Action Ireland Trust is a registered charity CHY 20533.
The Charity was inspired by Niall Fitzgerald who in conjunction with the late Marian Finucane and Friends in Ireland commenced a program of building Feeding Centres, Crèche Facilities, Anti-Retroviral Clinics, Orphan Housing, Educational and Healthcare Training in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Eastern Cape and in many rural areas of South Africa between 2006 to 2010.
In 2011, Action Ireland Trust was established by Niall Fitzgerald and Fran Whelan who together with our current Board of Directors commenced a new development program in Lesotho in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Training, Ministry of Health, Ministry for Sport, Culture and Gender Equality and UNICEF.
There are no employed staff at Action Ireland Trust. All works are carried out voluntarily and the charity deploys up to 100 volunteers from various trades and careers annually, including 40 – 50 transition year students from Portmarnock Community School, to Lesotho in southern Africa. Action Ireland Trust has scooped the Fingal Chamber of Commerce Business Awards for Best Non-Profit Organisation in 2012 and again in 2016, which is a testament to the hard work, generosity and support of all of our volunteers and sponsors.
Our team of volunteers work in Construction, Infrastructural and Maintenance projects, Education, IT training and Music and Sport for Schools, Skills transfer, Sanitation and Sustainable projects. There is also a support programme to St. Joseph’s Hospital, Roma in primary healthcare and improvement of the facilities at the hospital. We also work to establish community co-operatives and Agricultural projects. Our unique partnership with Portmarnock Community School since 2006 has seen 50 transition year students travel annually in the initial years to South Africa and now Lesotho with involvement in a wide range of educational, music, cultural and sporting programs during their visits. This partnership has had a significant impact on the young people of Lesotho but also an unmeasurable impact on our students travelling to less well-off countries. To date, nearly 700 students from the school have travelled to Africa to work on great projects.
Over the years AIT has entered into a number MoU’s at Ha Hlalele High school, UNICEF and St. Joseph’s Hospital, Roma. At Ha Hlalele High School we have provided new classrooms, a music room, a kitchen, a science laboratory, a bored well, a teacher administration block, a flushing toilet block, an IT laboratory and electricity. We have also assisted in the setting up of the Men and Women’s Co-Ops, Self-Sustaining Agricultural project. Ha Hlalele High school is now in the top 10 in Lesotho with now over 800 students enrolled from the initial 300 students in 2011. Due to the improved water, sanitation and hygiene input from Action Ireland Trust female student drop-out has decreased dramatically.
We have also played a large part in mapping projects over the previous number of years in Lesotho and we work closely with the ministry to amend and implement legislation which will further protect and provide education for young children. We are working in partnership with Fingal County Council on our #MapLesotho project with another key partner – Portmarnock Community School, where the entire country of Lesotho is now mapped, paving the way for long term National Spatial Planning. Planning and Development into the future in Lesotho will ensure there is proper and sustainable use of land for Housing, Schools, Healthcare, Agriculture, Parks, protected environments and much more.
Action Ireland Trust strives to educate, mentor, encourage and support a vast number of people across a wide set of skill sets in Lesotho to enhance their own abilities, which in turn enhances their lives and the lives of those in their community. We remain dedicated to continuing our work in Lesotho and are currently working on a range of projects with support from various agencies, Teacher Training, Agriculture – Country Crest, Planning and Development – Fingal County Council, Design and Construction, IT Labs and a host of skills exchange programs. Our flagship project working in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Training / UNICEF is developing Lesotho’s first Early Childhood Development Centre to start children from 0 to 5 in the education process as early as possible. This project is nearing completion and is a pilot project to be replicated in other key areas in Lesotho.
We have a very strong and dedicated team who work tirelessly both behind the scenes at home and on the ground in Lesotho. We have recently developed Our Vision 2020 – 2025 and are well into the planning stage for each aspect of the plan.
What are our Objectives?
- Action Ireland Trust strives to educate, mentor, encourage and support a vast number of people across a wide set of skill sets in Lesotho to enhance their own abilities, which in turn enhances their lives and the lives of those in their community.
- Many of our projects are underpinned by a skills transfer, teaching and learning philosophy. Our aim is to teach and trade skills that will enable the communities of Lesotho to improve their lives and the lives of those around them.
- Our project in education is entitled “From Cradle to Career”. This project is based at Ha Hlalele. Our objective is to create an educational model that will develop a pathway out of poverty. This project in the main is a self-help project that encourages students, teachers and parents to engage in a process of self-determination, linking real-life opportunities to student teaching and learning from an early age. Our overall objective is to have a whole community-based participation in education from childhood to adulthood and we aim to provide the facilities, amenities and resources for the community to succeed in this.