Poverty Week

From the 21st - 25th of March, students from St. Mary's Secondary School in Mallow, Co. Cork, experienced 'Poverty Week', in aid of Self Help Africa.

Organised by a group of fifth years, the students discovered a taste of what it was like to live in poverty, by:

  • Living on three basic meals a day, and no more
  • Allowing themselves just one item of clothing apart from school uniform
  • Using transport only to attend school events or lessons
  • Using electric light only until 9pm each night
  • Paying €1 every time they used hot water to shower
  • Living without: mobile phones, computers, television, iPods, make-up, hair straighteners and dryers, and other luxury electrical equipment.











By experiencing what it's like to live without, they gained a better insight into the lives of people living in conditions of extreme poverty.

As one student described it, "I found I was feeling hungry and lonley all the time. I had no idea how much I took for granted, even the basic things like hot showers."

They fundraised to support the work of Self Help Africa amongst some of the poorest communities in the world.

On the last day of their campaign, the students invited Patsy Toland of Self Help Africa and his colleague, Tara McGrath, to speak to all the students about the great work they do.

He also told them how they can help the disadvantaged women of Africa by logging onto and signing their petition.

Much needed money was raised for the charity and we thank all those who participated.

By Lisa Murphy and Órlaith Meaney.