Kildare town volunteer gives hope to Nigerian families

Mick Reade preparing the container for Nigeria helped by members of the community. Declan and Damien Crowe, Mick Reade, Peter Kearney, Sean and Ann Crowe, Ann McCormack, Mag and John Kearney. Photo: Jimmy Fullam.
A 40ft container packed with supplies for Nigerian families is on the first step of its journey to reach the poorest of the poor.

A 40ft container packed with supplies for Nigerian families is on the first step of its journey to reach the poorest of the poor.

Founded by Kildare town native Mick Reade, The Patsy Furlong Foundation has been in operation since 2001.

Just last week, Mick and his helpers finished packing up the supplies and donations from Kildare and further afield.

“The container has to be brought up to Armagh and we also have a tractor to get out to there. Then we have to work on getting it over there,” explained Mick. The journey is complicated and the organisation has to deal with customs and other issues.

“It would be great if we could get a container so that we could ship it out there and sell it so we can donate that money as well. The aim is to help the people to be self sufficient,” he added.

The charity is also looking for a plough and a harrow so the families can fend for themselves.

The container contains household furniture, carpets, linos and other items. A consignment of books will also be included.

Since Mick started his quest, he has noticed changes in the area.

“We are working on the co-operative, We are working on their housing. Their education is better and their diet is better. There have definitely been improvements.”

The Patsy Furlong Foundation is working in Ilesa in Osun State which has a population of 190,000 people and over 2,500 orphans and vulnerable people. Mick began his volunteer work in Romania but turned his attention to Nigeria in 2007. Since then the charity has purchased a house where three families are living and helped numerous individual cases. The committee consists of local people and has huge support within the community.

- Niamh O’Donoghue