A charity whose former director of education was murdered in South Africa has returned to the country to renovate schools.
Niall Mellon and 305 Mellon Educate volunteers from Ireland and the UK travelled to Cape Town to carry out extensions on premises in Wallacedene Township.
John Curran, 60, from Dublin, was found at his apartment in Cape Town earlier this month. It is understood he was stabbed.
Mr Curran had moved to South Africa several years ago.
He had recently retired as a director of education at Mellon Educate.
The Mellon volunteers have spent this week helping to improve educational facilities at the Enkululekweni Primary School and Hector Peterson High School.
It's incredible to see the growing family participation in the Blitz this year, the bar has been set for next year! #BuildingBlitz2018 #MellonEducate #CapeTown #SouthAfrica #Ireland #UK pic.twitter.com/wi0aWF6w9r— Mellon Educate SA (@melloneducateSA) November 21, 2018
Ken Kingston, country director of Mellon Educate South Africa, said: “It’s an ambitious task to build school facilities and classrooms for 600 children in one week but our volunteers are making every effort to achieve our mission.
“We are very proud of all our volunteers who are travelling to help some of the most impoverished children on our planet.
“Their muscles are truly sore after a week of hard labour, but the pride they take home will never leave them.
“Every volunteer returns home with an enormous sense of achievement.”
As our 2018 volunteers arrive in their hundreds we celebrate their commitment and dedication to getting the Job done. We remember with great respect and sadness, the loss of two of our colleagues this year - veteran volunteer, Brendan Mckennan and more recently, John Curran❤️ pic.twitter.com/TFzx4WFjMo— Mellon Educate SA (@melloneducateSA) November 17, 2018
Each year, Mellon Educate volunteers raise funds to partake in the charity’s annual Building Blitz, the majority of which goes towards building materials for the schools as well as towards the charity’s teachers mentoring programme, which commences in each school for up to five years, once the physical work is completed.
The volunteers are all ages and from all backgrounds.
While approximately a quarter are skilled in a building trade, the majority are not.
The charity added: “It is testament to the success of our programme and the legacy it leaves that many volunteers return year after year.”
- Press Association