THIRTY years after Lissycasey native, Sr Ethel Normoyle established the Missionvale Care Centre in South Africa, volunteers who have worked on the project, which helps the destitute, are to come together for a special fundraising initiative.
On Saturday, volunteers, the majority of whom are from Clare, will gather in the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis to launch the fundraiser ‘30k for 30 Years’, a campaign in which they have set themselves a target of raising €30,000.
Missionvale Care Centre, which was founded by Sr Ethel in 1988, is a non-profit organisation operating in the township of Missionvale in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Since its origin, operating from under a tree, Sr Ethel has grown the care centre into a facility that provides love and care for the poor and destitute. The care centre offers basic necessities to the estimated 25,000 residents of the Missionvale Township, including food, clothing, heathcare and education.
The Missionvale Ireland charity was subsequently established in 2008 in response to the poverty a group of Irish volunteers witnessed and experienced during a 10-day working visit to Missionvale township.
As Sr Ethel will reach a milestone in 2018 of 30 years working with the poor in Missionvale Township, Missionvale Ireland has organised the get-together of all volunteers on Saturday from 3pm to 4pm to launch the ‘30K for 30 Years’ campaign.
Internationally acclaimed musician Sharon Shannon, Missionvale Ireland’s ambassador, will attend Saturday’s launch and it is hoped to present Sr Ethel with a cheque for €30,000 when volunteers visit Missionvale next February.
Sharon said she was delighted and honoured to have become an ambassador for Missionvale Ireland and has long been an admirer of the work of Sr Ethel and the Missionvale Care Centre.
“To be involved in a charity with an origin in my home county of Clare is especially poignant. What makes it so unique is the fact that some of its trustees are people that I have grown up alongside. They are folk that I can trust. I am in awe of the work that is carried out by Sr Ethel and the people of the Missionvale Care Centre. Their selfless life-long commitment to the people of the Missionvale township is inspiring.”