Dublin : Natalia saddles up for charity cycle for Zambia

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A KEEN cyclist from Killyclogher has organised a charity cycle to raise vital funds for a mission outreach in Zambia. Natalia Campbell, an occupational therapist, based in Dublin, was keen to get involved in helping those in need and has hooked up with the Coalisland parish helping with their voluntary outreach project. She said, “I have been looking for something just like this outreach for a number of years now. I previously went to Honduras with ‘Habitat for Humanity’ as a volunteer to build a house for a family and this was the most humbling experience of my life to date. “I was selected as an immersion volunteer by Fr Paul Byrne in Coalisland after a meeting in November when I heard of the mission outreach from a close friend. I am now at the fund-raising stage of the process in order to support the projects financially in the Chipata compound in Zambia.” Natalia explained the background to the work at the compound.

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“In 2009, following his involvement with a ‘Habitat for Humanity’ building project in Ethiopia, the parish priest Fr Paul Byrne, initiated a discussion within the pastoral council and with the wider parish community with a view to setting up a permanent link with a parish community in the so-called developing world. In February two sisters from the ‘Franciscan Missionary Sisters’ from Africa came on a mission appeal to the parish. As a result of that visit a link was created with the parish community of St Paul’s, Chipata Compound in Lusaka, Zambia. “The first group of 12 volunteers went to the Chipata Compound last summer. They were involved in providing class retreats in the main school, assisting in computer classes and helping teachers in the pre-school. They also visited families of those who are affected by HIV/AIDS alongside the parish home-based care teams.” Natalia will be part of another group of 12 volunteers who will travel to the compound in July.

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She plans to bring over two cases of shoes, runners and football boots. She got the passion for cycling three years ago when she bought a bike to take part in a Croke Park to Killyclogher cycle to raise funds for Cappagh Gaelic teams. She also took part in the ‘Celebrating Shaz’ charity cycle in memory of Sharlene Casement from Killyclogher. The cycle challenge to raise funds for the project going to Zambia, takes place on the bank holiday weekend, Sunday, May 4 leaving Killyclogher parish hall at 10am sharp. The entry fee is £10 and donations will also be welcome on the day. Participants can opt for either a 30 miles or 50 miles route. Refreshments have been sponsored by Newell Store in Dungannon, Dunnes Stores Omagh and SuperValu Omagh.

For information go to the Zambia cycle challenge on Facebook – See more at: http://ulsterherald.com/2014/04/30/natalia-saddles-up-for-charity-cycle-for-zambia/#sthash.ybi5Ea0o.dpuf

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