From the Kingdom of Kerry to the Kingdom of Lesotho

With over 57% of the population living on less than $1 a day, Lesotho, the landlocked Kingdom in the middle of South Africa, is one of the poorest countries in the World.

Over a quarter of the population are infected with the AIDS virus which has wiped out an entire generation. Life expectancy is a miserable 42 years, the lowest in the World.

These people urgently need YOUR help.

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Action Lesotho was founded in 2005 in Kerry. Originally known as Twinning the Kingdoms, it grew into a national organisation and was renamed in 2010. In the early days, the organisation was run soley by volunteers, in both Lesotho and Kerry, who focused mainly on building classrooms and community centres and providing humanitarian aid to orphans.

Thanks to generous funding from Irish Aid and IMPACT Trade Union, Action Lesotho expanded and now employs 10 full time and 6 part time Basotho employees all led by the dynamic Pippa Kearon, the in-country representative of Action Lesotho.

The core objective of Action Lesotho is to break this cycle of poverty by providing the Basotho people with the skills needed to access employment, grow their own food and help meet the humanitarian needs of the most disadvantaged in their community.

Action Lesotho works on 4 key projects; Agriculture, Healthcare and Nutrition, Skills Development and Enterprise Development.

Action Lesotho HQ in Mapotsoe is a hive of activity. Each day Action Lesotho runs a Breakfast Club feeding 70 + children who would otherwise go hungry with crops that are farmed as part of the Agriculture project. Any additional food is distributed to those who cannot take care of themselves and are part of various Healthcare projects. Women are taught sewing, weaving and craftwork in the hopes of developing cottage industries that will make them self sufficient.

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On Thursday, February 9th, Action Lesotho will be running a benefit night ‘For and About the People of Lesotho’ in the Rose Hotel in Tralee at 8PM. Featuring music, crafts, a slide show and a talk by special guest Pippa Kearon, the night will be a celebration of the work that Action Lesotho do.

Come along and support this wonderful organisation and make a difference to the World’s poorest people.

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Sinusitis: Causes and Cures.

Unless you’ve experienced the teeth-shattering pain of sinusitis you really can’t empathise with people who have. It’s like heart burn, or childbirth or someone drilling through your cheek with a Black and Decker.

Ouch.

In technical terms, sinusitis or sinus infection is an inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses. Normally, sinuses are filled with air, but when sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, germs (bacteria, viruses, and fungi) can grow and cause an infection. Causes include things like common colds, allergies or a deviated septum.

About 2 weeks ago I started sniffling and spluttering a little more so that usual . Determined to save myself the €50 doctor’s fee, I stocked up on Actifed and Neurofen Plus. I battled hard but a fortnight later I was as sick as ever so I relented and went to the Doctor. She laughed at me. Then perscribed me antibiotics, steroids, painkillers, gave me a sick note for the week and warned me to come straight in next time I have sinus pain. Sound.

Anyway, over the course of the last few days, here are a few things that you can do if your sinuses are giving you jip.

Sudafed/Actifed

Both have decongestant properties that can free up your airways and relieve the pressure. Both also contain codeine so no heavy machinery.

Steam

Steam inhalation, either in a sauna/steamroom or putting your head over a basin of hot water, can also help alleviate symptoms.

Warm compresses

Aka a hot water bottle or a warm facecloth can help with pain relief as they numb the pain. (Not sure how heat numbs your face but roll with it, it’s very effective!)

Sinus Flushing

This is grim, but effective and involves pouring a saline solution in one nostril and out the other. You can get special ‘irrigation devices’ like syringes, pumps or jugs in any chemist. If you are going to attempt this, definitely ask the pharmacist for a few pointers.