Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Review of White Paper on Irish Aid: Statements, Questions and Answers
Terry Brennan (Fine Gael)
Go raibh maith agat, a Leas-Chathaoirligh, agus fáilte romhat a Aire go dtí an Seanad. I shall spend a couple of seconds discussing a country that I am fairly familiar with and has been mentioned here already. The very poor country of Malawi is known as the warm heart of Africa because its people are very poor but happy and unfortunately they have few natural resources. The country has been ravaged by the AIDS virus and its middle age population has disappeared leaving many orphans. Its people are anxious to learn and to develop their country. Nigeria is so large that one would not notice the benefit from €10 million but imagine what it would do in Malawi. The same sum would educate all of the children in the northern part of Malawi. I hope its menfolk will forgive me, but if one educates the girls and ladies the country would prosper. My colleague, Senator Mary White, and other Senators and councillors throughout the country have been very active in supporting a project initiated by a colleague of mine, Councillor Peter Savage. When he was chairman of Louth County Council, he initiated a development fund project for Malawi. Many staff members, county councillors, Senators and other colleagues have contributed to the success of the project in the last seven years. Over €400,000 has been collected and sent straight to Malawi. Schools have been built and extended. A new health centre has also been built. Aid workers have been provided with bicycle ambulances, while farming has been developed in some villages. Some of those who know me will be aware that I have had the distinction of having an animal in Malawi named after me.