We thank Joan McCann of Ballinhassig for the following appeal.
As a retired teacher I have been going to the Gambia (in West Africa) for the last six years on a completely voluntary basis. During this time, as a group, we have held workshops to provide further training for groups of teachers, sometimes in areas that were very remote and very far inland. Bridget’s mother Philomen is one of those teachers. She is a very fine hardworking lady, doing her best to provide for her family, not an easy feat in Africa as teachers are very badly paid. Bridget’s father is an invalid, and Bridget is the eldest of three girls. She is just eighteen years old and had recently done very well in her state exams – despite her illness. Bridget is the family’s hope of some ease from the poverty they live in, because if she is educated she will help the others.
Bridget has been suffering for quite a while from juvenile scoliosis., and in recent times because it is so severe, her breathing is becoming dangerously restricted. She is very ill and very distressed and in need of surgery urgently. Because of the relationship she has built up with us, her mother Philomen has implored us to help to save her daughter – how could we refuse?.
After months of searching we have found a surgeon in Ghana who will perform the surgery – but the cost of surgery, after care etc will cost approximately Euro 25000.00.
My friend Margaret, who lives in Dublin and who is my working colleague in the Gambia, is striving diligently in Dublin to fundraise for this cause also.
I will be holding a coffee morning on November 30th at my home on Briar Hill from 10:30 to 12:30 and 2:30 to 4:30 and a ceili in the Marian Hall on January 7th for the same cause and a concert on January 21st also in the Marian Hall, Ballinhassig.
For further information I can be contacted at 087 9685484.