TAKING some time out from her jetset lifestyle Lifford woman Caoimhe Harkin managed to spread some love recently when she visited orphaned children in Africa.
Part of the cabin crew with Emirates Airline Caoimhe has been collecting toiletries from all the hotels she has stayed in since she started the job in May last year.
Earlier this month she got the chance to visit an orphanage in Ghana to distribute some of those items to a crowd of delighted children.
Caoimhe explained, “I always collect the toiletries in hotels, so you can imagine how many I have. I saved them all up and brought them with me on a recent flight to Africa.
“Instead of doing the usual massage, gym and dinner with the crew that we normally do on our layovers I had been researching children’s orphanages and was keen to visit one in a village called Jamestown in Ghana.
“The orphanage had 1,000 children from babies to the oldest being just 15-years-old. I had imagined what it would be like in my mind, but when I got there I was actually speechless.
“When I entered the orphanage at least 50 kids surrounded me, holding my hand, arms, hair, shouting at me and all wanting hugs and asking for pictures. I think they are used to people coming and they know when you’re there, you’re there to help.
“They walked me to their classrooms and asked me for water and books and pens. I didn’t have those things so I explained to them what I had with me and distributed the toiletries to the children,” she continued.
“One child told me he was going to wash his clothes with the soap I’d just given him. He was only seven-years-old, it was so heartbreaking.
“The kids have four tiny classrooms for 1,000 of them to be split between. But they are the happiest kids ever.
“It was amazing to be able to bring things to them. They were just really small items and mean very little to us but they meant so much to these children,” Caoimhe continued.
“Driving through the village of Jamestown was eye-opening for me, it really puts your own life into perspective.
“I had a local man organised to take me from my hotel to the orphanage, so on my last day myself and my colleague gave him whatever allowance we had left and asked him to buy the books and pens that the children had requested and take them back to the orphanage for us.”