Athy - people make places - my dear friend Annette
The rose of Athy :)
This is where my dear friend Annette comes from. She works however for various charitable organisations in Africa for years and is currently based in Sudan.
So this page is sort of an "hommage" to a wonderful friend who has a heart soo big that the whole world would fit in easily.
Annette - darlin' this is for you (((((((((((((((HUG))))))))))))))))))))
Love you loads,
What Annette does ...
UU Student Makes a Difference in Darfur
22nd December 2004
Email this Page |
A University of Ulster student has been making a real difference to the lives of the people of Darfur in war-torn Sudan.
Annette Hearns, a student on the MSc Disaster Relief Healthcare programme, works for aid agency, Concern and she has been providing life-saving food and advice in what the UN has declared as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Annette is the emergency co-ordinator for Concern’s health and nutrition programme and has the difficult task of improving education, sanitation and nutrition in the area.
“Malnutrition is rarely only about food, there are so many factors involved such as hygiene and sanitation,” said Annette.
“We are trying to address all these issues through our work in this remote part of Sudan. At one of our camps in Krenik, where we distribute food once a week, I saw a mother whose child was severely malnourished. She said her whole family suffered from sickness and diarrhoea.
“With help from Concern’s nutrition team her child soon recovered and her family’s health improved after we showed her simple techniques to purify the well water before drinking. Minha now comes to the camp regularly and helps us education other local women about the importance of nutrition and sanitation.
“Our job is to build capacity so we are no longer needed in Darfur and can leave the project to be run by the national staff. All of the team are ordinary people who are now part of the most highly trained nutrition team in the state.”
Annette is due to return home to her native Kildare for Christmas and is looking forward to spending time with her family and friends.
Pat Deeny, Course Director for the MSc Disaster Relief Healthcare programme at UU’s Magee campus said: “This is just one example of the essential work our students and graduates do. 250 million people are affected by disasters worldwide every year and many of these are in conflict zones such as Sudan. I am very proud of the contribution our students and graduates make to humanitarian crises the world over.”
"****** Annette in Mongolia *********"
DARK SIDE OF MONGOLIA
By By Conor O'Clery, The Irish Times
The economic and political reforms have given a veneer of prosperity to Ulan Bator, but they have brought great hardship to many Mongolians, especially urban dwellers who worked in now defunct state industries. The fall in world prices for Mongolia's main exports, copper, gold and cashmere, and the contraction of the Asian and Russian markets have also hit Mongolia hard. Always a poor country, the living standard is lower than in the last years of communism. According to the World Bank, one third of the population lives below the poverty line and one in four children is chronically malnourished.
Many teenagers are forced to go into streets in order to earn money for their families.
This has resulted in the phenomenon of Ulan Bator's street kids, who have been growing in number for six years. Today, according to the police, there are 382 children living permanently on the streets, many refugees from abusive alcoholic parents. The number rises occasionally to between 500 and 1,000. They beg, steal, pick-pocket, polish shoes, carry rubbish or do other menial tasks just to stay alive. The street children sleep in the open when the weather is warm and during the freezing winter nights they take refuge in communal flats or in the city sewers. Below ground they huddle in gangs of about 25 for safety and sleep close to the insulated pipes carrying hot water to apartment blocks.
There are 16 foreign agencies working with the Mongolian government to relieve the plight of the children, including the Christina Noble Children's Foundation. Dublinborn Christina Noble, herself once a badly abused street child in the Liberties, has run a centre for street children in Vietnam since 1990. Mongolia has the same problems as Vietnam, Noble told The Irish Times last year, children being eaten alive by lice, suffering from syphilis and herpes - with no one to help because Mongolia is not fashionable". Two Irish nurses, Annette Hearns (29), and Orna McEntee (27), who work with the foundation, have been down the sewers to see conditions for themselves. Over several months they befriended the children, otherwise it would be too dangerous.
"The sewers are pitch black, full of flies and so humid that my glasses steamed up," said Annette. The foundation "helps families to stay together to avoid their children ending up on the streets and assists those children who are on the streets to get back into mainstream society," said its Ulan Bator-based director, Joe Woolf. "We are helping boys and girls who are prisoners, we are running a health education programme and a drop-in health clinic and we are also renovating a hospital for poor children. And with a mobile Mercedes clinic we will be touring the countryside, bringing primary health care to people that need it, and looking after and educating abandoned children and reintegrating them back into family life where possible."