DRINAGH-based primary school teacher MaryAnne Hayes is asking people to think of others less fortunate, this Christmas.
‘With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer,’ she said, but this past summer she decided to travel to Sri Lanka and put her ‘energy, enthusiasm and skills’ to good use for a great cause.
‘Near Galle, on the southern coast, Sambodhi Home offers volunteers a unique opportunity to help the most underprivileged and vulnerable members of Sri Lankan society,’ she explained. Largely depending on the generosity of the local and visiting community, Sambodhi Home caters for residents with physical and intellectual disability.
‘During my placement, I assisted the residents on trips to the beach, facilitated art activities and engaged with the residents, who were so eager for companionship. At the weekends, we’d get together to see other parts of the country, from the rainforests to the tea plantations,’ she told The Southern Star.
‘Don’t be fooled into thinking this is only for the young college students,’ she added. ‘You don’t need big experience or qualifications, only a big heart! Volunteers are guided by the project manager, another native of West Cork, Nadia O’Shea. Nadia has worked with Sambodhi Home since 2011 and is committed to improving the lives of the people living there.’
MaryAnne is inviting anyone who’d like to learn more about the Sambodhi Home to contact her at [email protected] or see www.sambodhihome.com.