Mayo woman founds organisation to help developing world

An Irish contingent will climb Africa’s highest peak and the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, in order to raise funds for Goal’s Horn of Africa Crisis Response and Cementing Communities, a non-profit organisation established with the aim of empowering communities in the developing world.

Cementing Communities was founded earlier this year by Mary Collins from Claremorris and Bryan Cahill from Renmore, Galway. Both have significant experience in community and voluntary work in Ireland and overseas. The pair previously led teams of students from NUI Galway, which fundraised and built houses in Zambia and Honduras with the housing charity Habitat for Humanity. Bryan and Mary felt that further involvement and engagement was necessary in order to realise the full potential of communities in developing countries, and so founded Cementing Communities in 2011.

Speaking at a training session on Croagh Patrick last weekend, operations officer Mary Collins said, “The team are confident of achieving our goal of reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and fundraising as much money as possible for Goal and Cementing Communities”.

“Given the proximity of Mount Kilimanjaro to the famine and drought in East Africa, we also decided to raise funds for Goal’s important work there,” she added.

Their work will initially focus on the village of Kawama, near Ndola in the Copperbelt Province of Northern Zambia. Over the next 12 to 18 months, Cementing Communities will establish a sewing and knitting community cooperative, a chicken rearing and egg cooperative, and drill a new well in ‘Habitat B’.

Donations are sought online for the Climb for Africa appeal and may be made at All donations are gratefully appreciated, and will be divided equally between Cementing Communities and Goal. The cost of the climb itself is funded by individual participants, and funds raised will not be used to fund the trip. For further information see or email [email protected]


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