Global Bridges Project 2016

Past-pupils Saran Diver and Erin Houghton visited CCS in December to speak to Transition Year pupils about their Global Brigades experience. The school subsequently presented €500 to the Global Brigades project on behalf of the girls and their fantastic efforts to date. The girls take up the story..."Last year we volunteered in Honduras, aided by the sponsorship of the school. We went out on a water and public health brigade with Global Brigades, a non-profit, student-led organisation. In total we were there on an 8-day brigade. For the water aspect of our brigade we were working in the community of Los Huatales. Here we spent three days digging trenches for water pipes to provide a faucet with clean running water to people's homes as they previously didn't have a clean running water supply.

On the fourth day we laid the pipes and filled the trenches back in. In these four days our group of 19 students provided 13 homes with a clean running water supply. Next we moved onto the public health aspect where we spent the remainder of the brigade in two family homes. Here we replaced the dirt floor with concrete to minimise the risk of dirt and disease from insects etc on the floor where young children were crawling about and people would sleep. We also built a sanitation system beside their houses containing a shower, toilet, wash basin and a place to wash clothes. This was again to increase general hygiene and combat dirt and disease. Finally we built an eco-stove which provided the families with a proper place to cook their food. Before this they were using fires in their one room houses and the smoke would stay in the room as there was no proper ventilation. As a result, respiratory problems were rampant, especially among the kids. Additionally we had an education day in the local school where we got to interact with the kids, play marbles and different little games with them, and teach them a few Irish dancing steps. In turn they taught us a traditional Honduran dance as an ice breaker. We also put on a little sketch to stress the importance of only drinking water from a source you know is clean and the danger of germs and illness from drinking dirty water. In July of this year the implantation of clean water in the community we were working in was completed.

In total, 141 homes were provided with clean water and adequate sanitation systems and eco-stoves to improve the community’s prospects. Our in-country translators and co-ordinators sent us all photos of the taps being switched on and it truly warmed our hearts. This year we are once again returning to Honduras, and have recruited another former Carndonagh Community School pupil, Eirn Diver."

This year, Erin (Houghton) and Sarah are themselves organising the brigade to Honduras to provide clean water and sanitation stations in a community near to the one they previously worked in. As well as fundraising, they have to recruit brigaders to go, oversee their fundraising and ensure that they meet their targets. They also have to organise flights and work with Global Brigade workers in Honduras to plan the itinerary and make it as productive as possible. Carndonagh CS wishes the girls all the best as they continue their volunteer work overseas.