THE third annual Colm Clancy Memorial Walk, which raises money for charity will take place on April 1 this year in Glenveagh National Park.
Over the past two years more than €22,000 has been collected for two third world charities working in Malawi, Cara Malawi and Ubwino Wa Amayi, and used for educational purposes.
As in previous years the walkers will come together in the car park at the visitor centre and at 11.30 be bussed to Gartan where they will walk approximately 8 kilometres through the park to Glenveagh Castle across the Lough Inshagh Walk.
This walk is very scenic with views back to Lough Gartan and the surrounding valley and skirts the traditional birthplace of St Colmcille and Leac an Cumhaidh, a visit to which, prior to departure, is reputed to prevent homesickness for emigrants.
Christina Lynam, a principal in Cara Malawi a registered Irish charity www.caramalawi.ie has said that the monies received from the walk have made a considerable difference to life in Kaphuca – teacher training, housing for teachers, school buildings and books.
Cara Malawi installed solar systems for lighting funded from their other sources, enabling children to study after darkness. This project, which has won a global award from the Indian government, has improved considerably the education opportunities for locals.
Ubwino Wa Amayi (www.ubwino.org) means ‘for the good of the women’. This charity founded in a parish overseen by Father Owen O’Donnell whose hails come from Donegal.
It concentrates on giving educational opportunities to girls and young women in the Namitembo area in Malawi. They do this by paying the fees for secondary, trade or computer courses, school uniforms, books and stationary, providing creche facilities and feeding programmes and health education projects.
The creche was constructed by Donegal people and graduates of the trade school. Aids is rife and without education girls and young women are condemned to a life, often short of poverty and maybe abuse. Education has been proved to provide a better life.
The money raised from the walk last year goes to the provision of toilet facilities for girls the absence of which has been found to be a deterrent to them taking up or sometimes giving up a place at school.
Toilets will also be built for boys. The design of these toilets has been completed and work is due to start after the rains.
It costs approximately €45 per year to keep a girl in secondary school and about €140 to keep a girl in the trade or computer school.
One of the founders of Ubwino, Mary O’Neill originally from Tyrone but living in Blantyre Malawi has said that Ubwino would welcome volunteers to work for them in Namitembo.
So if you feel that you would like to spend some time there log on to their website to see if your skills would be useful and that you could contribute.