Past pupils from two secondary schools raise €2k for Yemen crisis

By Aideen O'Flaherty

PAST pupils of Coláiste Éanna and Firhouse Community College went head-to-head in a charity football match last week – and raised over €2,000 for the Yemen crisis.

The 11-a-side match was played at the football pitches near the Spawell in Templeogue, and Coláiste Éanna surged to victory during the match, beating the Firhouse side by 5-4.

 

Rathfarnham man Donal Davidson, who is a past pupil of Coláiste Éanna and took part in the match, told The Echo: “My friend Hasidh Jelan, who went to Firhouse Community College, came up with the idea to fundraise for the Yemen crisis after seeing some stuff about it online.”

As many are focused on how the coronavirus has swept around the world, a crisis in Yemen – which is continuing to grapple with the devastating impact of a civil war that began in 2015 – has seen many people there succumb to starvation, and struggle to access any functional healthcare in the country.

The crisis in Yemen was called the worst humanitarian crisis in the world by the United Nations in February last year, and difficulties in the country have been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic and has created, according to UNICEF, “an emergency within an emergency”.

The group of friends from Coláiste Éanna and Firhouse CC, who are all in their early 20s, decided to hold the football match to raise awareness of the issue and to fundraise, and spectators were treated to a determined showing from both teams on the day.

“There were around 150 people there, friends and family, who were watching the match,” explained Donal. “At the start it was very friendly, not competitive at all, but when Coláiste Éanna got ahead by two goals then things got serious really quickly.”

While Coláiste Éanna won the match, the primary aim of the event was to raise funds to support those who are dealing with the crisis in Yemen, and while the event organisers expected to raise around €1,000, they raised more than double that amount at the final tally.

“It’s very fulfilling and rewarding to know that we were helping people,” said Donal. “It meant a lot for us to be a part of something bigger, and to do something to help other people.”

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