Bóthar hosted its 5th annual School Open Day with over 1,000 students from all over Ireland arriving in Roscrea Mart, Tipperary last Thursday. Primary and secondary school students were invited to see the livestock Bóthar sends to struggling families in developing countries and to learn more about the work Bóthar does in 40 project countries around the world.
Farm animals including cows, goats, sheep and pigs were brought to Roscrea so that students could see the type of livestock that is sent abroad to help families in countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kosovo become more self sufficient. Many students in Ireland have never seen farm animals first hand, so the Open Day is a unique and exciting experience for them.
Speaking at the Open Day, Bóthar’s Deputy Chairman Dave Moloney said - “This is our fifth School Open Day and we are thrilled to welcome a record number of students to Roscrea. This is our opportunity to thank the students for all their hard fundraising work over the past year, and for them to hear more about what the gift of Irish livestock, such as animals seen here today, means to a struggling family in the developing world”.
Throughout the day, Bóthar staff gave presentations on the work they do, such as providing livestock, training the recipient families on how to look after the animals, veterinary training projects so that the families can look after the animals should they get sick, and giving them as much information and support so that the families learn how to ensure a sustainable life for the animals they receive.
Staff from Shelton Abbey Prison also gave presentations during the day to educate the students about the work they do with Bóthar. The rehabilitation programme with the prison facilities’ inmates has been very successful over the past three years, giving the inmates an opportunity to give something back to the community. Bóthar sends animals to Shelton Abbey where the inmates rear and take care of the animals until mature enough to be flown to families in the project countries.
“We are delighted to be involved with Bóthar’s School Open Day as it gives us a chance to talk to the students about the rehabilitation programme and our work with the animals. This has had an enormous effect on our inmates by helping them to focus on doing something positive for struggling families in developing countries”, said Thomas Greegan, Prison Officer and Industrial Supervisor, Shelton Abbey.
While the Open Day is geared as an educational day out for the students, there is also plenty of entertainment for the day including face-painting, a magician, a DJ and goodie bags for all those who attend. The Open Day is an opportunity for Bóthar to thank the students for all the much needed funds that they have raised.