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On September 8th last, Comhlámh members and supporters were invited to a reception with President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin. The event marked the 40th anniversary of Comhlámh’s foundation as the supporter organisation for development workers, volunteers and those interested in social justice and global issues.
VLM were represented at on the day by volunteer Kathleen Conlon, who has just returned from her eighth summer volunteering at Atse Primary School in Addis Ababa. Mary Anne Stokes, VLM Projects Coordinator, was also present on the day. Speaking to the Comhlámh group, including returned volunteers, missionaries, development workers and representatives from various development organisations, President Higgins spoke of the importance of campaigning for human rights in the contemporary world. He also challenged those present to continue their work in seeking justice and equality for those in need in our world today.
Meeting President Higgins and his wife bore special significance for members of VLM, as Mrs Higgins’ sister, Sr Margaret Coyne, is a Daughter of Charity who worked for over seventeen years in Mekele Eye Clinic, a project that is familiar to many of our volunteers. The previous week, Mary Anne Stokes had the privilege of meeting Sr Margaret and Mrs Higgins at the opening of the Ethiopiaid Art Exhibition in Smock Alley Theatre, Templebar.
VLM would like to thank Comhlámh for the pleasure of being invited to such a memorable event and we wish them continued success into the next 40 years.