Volunteers from across North Tipperary have returned home from Albania following a ten day tour building houses for impoverished families with Irish charity Heart to Hand.
Ballina resident Pat Whelan has been a volunteer with the charity for over ten years and says that the difference these projects can make to a community is immeasurable.
“In my opinion some of these areas are the poorest in the EU. There is a real problem with homelessness and many children have been left orphaned. The work that this charity and volunteers do has helped to transform the lives of those in need,” says Pat.
Almost 20 Tipperary volunteers visited three towns and cities during October including Tirana, Shkodër and Pukë in Northern Albania where the team constructed six houses as well as completing general maintenance repairs on previous projects.
“We put windows into a house for a family who had been using sheets of plastic as protection from the elements. Even a smaller job like that can make a huge difference,” he explains . Since the charity began, Heart to Hand volunteers have built churches , orphanages, schools and homes for the elderly throughout Romania and Albania.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.