Monday, October 19, 2009

World Vision Ireland has moved Blog

World Vision Ireland is no longer updating this blog.

We’ve got a new 'aid worker abroad' type blog written by Eileen Morrow our Programmes Coordinator for East Africa.

Eileen blogs at least once a week about her life living and working in Kenya. It's sometimes funny, sometimes sad but should always leave you with something to think about. You can read it here .

Don't forget to leave a comment and tell us what you think. We love feedback - good or bad.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We Do Care - Crowd Gathers outside Dept of Finance

Yesterday morning, I joined a big crowd which had gathered outside the Dept of Finance.

We were there to call on the Irish Government to protect its overseas aid programme from further cuts. We were 222 people in total, representing the €222 million already cut from the 2009 Irish aid budget.


These cuts are having a devastating effect in poor countries with aid agencies scaling down programmes and even pulling out of some countries, meaning even more people are going without life saving food and medicine.

We then heard a few words from Hans Zomer, Director of Dochas, the umbrella organisation for aid agencies in Ireland.

"As a nation, we do not want to see the weakest and most vulnerable suffer disproportionately. To target the poorest and most vulnerable who have done least to cause this crisis is a terrible injustice."

Take Action
You can find out more about the campaign to protect the Government’s aid budget from further cuts at

Tressan in Dublin

Friday, September 4, 2009

Dancing with children

This time last week I was dancing under the midday sun with 200 boys and girls from all over Northern Kenya.

We were celebrating the "Children's Voices" conference, which brought together children from the many different tribes here and gave them a chance to voice their concerns to the Government.


Through dramas, poems and testimonies we heard how their lives were affected by the food crisis, insecurity and crime, water shortages, poor health care and early marriage.

They then presented their recommendations and requests to the Government of Kenya in a formal document. The Government was represented by the Ministry of Health and the Department of Children's Services.

Tough Questions

The children asked their government many tough questions, which represented a real break with the tradition of silence and not challenging ones elders. "Why do we only have 2 doctors in our hospital and the only time they are punctual is for lunchtime?" "Why do we not have any tarmac roads or police in our area? Many people are being attacked".


And afterwards we boogeyed. The popstar (Jimmy Gate anyone?) informed the audience that I was the first mzungu (Swahili word for white person) he'd met who had any rhythm. I was chuffed.

By Eileen in Nairobi

Friday, August 28, 2009

Visiting Farmers in Kenya

Part of my job as Programmes Officer for World Vision Ireland is visiting the development projects to see how things are progressing.

The other day I made a long bumpy journey in the back of a pick up truck to a place called Mutonguni in Eastern Kenya – an area which has not received a drop of rain for almost a year.

Supporting Farmers

I met Lucy Ndemange and her husband Sammy. Lucy is a member of the Kauwi Farmer’s Group, one of twenty groups that received training in new farming methods from World Vision and the European Commission.

With Sammy’s help, she tested these methods on their land."We planted kale and tomatoes and we harvest once a week, which earns us 3,000 bob (€28) per week. We are using the money to pay for our daughter’s secondary school fees and we have plans to expand this technology across our farm. Our neighbours have even started copying these methods" explained Sammy.

Lucy and her neighbours have access to a well, which they can water the crops from, but it’s not easy work: She let me have a go at pulling the 20 litre bucket up the 18m well shaft and laughed when I broke into a sweat before it was half way up. Not easy, I can tell you.
By Eileen in Nairobi

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

World Vision CEO on Newstalk

I really enjoyed an interview with World Vision Ireland Chief Executive, Helen Keogh, on Sunday with Norris on Newtalk last weekend.

Claire Byrne was standing in as the presenter and they got to talking about Helen's life spanning feminism, politics and how she came to work for the overseas development agency World Vision Ireland.

Women in Power

Helen successfully ran in the 1992' breakthrough election' which saw 9 new women TDs get elected and brought the total number of female TDs to 20. It was really interesting to hear her talk about how they were all brought onto the Late Late Show and asked who was going to mind their kids while they were at work... It's well worth a listen.

You can listen to the interview online at

It takes a minute to download as the files is quite large. You can also get the podcast on the Newstalk website

By Tressan in Dublin