Emer Shortall & Patrick MacEntee

Emer Shortall and Patrick MacEntee are based in Mekele
Emer Shortall and Patrick MacEntee are based in Mekele

Our names are Emer and Patrick and we are spending six months in Ethiopia volunteering with VLM. During our time here we are staying with the Daughters of Charity in Mekelle. Mekelle is the biggest city in the provence of Tigray in northern Ethiopia. Historically it’s an area that has suffered badly from drought and famine but in recent years it has been expanding and there are many new buildings and roads in the area.

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Alitena amid the dry landscape of Tigray, northern Ethiopia

We have been here for two months now. Emer is a doctor and has been working in the health clinic run by the Daughters of Charity and also in Ayder hospital here in Mekelle. My own background is in finance and my work here is writing funding proposals, helping with financial management, administration and teaching several English classes.

Before settling in Mekelle we spent 3 weeks volunteering at the health centre in Alitena, a remote village in northern Tigray near the Ethiopian – Eritrean border. So far volunteering in Ethiopia has been a wonderful experience. We have made many new friends and are getting to experience a culture very different to our own.  We hope our remaining time here will be as rewarding.

Kindergarten students at the Daughters of Charity School, Alitena

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