A strong Galway contingent of enterprising volunteers travelled to Haiti this week with Irish charity Haven, and were among the impressive group of 297 who constructed 63 houses, a community/training centre and a playground in the earthquake-ravaged area of Gonaives.
‘Galway Advertiser’ motoring correspondent Padraic Deane was involved in the huge construction operation and he said that while conditions were challenging, with temperatures often reaching 47 degrees celsius, the experience was incredibly fulfilling.
"It was very tough both physically, working in temperatures of up to 47 degrees Celsius, and mentally, dealing with the terrible environment that the people of Haiti live in. However, to say that this experience is life changing and most rewarding is an understatement," he says.
Padraic is keen to highlight the plight and sufferring that the Haitian people are still facing, adding; "The Haitian people are already being forgotten with no foreign correspondents left in the country.
“They are the descendants of the slaves abducted from Africa and they have no oil or other precious natural resources to attract the interests, enterprise and jobs from wealthy nations.
“What they are is part of our human race and they deserve not to be forgotten, they deserve our help to achieve the basic human right of shelter and a fair chance of survival."
Padraic and the rest of his fellow west of Irelanders involved in this project, can be proud of their achievements in making a significant and worthwhile contribution to the people of Haiti.
You can get more information on the work of this charity by logging on to: www.havenpartnership.com