Volunteers off to India

TWO Dundalk women are giving up their summer to work closely with people affected by HIV/AIDS and children with severe physical disabilities.

TWO Dundalk women are giving up their summer to work closely with people affected by HIV/AIDS and children with severe physical disabilities.

Marie Lawless and Elaine Kelly are going to work with vulnerable children in Bangalore, India in projects run by the charity SERVE.

Marie is a nursing student and will be part of a three-member team volunteering in Sumanahalli in Bangalore, which is a leprosy and HIV rehabilitation centre.

She will be largely involved in caring for people affected with HIV/AIDS. The Summanahalli centre works to fully integrate those who have been affected with leprosy into mainstream society through treatment, education and employment.

In order to develop employment prospects they also actively educate and engage in skills training. The centre established three manufacturing units, which produces candles, leather goods and garments.

Elaine, aged 26, from Mount Avenue, is studying for a degree in Social Care and will be spending time at ‘Morning Star’, a boys’ home in Bangalore.

She will be involved in taking care of children with severe physical disabilities and also spending time with the other homeless children doing arts and crafts activities.

Morning Star is a centre for hope and learning that was formed to help poverty-stricken children in Bangalore, a city where many children can be found living on the streets often being forced into child labour.

Morning Star offers these children a home where they live together and receive a good education. They are also provided with the necessary tools for study and given a chance to move on to further study or enter employment.

Marie and Elaine will travel to India in June for the six-week programme. For more information visit http://servecharity.squarespace.com/india/