A SPONSORED walk will be held on August 12, organised by the charity Vita - Friends of Fr Kevin Doheny, based in Kilkenny. This charity has completed a number of fundraisers over the years supporting development in Chencha in Ethiopia. The walk begins on the Castlecomer/Ballyraggett Road, at the Abbeyleix/Ballinakill sign.
Meeting points on the walk include the Boys School in Ballyraggett, the church in Ballyouskill and the Square in Ballinakill. There will be a meeting point at Ballymartin cross for refreshments and entertainment (weather permitting, and alternatively the meeting point will be the hall in Ballyouskill). All are welcome to come along and all funds raised go directly to projects in Chencha, Ethiopia. The walk begins at 7pm.
Fr Kevin Doheny, a missionary from Ballinakill, founded Refugee Trust in 1989 (now known as Vita) following the famine in Ethiopia in the mid 80’s. Vita continues to promote community led livelihood development by providing skills training. In July 2008, Vita organised a mass in honour of Fr Kevin and his work so they could meet with the local people with a view to setting up a committee in the locality to help fundraise in support of Vitas projects in Ethiopia.
The committee was formed and were twinned with Chencha in the southern region of Ethiopia. The groups main fundraisers are a sponsored walk, concert, the sale of Africian Angels and gift vouchers at Christmas for fuel efficient stoves and maringa trees.
To date E35,000 has been raised and 648 families in Chencha have benefited from this money by Vita providing training, growing drought and disease resistant crops, building latrines, planting moringe trees (which have many uses including a source of food), developing the waving industry, building fuel efficient stoves, pottery making and the development of a women’s multipurpose co-operative.