When primary school teacher Padraic Mc Keon was holidaying in Africa in 2007 with his family, he took the opportunity to visit some local schools. When he saw the conditions under which teachers worked, he thought to himself ‘When I retire, I might be able to help here’.
So when he did retire in 2010, he contacted VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas ) and was duly offered a position as education advisor in South Sudan, the newest country in the world.
Thus, in February 2012, he found himself working in Yambio, in the western part of the country. There he spent a year helping to train various education personnel. Despite daunting challenges, it proved to be a very rewarding and fulfilling time. In his book, From Mayo to Yambio, he relates some of those fascinating experiences.
The stories are most interesting and varied, some serious, some humorous, with Padraic’s personal insights into life in one of the world’s poorest countries.
His fondness and respect for the people who live and work in Yambio are evident in his writing. All profits from the sales of the book will go back directly to them. Padraic worked for many years as principal of Newport NS. He is a native of Louisburgh and lives in Castlebar.
You can purchase the book which is priced at €20 in any of the following local bookshops: Castle Bookshop, Castlebar; Duffy’s Bookshop, Westport; Books at One, Louisburgh; Tertulia Books, The Quay, Westport; and Eason’s, Tone St, Ballina.