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A file image of the Mukuru slum in Nairobi
A file image of the Mukuru slum in Nairobi
Image: Brian MacCormaic/PA Wire

Charity postpones 350-volunteer-strong Kenya trip

The Niall Mellon Township Trust was due to build a school in a slum of Nairobi, but says volunteers’ safety comes first.
Sep 25th 2013, 10:51 PM 9,266 23

AN IRISH CHARITY has had to postpone a week-long school building trip to Kenya.

In light of the Westgate Mall attacks, the Niall Mellon Township Trust said that the safety of their volunteers must come first, cancelling the 12 October trip.

The 350 volunteers were due to spend a week building schools and classrooms in the poorest parts of Nairobi.

The charity’s founder said that the decision was made on safety grounds.

“Our charity has earned a prestigious reputation over many years for the excellence with which we look after our volunteers,” said Niall Mellon.

“If I don’t feel we can take enough  security measures to protect them ,then we will not bring them.”

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Mellon said that the two schools will still be built before Christmas, with volunteers’ funds being sent over regardless.

“Of course I am extremely disappointed to not be bringing the amazing Irish people who fundraised so hard all year, but thanks to their fundraising efforts we are still going to get our two schools built and finished in the Mukuru slum,  this  year.

Their security is always mine and the Board of Directors  absolute  priority and we have reassessed the ongoing security threat in light of what happened. It will take a few months to fully assess whether  repeat attacks are likely.

The charity is currently building schools and classrooms for 3,300 of the poorest Kenyan children in Nairobi as part of its new education initiative. Using local labour, they have already built a substantial extension to a school and aim to have the project fully completed by Christmas.

Read: 63 still missing as Kenya begins three days of mourning

Read: Co Down-born woman may have taken part in Nairobi attack

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