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International connections zoom from Clare to India

WHILE many of us were using Zoom to do quizzes during lock-down, advocates with a learning disability supported by Brothers of Charity were using the technology to develop international connections.
The local advocates have been linking up with Indian charity Families for Children, a non profit, non-sectarian organisation that exists to fulfill the needs of children and young adults with disabilities.
Resulting from this, both groups are coming together to host a Wellbeing Zoom event on Thursday, September 16 to raise funds for Indian children and Families for Children’s work.
Labasheeda advocate Orla McMahon explains how the connection with Families for Children began back in April when the country was in the grip of record breaking cases of Covid-19.
“When I saw the news on TV, families getting turned away from hospitals in India it was desperate. I said, we should do something about this. Let’s do a fundraiser. We’re all meeting up on Zoom nowadays so we looked up charities in India and found FFC working with children and adults with disabilities. And hey presto we started meeting them on Zoom.”
The event will feature a mix of events including dancing, film, and exploring methods to support well being.
“Our Wellbeing Day is going to be great craic. FFC are doing a live Bollywood Dance class. We’ve got healthy eating tips and a yoga class for keeping calm. And some of the young people at the charity have made a lovely film of things they do to keep their spirits up in their home place,” says Orla.
“We’ve made a great film too with Shannon film maker Asha Murray. She’s been all over the county getting stories of what we’ve been doing this past year. Zoom bingo, online fitness classes, craft making, a giant chess set for Vandeleur Gardens, campaigns for disability facilities in Ennis. We’ll show this film on Zoom day too. It’s going to be really cool.”
Advocate Pauline Skehan summed up the project saying, “Its been a real eye opener meeting people on Zoom, seeing all the work they do. Singing, dancing, baking, recycling. Its very important to give to charity. Give to FFC if you can. They’re doing great work. It’ll lift your spirit.”
To apply to join the Wellbeing Zoom email rob.hopkins@bocsi.ie. To make a donation go to https://www.familiesforchildren.ca/ and go to the Just Giving donate page.

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