

“We purchased the container from the funds we raised and we will fill the container to the brim, I mean if we’re sending footballs they will be deflated, every single millimetre will be filled. Then the container will be sent to Tanzania and it will actually stay there, they will keep it. They can cut out windows and put a roof on it and it will either become a home for several families or it will be used for the industry”.

September is the planned departure for the container so that Fr David’s parishioners can have the aid on time for Christmas. Items can be left into Ballynacally Community Centre between 9:30am and 3:30pm from Monday to Friday or by contacting Margaret (085-8433118), Karen (087-4160385), Bernie (086-1220067) or Mary (087-7759272) for more information or to make a donation.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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