TWO Mayo schools have joined forces to send a group of students to Zambia where they will work on community projects over the Easter holidays.
Fifteen students from Foxford Secondary School and Davitt College, Castlebar, departed for Africa last Saturday. They will return on April 22.
Leading the group are teachers Eimear McInerney, Irish and geography teacher in Foxford, and Kevin Donlon, history and geography teacher at Davitt College. Both have worked with Serve, an Irish charity based in Cork since 2012 and having led volunteer programme to Zambia before, they decided to give students the opportunity to go on a School Immersion Programme this April.
Eimear explains how information sessions were held in the schools, application forms were filled, and interviews were held last May.
Having selected their team, each student then had a target of €2,000 to raise, while each school had a target of €6,000 to hit for the project costs. Various fundraising events were held - bake sales, quizzes, church gate collections, 5k runs, Santa dashes, non-uniform days, card drives, and bowling blitzes among the events held by teachers and students.
Over the Easter holidays, the group will be based in a community in Mazabuka, Zambia, where they will be working and living in an orphanage, conducting workshops in the local primary school, helping in a school for children with disabilities, and working on a farm to help the farmer prepare land for crops to be planted.
A sports day will also be held for local children, with the student volunteers leading that operation.
Said Eimear: “We are delighted to have the support of our schools and school communities on this endeavour. We wish to thank all of those who have already donated to the cause and if anyone else would like to contribute, please go to
The eight students participating from Davitt College are Aisling Hughes, Michelle McEllin, Sarah Glendon, Laura Canning, Eibhlin Moran, Cian Plaster, Dylan McGuinn and Seán Monk. The Foxford volunteers are Niamh McHale, Eorna Mulroy, Anna Yeates, Áine Ruane, Shóna Doherty, Ciara McHale and Olivia Bracewell.