A GROUP of eight men from Lurgan and Magheralin flew out yesterday (Wednesday) to Ethopia to build houses for the charity Habitat for Humanity.
They left via Heathrow and will return on Thursday, September 27.
The houses they will build are at Debra Berhan, a small town around 12k from Addis Ababa in a mountainous region within the Rift Valley.
The houses have a concrete foundation and a reed frame which is filled with local ‘chikka’ before receiving a concrete outer skin. The houses consist of two rooms.
Many of the families who will live in the houses are currently raising families in huts and shacks which can be damp, leaky, without insulation and with no proper sanitation.
This can lead to life-threatening diseases and living conditions particularly for children, the elderly and infirm.
The building team are known as the ‘Boys from Byrnes’ as plans for the trip were laid at Byrnes pub in Magheralin which has hosted many of the team’s fundraising events.
A very successful ‘Night at the Races’ was also held at St Peter’s GAA Club, Lurgan.
The team have received generous support from the Windsor Club Lurgan, Byrnes pub, NI Electricity, the organisers of the recent Moira Game Fair and Marks and Spencers, Sprucefield, who granted the team a bag pack and collection.
Over £18,000 has been raised towards the costs of the trip and the building materials used to construct the houses.
Team member Billy Sterrett said: “We are really grateful to the people of Lurgan and Magheralin and surrounding areas who have supported our fundraising efforts by attending events and making donations. We’re very much looking forward to the trip which should be a once in a lifetime experience.”
Anyone wishing to follow the team’s experiences during the Ethiopia trip can do so by signing up for their Facebook page and blog at www.facebook.com/boysfrombyrnes.
Anyone wishing to know about the Habitat charity should visit www.habitatni.co.uk.