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Ambassador's visit to Ndola on the occasion of Mr Michael Nugent’s 10th Anniversary work with Habita

Ambassador's visit to Ndola on the occasion of Mr Michael Nugent’s 10th Anniversary work with Habita

Every year since 2008 Michael Nugent heads a team of Irish volunteers to Zambia to assist in building decent houses for the very poor and vulnerable. On his tenth visit the Irish Ambassador to Zambia Séamus O’Grady joined Mr Nugent and his team in visiting some of the housing units that have been built on the Copperbelt town of Ndola.

The first visit was to George Compound which is a resettlement area that has been established by Habitat for Humanity Zambia in partnership with Ndola City Council. The community is located within 5 km radius from Ndola Central Business District with a total capacity of 171 plots of which 37 houses have been built with the help of volunteers from Wesley College and Gonzaga College of Ireland. The community still requires social services as no primary school is available save for a secondary school.

The Ambassador and Mr Nugent (centre) meeting with community members in George

Ambassador O'Grady with Mr Michael Nugent (centre). Credit: Makani Mzyece

The second visit was to Twapia Compound, another community within Ndola where the volunteers from Loreto Abbey Dalkey built a house for a family of Orphans and Vulnerable Children.

In early 2017, the Embassy facilitated the shipment of computers and books donated by various schools in Ireland as well as science equipment donated by University College Dublin. The books ranged from textbooks to story books while the equipment included microscopes. The primary recipient of the books was Graceland School that was established by Sister Grace- a Franciscan. The Ambassador officially opened the Library of the school and became its first member- he emphasised to the teachers the importance of using the books and science equipment in encouraging pupils to think creatively.

Graceland has other partnership with other educational centres that Mr Nugent has helped to interlink. One such place is Youngnuk Christian School which is located on the outskirts of Ndola at a place called Chipulukusu. Youngnak is a facility established by a South Korean Presbyterian Pastor called Rev. Seo Yon Kim who sold most of his possession and house in South Korea to establish the centre with his wife. Chipulukusu is a community with 20,000 households with a population of 40,000. The centre offers free food, spiritual, educational, and entertainment facilities for orphans and vulnerable children in Chipulukusu. Graceland shared some of the donated books with Youngnak Christian Centre. The centre also hosts Irish volunteers from time to time.

While in Chilupukusu the Ambassador officially handed over keys to three families that had their houses built by Irish volunteers.

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