Charity workers offer hope to destitute
refugees in Dominican Republic
Family to sell up to aid Third World
A family is selling up to move halfway round the globe in an
effort to offer Third World communities a better life.
Simon and Diana Redmile of Falcutt near Helmdon, will be taking
their children Becky, eight and Michael, six, and flying out
to the Dominican republic at the end of April to work as part
of an international aid effort helping destitute Haitian refugees.
Mr Redmile explained: "Haiti is a country in a terrible
state and a lot of its people come over the border into the
Dominican Republic seeking a better life. But when they arrive
they find it very difficult to get work so they end up labouring
in the sugar cane fields and stuck in slums trying to scrape
"These people are confined to an environment of total squalor
with lots of diseases including TB, cholera, HIV and AIDS. We
are going to be involved in building houses out there and helping
them get back on their feet again and make a living."
Mr Redmile is giving up his job as management consultant while
his wife is leaving Culworth Primary School, where she works
as a classroom assistant.
The family will be working for Mission Direct, a UK-based Christian
charity that provides practical support to Third World countries
and has in the past 18 years helped build more than 600 houses
in the Dominican Republic alone. The organisation also helps
construct clinics, schools and orphanages in Sri Lanka and Sierra
Mr Redmile has been involved with Mission Direct for the past
two years and the family made a trip to the Dominican Republic
for a similar purpose in November 2003.
He said: "It's partly due to our faith and also the will
to help others. It's all about building up communities and giving
people hope for a better future.
"It makes a huge difference to them. People are just amazed
you have come all that way to help them. In the Third World
the cultures are different and it's about relationships. The
fact that you have actually turned up and helped means so much
"We are planning to go for a minimum of two years which
makes it quite a big step - it will be an amazing experience
for the whole family. The children are really excited about
it and looking forward to going.
"It's a complete change of direction for us. It will be
a challenge but it's great to think we will be helping change
The family is holding a house sale on Saturday between 11am
and 4pm to raise funds to help them set up home in the Dominican
Republic. For more information call Mr Redmile on (01280) 850306.
The Banbury Guardian - 9th February 2006