Building of Hope

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The “Building of Hope” is a project relying solely on Irish Volunteers & Public Donation in an attempt to bring Care, Education, Hope and Support to those who have nothing. It began with a vision of hope of a better life for those living in dire poverty in Africa, for those ravaged by the HIV virus or lacking facilities for Education, Health and other simple things we often take for granted.

What makes the “Building of Hope” stand out from a lot of other Charities is that we rely exclusively on donations from the public; we are run on a purely voluntary basis and are only able to exist thanks to the time donated from our volunteers, who wish to give back to the under-privileged. Every cent that is donated goes towards the charity. Not one volunteer involved in our charity is on any type of wage!

However, on an on-going basis in Mombasa, the “Building of Hope” employs a Nurse and an Occupational Therapist to look after the welfare of the children in the "School for the Blind". We will continue to raise funds for the Children’s Education; each child requires a sponsor who pays for their fees, uniforms and hygiene products. It is always a struggle to get continuous funding, so if you feel at all generous, even the smallest amount you can afford will make a difference.

The Directors

Maureen McCarthy Halpin

Maureen, originally from Newmarket-on-Fergus, lives in Tubber, Co. Clare and runs a property business in Ennis. Maureen was a volunteer with the “People in Need” and the “Special Olympics” and has been involved in the “Building of Hope Project” from the outset.

James Lynch

James is an Architect by profession and lives in Claremount, Clarecastle, Co. Clare. Jim is involved in construction for the past 32 years and has travelled extensively and worked in the following countries – Botswana, the Middle East, Russia, Germany and France.

Mary Howard

Mary is a full time Clare County Councillor. A native of Ennis and is very much involved with Community activities. We are very glad to have her on board the “Building of Hope” Team.

Allen Flynn

Allen, MD of the Flynn Hotel Group has adopted the “Building of Hope” as one of his charities. Allen has been instrumental in recruiting volunteers and afforded us the use of the Old Ground Hotel, Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland and his sister hotel the New Park Hotel, Kilkenny, Ireland, free of charge.

Other Key Contributors

Fr. Martin Keane was born in Cranny, Kilrush on 8th November 1941. After doing his primary education in the local national school, he proceeded to Rockwell College in Tipperary for his secondary education. It was here he was introduced to the Holy Ghost Fathers, also known as Spiritans, who ran the college. After secondary education he entered the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers. During his studies between 1965- 67 he did pastoral work in Trinidad and the West Indies. He was ordained in July 1970 in Lissycasey, Co. Clare.

In 1971 Fr. Martin Keane set off for Kenya being appointed to the Diocese of Mombasa on the Coast of Indian Ocean. His long association with Mombasa and the African people began here. From the beginning Fr. Martin was involved in training young people for leadership roles in the church and local community in general. He was also Vocational Director for the Diocese and Bishop’s secretary. His involvement with young people, most of whom were unemployed, led him to develop projects for the youth such as a multi-purpose training centre in his first Parish Changamwe, Mombasa and a full Polytechnic (Vocational School) in another Parish, Mikindani. The young people were trained in different skills such as carpentry, metal work, motor mechanics, dressmaking and tailoring, among others. The aim was to help them with employment in local Industries or self-employment. After 20 years of existence the school is flourishing to this day.

Fr. Martin has also worked in Nairobi, the Capital City of Kenya at the University of Nairobi Chaplaincy. From here he became Regional Superior of the Holy Ghost Fathers in Kenya and was elected Provincial Superior of the Irish Province of the Holy Ghost Fathers from 1994 to 2000.

In 2001, Fr. Martin returned to his “home” in Kenya and worked at St. Austin’s Parish in Nairobi. Here as well as developing the small Christian communities he also was involved in opening a soap making project for the unemployed young people in the slums of Waruku and Gatina in Kangemi along with a multi-purpose Training Centre.

In January 2007, following the Archbishop of Mombasa’s request for the Holy Ghost Fathers to open a parish in the Diocese, Fr. Martin was appointed to this work ably assisted by Mr. George Irungu, a Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) Associate. The Parish in Mombasa called Migombani, is a totally new Parish but there is a large percentage of the population who are church goers. The overall population is more than 200,000, 60% of which is made up of youth. The “Building of Hope” Project have helped Fr. Martin Keane in his vision to provide a Polytechnic Vocational School in the Parish. Work was completed on this in our 2010 Project. “We pray that the Good Lord will bless all who are involved in this venture”, Fr. Martin Keane’s Blessing.

Our Ambassadors

Paul Flanagan 
Clare Hurler

‘It’s a great opportunity to be part of this project’.

Johne Murphy
Munster RFC

‘I am delighted to be an ambassador for the “Building of Hope” and would encourage people to volunteer in order to experience this life changing opportunity’.

David Kilcoyne
Munster RFC

‘This project represents all that is best in caring for and working with under-privileged children in Africa. I’m proud to be associated with such a venture’.

Brendon James Botha 
Munster RFC

‘It’s great to be on-board as naturally I am from Africa and have also got family ties within Kenya’.

We are delighted to welcome our newest Ambassador, Irish Traditional Musician, Sharon Shannon!

Sharon is delighted to be joining "Building of Hope" as our newest Ambassador. She even took some time out of her busy touring schedule to send us on a lovely video for our Info night which you can view here.

Sharon's career at the forefront of Irish Traditional Music has spanned decades and is in no danger of coming to a halt any time soon! Sharon is the biggest selling traditional music solo artiste in Ireland, with domestic and international units of her CDs amount to one million sales. Last year, Sharon played to in excess of 250,000 people Worldwide performing at Womadelaide, Womad New Zealand, Beautiful Days and the Volvo Ocean Race.

Currently working on a book on her life, Sharon is a passionate animal lover and does a lot of voluntary work and fundraising for various animal rescues and supports many other charities.

We are delighted to have Sharon on board!!!

For more information on Sharon Shannon's legendary career in Irish Traditional Music, please click here.

Our Volunteers

Let's not forget the people in the background, the Volunteers; over the years, there have been many. These are the people who give their time, support & skills, doing much hands on project work in order to help the less fortunate & make many friends along the way.

Our Friends

The Clare People Newspaper based in Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland have supported the “Building of Hope” since its inception in 2008 by giving widespread weekly coverage to the project. Bernie English, a Reporter with the paper, won the Mid-West Media Award for her coverage of our 2008 project. Gerry Collison, the Editor of the Clare People continues to give the project his full support and afforded 4 of his staff the opportunity to travel on the 2010 project to Mombasa as Volunteers.

Clare FM, our local radio station based in Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland, have promoted the “Building of Hope” projects and have afforded us extensive air time on their station. They linked up live with us while in Mombasa so that the people of Clare and further afield could hear the progress of the building at first hand from the volunteers working on-site at the project.

To all the people of Co. Clare and further afield, too numerous to mention, a sincere thank you for all the encouragement and financial support through supporting the volunteers in their fund raising efforts. It is thanks to you that our projects have been successful.

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