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Monday, September 8, 2014

A word from Youth Release Volunteers...
"I really enjoyed my experience volunteering with YR in Dire Dawa this August. Even though it was tough at times with some eye opening experiences, and cultural differences that were hard to understand, I found it very rewarding. I especially enjoyed the time I spent with the kids and even though it was short, I feel we made an impact on their lives. It is an experience I will never forget. Personally I have learned a lot from this trip and since I've been home I have been seeing and experiencing things a lot differently; I am more appreciative and grateful for all I have. The opportunity that Youth Release gave me this year was amazing and I'm very thankful for all the help and support I have received from Niamh and Laura and of course all my family and friends. I hope to help Youth Release in any way I can in the future to help them continue the amazing work that is being done in Genda Tesfa" -Aisling Kennedy
I spent three weeks volunteering and despite all the research and meeting with YR, I could not have been prepared for what was to greet me during my time in Dire Dawa. One of the main issues that left me reeling was the lack of basic necessities and everyday resources that we take for granted. I worked at the youth centre in ' Gende Tesfa ' which means hope, and this is exactly what the people here have. Despite the lack of basic resources and facilities there is huge sense of community and everyone is willing to get involved. The community are working together in a very positive way to promote education and the overall development of the area. During my stay I found the home visits most difficult and very emotional. Large families are living in poor conditions but despite this making the very best of life with the little they can afford.On return to my own workplace here in Ireland I hope to make my learning experience in Dire Dawa relevant and create awareness of the developing world with Irish children. I will continue to support the work of YR and Genda Tesfa. It was a very worthwhile and humbling experience for me knowing I was able to offer my knowledge and experience in early childhood education to the staff at the centre and to the children through art, music , dance, English language, sport and play.The children were very grateful for us  just being there - working along side them and teaching them new skills and games. This was my reward from volunteering, the staff, children, community and myself have earned many memories from the experience.- Mairead O Donovan
We would like to give a huge thanks to Mairead and Aisling for all their work while in Ethiopia. Betam, amesegenalehu. We hope you come back. If you would like to be put on the mailing list for our volunteer information, please email laurapower@youthrelease.com with subject volunteer. As always, thank you to everyone for making our work possible. Thank you to so much to Aoife O Sullivan and Marian Mulryanfor their donation of educational supplies. The kids loved them and the staff are so grateful for much needed resources.
      Did you know?
Youth Release is entirely voluntary organisation and depends on donations and funds raised by friends and family and hard work put in by Youth Release committee members to keep the youth centre running. This means we don’t spend any money on administration costs, all committee members pay their own way to get to and be in Ethiopia. All volunteers that come to work at the youth centre also pay their own way. This ensures that all funds we raise go to the youth centre and directly to the beneficiaries of the project.

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