A fundraiser in aid of a former Galway based nun who has been working in Haiti for the past five years will take place at the Irish Girl Guide Centre at 36, New Road on Saturday from 11am to 2.30pm.
The coffee morning/cake sale is being organised by the Trefoil Guild (ex guiders ) and will support the work being done by Sr Rose Kelly of the Sisters of Jesus and Mary. She previously worked at their Salerno secondary school in Salthill as a catechist and later with the Travelling Community in Hillside, Ballybane. The Castlebar born nun also ran a Guide unit.
She appealed to people through this newspaper in January to pray and offer support to the victims of the recent earthquake which affected an estimated three million people in Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
Sr Rose is based in Jean Rabel, a small town in the northwest of Haiti with a population of 25,000 people. Known as the “hungry town”, it is an eight hour journey by car/bus from the capital, Port-au-Prince, which was extensively damaged by the humanitarian disaster.
The house in which she lives with a Spanish nun, Sr Nazareth, “shook but held” during the earthquake on January 12.
“There were a few aftershocks but thankfully there was no damage in our area,” she says. “ We did not realise the full extent of the damage in Port-au-Prince as we have no TV. However, we read news on the internet and information was gradually making its way here.
“The reality hit us when one of the teachers in [Sr] Nazareth’s women’s workshop came in and told us that five of her cousins died in the earthquake, aged 15 upwards. Three had come uncoffined in an open truck, accompanied by an injured uncle. I attended the funeral services where the uncle broke down as he told of the awful happenings. The house the three students were staying in collapsed on top of them. There were two other cousins who were staying in a different house who also died but they could not remove them from the rubble. It was heartrending to hear that one of them did not die immediately and was calling out, ‘Save me, save me.’ Their cousin is a teacher in the workshop here run by Sr Nazareth.”
The money raised from the Galway fundraiser will go to the children’s orphanage there. The organisers are seeking donations of homemade bread, cakes, buns, tarts, etc. These may be left in to the Irish Girl Guide Centre at 36, New Road on Friday March 19 from 3pm to 4.30pm or on Saturday morning from 9am to 11am.