A GROUP of passionate local charity volunteers are holding a Christmas fair in Irvinestown next week, aimed at helping underprivileged children in Kenya.
AA Africa, which stands for Anawim Adonai Africa, is headed up by a group of eight local people from the Fermanagh and Omagh area, and supports the work of Fr Richard Nguta in parish of Kyuso, in the Kitui region of the country.
Set up in 2015, over the past number of years the committee has raised up to £70,000 with the help of the local community, through various fundraisers such as walks, cycles, dances and much more.
Now the committee has organised a Christmas Fair, which is taking place at Mahon’s Hotel, Irvinestown on November 26th from 10am-12.30pm, “or maybe a little longer,” as committee member Charlie McGovern predicted.
Mr McGovern told the Herald anyone donating or supporting the fair can be rest assured that “more than 100 percent” of money raised will be going directly to those who need it in Kitui.
“Every donation we get, 100 percent is sent out. In actual fact, we add to it again,” he explained. “We meet every month, and we donate ourselves every month.”
The money is sent to Fr Nguta’s local charity in Kenya, and is all accounted for.
“We do look for receipts for everything and make sure it matches up the finance that is sent out,” said Mr McGovern. “It’s sent out on a quarterly basis, unless there is an emergency.
“There was a couple of years there that there were famines and a request for extra money.”
The funds raised here in the Fermanagh and Omagh area are currently directly supporting a number children the whole way through their education.
“At the minute we have a round 15 children, primary, secondary and in third level education. We support them right through, and as they finish we take on new ones,” said Mr McGovern.
AA Africa, which can be found on the web at www.aaafrica.org or under the ‘The Three As’ on Facebook, also supports schools in the Kyuso area, and has helped build water tanks in the parish, restore school and church buildings, built toilets, and helped provide goats over the years.
Mr McGovern said the aim of the group was to “create education and help the under privileged, to help them help themselves.”
“Everybody is passionate, and I mean passionate, about alleviating poverty,” he said of the hard working committee.
As well as the Irvinestown Christmas fair, the charity is also preparing to launch a draw with a prize many in the local area will be hoping to scoop – a fully restored 135 Massey Ferguson, worth over £7,000.
Second prize is £500, while third is £250. Tickets are £20 each, or three for £50, and will be available at the fair and in other outlets.
“It would make a good present at any time of the year,” joked Mr McGovern.
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