Five Hundred Housed


On last Sunday evening, the Community School team of house-builders arrived home from South Africa, very tired but very pleased. They had been part of a six hundred strong battalion of Irish volunteers who built eighty houses from scratch and completed another eighty that had been partially built by local African workers whom the Niall Mellon Trust had trained and employed. In total, five hundred shack dwellers are now, for the first time, making their homes in safe solid houses that have clean running water.  Their lives are transformed.

At the farewell gathering of the Irish volunteer builders in Capetown on last Friday night, Niall Mellon singled out the seven CCS students for special mention, acknowledging their major contribution to the week’s work. Earlier that day, the students and their teachers completed a beautiful design on one of the new houses in memory of their beloved schoolmate and student Claire Prendergast. For generations to come, a house in South Africa will proudly bear the title, “Teach Claire”.