MAYO woman Gina Corbett is hosting a wild Nephin cycle this month in support of Nurture Africa, a charity founded to support people affected by HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
Gina started volunteering with the Irish charity back in 2013 and spends two weeks working with the community in Nansana every year.
Nurture Africa's goal is to provide access to quality healthcare (primary healthcare and specialist HIV treatment and care), education and sustainable livelihoods projects whilst main-streaming child welfare and gender equality through its activities.
It helps prevent HIV infected children and adults from dying by providing access to lifesaving anti-retro-viral medication. The charity also enables orphans and vulnerable children to stay in school so they can attain a qualification, secure employment, and become a positive influence in Ugandan society.
Gina is urging cyclists to get on their bikes on Sunday, July 21, and join her inaugural Wild Nephin Cycle for Nurture Africa. Along the 50k route you'll enjoy some of Mayo's best scenery, leaving from Newport NS, going through the Nephins, and Furnace and ending back in Newport.
Registration is from 8 a.m. and the cycle gets underway at 9 a.m. Entry is €30.
Full details and the link to donate are on Facebook – Gina's Wild Nephin Cycle Event for Nurture Africa.
As a regular visitor to Uganda, Gina can see that every penny donated goes to good use. At the moment, the charity supports, in a small or large way, approximately 6,000 children, mostly in primary levels of education.
The first year she visited the charity started to build a community centre; it was finished off the following summer. Today, besides the kitchen where meals are prepared for staff and volunteers (by the trainees), it includes a salon for training hairdressers, a fashion, design and dressmaking, and craft making area, and a computer training lab for staff and nearby schools. There's also a carpentry workshop where they’ve been producing furniture for various areas like the new café called Urban Village which has opened in Nansana.
On the healthcare front, a mother and baby delivery area is up and running. During Gina's last visit, five babies were born.
A 'starter garden' is blossoming and is an invaluable project in helping clients start their own little gardens to supply their families with nutritious foods and to sell to generate a little income.
Child protection is also a very big part of Nurture Africa’s goal, and the charity is also continuing a programme in the north working with refugees from Sudan.