Saturday, January 15, 2011

Geoff Fitzpatrick Volunteer on Project 2012 - Likoni School for the Blind.

Why I am doing the Building of Hope Project 2012 – Geoff Fitzpatrick Volunteer Kenya 2010
Sometimes in life you get a chance to do the right thing. A chance to be brave and to make a change. To change your life, and the lives of other people for the better. You can walk away or take a chance.

In 2010 volunteers from the Building of Hope project had a chance to do the right thing. We travelled on 3 flights from Shannon and Dublin. We were tired, jet lagged and grumpy when we got to the welcoming party at Migombani. As we got off the bus, we saw the Likoni School for the blind. We knew it was the school because it was written on the wall but also because we saw the blind kids behind a wire fence, listening with intent to all the commotion and noise. They listened to the strange foreign voices, absorbed the smells and reached out to touch hands. The volunteers took photographs and moved along with the welcoming party.

A week later as we boarded a bus home, weary from the day’s work. Olive suggested we call into the Blind School. The buses drove in and we got off. The school was a number of concrete buildings, run down and sad. The classrooms were sad. The bedrooms were sad. This was no place for sighted kids let alone blind kids.

We walked along a pathway to the assembly hall at the back. As we approached there was a hushed silence. We walked into the room and were hit by a train of sound, kids clapping and singing as loud as they could.

“We welcome, we welcome, we welcome, you today”. A hundred thousand welcomes. The kids poured out love and joy as we walked into the hall. They sang songs - soul songs. Songs of hope. We clapped and we cried - tears of joy and tears of shame. In all this darkness there was hope. Our chance had come and it was time to do something.

Olive Halpin made the call 6 months later and now we are going to make it happen.

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