Plans for 2016-18:
Multiple Care Units, Kenya

In February/March of 2016 we started work on a large general clinic which will be split up into a HIV/Aids Pre-natal Care Unit, Eye Clinic, Surgery, Counselling/Family Planning Education, Treatment Ward and Pre-natal Nutrition Information Centre. 

We also sent a shipping container of donated and purchased medical supplies out to Likoni in order to have the clinic fully furnished and up & running by the time the project is complete. Work will continue on this project from Mid-February 2018. We will also be doing considerable refurbishment at School for Visually Impaired in Likoni along with repairs at the Polytechnic. We have received a lovely Thank You letter from the school.

This is on-going, so if you have anything you wish to send/purchase for the container or would like to Volunteer your skills & time, please contact us directly.

Project 2014:
"School for the Blind" Completion, Kenya

Our “Building of Hope” volunteers travelled to Mombasa to continue their mission at the School for the Blind, in Likoni. Two years ago over 200 volunteers constructed a Residential Home which can house between 320 and 400 blind, special needs children and orphans.

Some of these children have multiple disabilities, so on this occasion the volunteers re-constructed two old buildings into a state-of-the-art Occupational Therapy Clinic and also reconstructed five old classrooms. 

The equipment for the clinic, including a new deluxe Vestibulator II which is used to accommodate a wide range of Therapy Modules for Vestibular, Neurodevelopmental and Sensory Integration Therapy, was purchased in Ireland. We also received donations of various medical supplies from Murray’s Medical Company based in Dublin and a local Medical Supply Company who would prefer to stay anonymous.

After a generous & sizable donation received at the end of 2013 we were able to commission a 20ft container to ship all donated & purchased equipment out to Kenya. Once we had the funds secure, we launched an appeal for donated items on our Facebook Page and were overwhelmed by people’s generosity. We received numerous boxes of clothes, books & toys, a ball pool, keyboards & monitors, to name but a few. The excitement when the container arrived on-site, on the very last day of our trip, after a 6 week journey, was indescribable; picture over 200 children plus many adults enjoying their first Christmas and that’s how special the moment felt!

In 2012 the school had 185 children enrolled with one form or other disability and there were 23 children with various disabilities including bad vision, physical & mental problems. Fast forward to 2014 and there are now over 50 children enrolled who have multiple disabilities. Thus the need for Workshops & Technical Training Facilities is apparent. We are already preparing for our next project to the School for the Blind and surrounding village in January and February of 2016. If the funds are available, we wish to help improve the people’s lives in the nearby village with a new project.

Project 2012:
"School for the Blind",  Kenya

Many of the Volunteers visited this School in 2010 while they were building the Polytechnic. They were upset at the conditions the Children were living in. The sleeping areas were run down and there was no segregation of male and female children/young adults. We vowed to come back and build accommodation for the children and also a Special Unit for Children with Physical Disability and Special Needs.

In October & November of 2011, Jim Lynch travelled to supervise the demolition of the old dorm buildings (the children lived in temporary accommodation in the meantime). Then in January and February of 2012, 200 Volunteers from all over Ireland travelled to build a 16,000 sq. ft. set of buildings.

This was completed with a massive effort from all the Volunteers and locals together. New bedrooms, shower facilities, a canteen, a day room and kitchen facilities where officially opened on the 23rd February, 2012. This Project was the biggest to date and was completed in conjunction with the Salvation Army and the Department of Education in Kenya.

Each building is bright and welcoming; the windows outlined in vibrant colours so those children who have some sight remaining will know where they are. Inside, everything has been planned and thought out with visually compromised or blind children, to make the most of what some can see of the World around them. Entrances are outlined in contrasting colours so they can find them. The layout is uncomplicated so they can easily make their way from one part to the next. Terracotta tiled floors ensure they won’t slip and injure themselves on unseen spillages. The whole façade is neat and cheerful.

The love and effort which has gone into creating this building emanates from it in waves and the children are so happy. At assembly just before the opening, they were giddy; laughing, smiling and clapping because they knew their World would change. They would have showers that work correctly, toilets that don’t smell like a cesspit, they will eat food prepared in a clean kitchen, on a shining new cooker and the Irish Volunteers will be forever held in these children’s hearts.

The 200 volunteers both skilled and unskilled were made up of block-layers, roofers, plasterers, electricians, plumbers, tillers, flooring and ceiling specialists, painters, paving specialists, stonemasons, landscapers, doctors, nurses, hairdressers, cleaning specialists and water runners.

They came from all over Ireland for the 2012 project and constructed a state of the art Residential Home at the Linkoni School for the Blind and have left a legacy to the people of Mombasa. The Volunteers constructed the project in 28 working days. They all gave 10 days of their time and it was an experience they will bring with them throughout their lives. They will remember the early call at 5am, the soaring temperatures of 40 degrees but the satisfaction they experienced could not be bought. The “Building of Hope” are eternally grateful for their hard work and commitment to the project. The volunteers are the real heroes of the project.

Project 2010:
Polytechnic (Vocational) School, Kenya 

In 2008 Fr. Martin Keane of the Holy Ghost Fathers, approached the “Building of Hope”, asking if we could build a Third Level Technical Institution (Polytechnic) in the Parish of Migombani in Mombasa, Kenya. 

Jim Lynch, Architect and Project Manager, designed a 14,000 sq. ft. set of Buildings. In January 2010, 185 Volunteers travelled and the building was completed including outside landscaping and paving all around. There are now 150 students attending various courses in Information Technology, Hairdressing and Hotel Management. All courses are state recognised with a qualification that is fully accredited. Mr Robert K. Opemi is the Principal at Holy Ghost Fathers Technical Institute and has done huge work marketing the College and at present it is self-sufficient.

200 volunteers constructed a polytechnic and feeding centre in the Parish of Migombani in just 28 days. The centre will give training to teenagers in carpentry, electrical, cooking, dressmaking and many other educational skills which will enable them to get out of the poverty trap and empower them to secure Sustainable Employment. Fr. Martin Keane is having the building registered with the Education Dept. and it will be fully operational as a Training Centre with the first intake of students commencing their first term in September, 2010.

Project 2008:
HIV/AIDS Clinic, South Africa

In January 2008, 165 Volunteers, from Clare and all around Ireland, travelled to Missionvale to construct a HIV/AIDS Centre. Sr. Ethel Normoyle, who is the inspirational force for good in Missionvale, spoke to the “Building of Hope” of the extreme poverty and living conditions of the people. She wanted to build a place where people could come to and would be treated with respect whilst being assisted with a programme of medication to improve the quality of their lives. 100,000 bricks were laid and the building was officially opened on the 14th February, 2008. 

167 Volunteers constructed a HIV/AIDS Centre in a township in Port Elizabeth. This was constructed in 28 working days. As this was the “Building of Hope’s” first venture, this was a huge learning curve and valuable experience was gained by the Team for future projects.

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