An Inishowen woman is hoping she can make a difference in the Third World as she prepares for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Uganda.
On July 21 Muff’s Mary McCormick will be travelling to the Ugandan village of Nansana for three weeks to work in an orphanage with young children infected with Aids – children, who without medication and help, will die before they turn five years-old.
Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Mary can’t wait to get over to the Third World country to make a difference.
“This is something I have put on ‘my list’ to fulfil in my life since I was 12 years-old and have always been hugely passionate about. Now the time has finally come for me this summer I can’t wait to be immersed in their culture. I am also looking forward to the challenges that will undoubtedly arise and am very aware that it will give rise to different emotions.
“But I am very touched by the way people from the developing world can smile. It says a lot about us in the Western World and our demands and ‘needs’ in life.
“I guess it will be a very humbling experience to laugh and play with the kids in their own environment.
“We all have our own senses of loss but what must it be like for them on a daily basis knowing that their children will die before they are five if they are not medicated.”
Travelling to the African country with Irish charity Nurture Africa, Mary will be self-funding the trip to Uganda, but is required to first raise two thousand euro for the charity.
“In order to go on this voluntary placement, I have to self fund all my own flights, accommodation and living costs which are now in place. But aside from that I have to raise 2000 euro, which goes directly to the Nurture Africa Charity.
“Initially I set out saying I would even self fund the 2000 euro myself but someone encouraged me to organise something as people out there are willing to help. They’re are very kind when it comes to supporting such a worthy cause.
“So a few emails and texts later, I have accumulated a group of about 25 family and friends who are going to walk the three bridges in Derry with me to raise money.”
The Three Bridges to Uganda, which takes place tomorrow morning, allows participants to raise vital funds independently.
“We are all meeting at Sainsbury’s car park at 11am where we will walk the three bridges in Derry. It’s about eight miles long and each has been asked to wear fancy dress. I am hoping it will be a bit of fun as well as helping the kids in Uganda extend their lives. Everyone has been so kind to me and I have been awestruck by the support from family, friends and members of the community here have shown me.”
Despite the journey ahead, which is over 4000 miles, the Muff woman says she’s not nervous. She intends to “take it all in her stride” and take a “few deep breaths” as she goes.
To find out more or to donate to the orphanage go to www.mycharity.ie/event/mary_mccormicks_event/ or see her charity event on Facebook