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he community

nal painters work

Modest Brendan credits good karma - THE BUSINESSMAN

The volunteer painters relaxing after a hard days work!

Dublin City Council sheltered housing complex and to paint all four homes in one day. While the senior citizens settled down to watch Casablanca with a cup of tea in the warmth of the common room, the painters got to work! An Siol also got local businesses to sponsor refreshments and snacks for the painters, to enjoy on their well earned break. The day was a great success, €6,000 was raised for building projects in Calcutta, the senior citizens got their homes painted and both the volunteers and senior citizens enjoyed the experience immensely. The success of the project was for two main reasons. Firstly, as both An Siol and Brendan were very clear about what they were responsible for organising, the project ran very smoothly on the day. Also we kept it

simple, recruiting four senior citizens in one sheltered housing complex, with all ten volunteers painting on the same day, rather than dealing with the logistics of trying to do a wider geographical spread over a number of weekends. An Siol will definitely be involved in another painting project, but even more so I think it has opened our eyes up to the possibilities of what we can achieve by teaming up with the business community. • For further information contact, Breeda Mc Namara, Senior Citizens Development Worker, An Siol CDP, 19 Manor Street, Dublin 7. T: 01-6775741. E: ansiolcdp@eircom.net

ndia link - THE SENIOR CITIZEN couples “having to hock their life away for 40 years to pay for a home.” His own children are living in England, where Joe worked for 30 years of his life (chiefly as a telephone engineer). He enjoys travelling over to see them and his grandchildren. More immediately, he is looking forward to July 2nd, when An Siol CDP are taking senior citizens on a fishing trip. He will skip the trip that follows “to some stately home or something like that.” You would never guess from all his plans that this man is recovering from a heart attack a couple of months ago. For this changing ireland

reason only – and while wishing he could take the paint job with him – Joe is hoping for a new home with two rooms. “Living in one room isn’t easy, you know when visitors call around and they have to sit on the bed.” At least, while he is waiting for a TD to come bearing good news – and no doubt he will be showing them this article – his four walls are gleaming brightly with fresh magnolia.

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BRENDAN Doyle is in the accountancy business, yet he had the contacts to track down ten professional painters willing to give up a day to paint the homes of senior citizens in Arbour Hill. “Instead of hassling people, you offer them an opportunity,” he said. But how did he happen to know ten professional painters? “I do the accounts for a lot of painters – maybe it’s a karma thing! They were eager to help, they’d like to do it again next year,” he continued. And where did he come up with the idea? “I was doing a course with Landmark Education on how to ask people for things and how to be on top of your life. And this was the project I did out of the course. “Landmark are a controversial crowd, there were people ringing up the Joe Duffy Show complaining about them, but I found their stuff good.” Through the painting project, thousands of euro went towards a school-building programme in Calcutta. Brendan’s children attend John Scotus School and it was through them that Brendan became aware of the programme. Each year, students from the Donnybrook school travel to India and link up with Sr. Cyril, an Irish nun who left the country in 1957 and has remained in India since. “She is on a par with Mother Theresa, just not as well known,” said Brendan. In effect, Brendan – through his unique project in collaboration with the school and An Siol CDP – has established a local-global link between senior citizens in inner-city Dublin and young people in Calcutta. most of the world’s farmers are women

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