Action Ireland Trust Blog.

And in the blink of an eye may I add very tired eyes here we are back in the arrivals hall at Dublin Airport.

Thanks to all who contributed to this blog – great to have a repertoire of voices – hope those of you at home appreciated  the diverse experiences from the individual responses of our students. The personal inputs contributed to the authenticity of the blog for which I am profoundly grateful. It certainly made my task so much easier! 

Of course the blog has always been a meaningful way to keep in touch with you at home and to articulate the day to day goings on 12000 miles away, the highs, lows and everything in between. It is also a permanent record for those involved, a significant contribution to the TY e- portfolio and a marvelous reservoir of memories which I suggest you retain either digitally or – go for it! – a printable hard copy, testament to your shared experiences in your teenage years when you forged lifelong friendships and most importantly exemplified the values of social justice & commitment to a fairer world. 

Thank you to all our friends and families here in Ireland that supported us all as we prepared for this life changing journey.


Thank you to all in Action Ireland Trust for all your endless support before and during our amazing journey.

Thanks also to our many friends we have left behind in Lesotho.

Our suitcases were lighter when we arrived back to Dublin but our hearts are a lot fuller with the love and memories of the time we shared with the most wonderful people in the Kingdom of the Sky.

Our hope for these wonderful children is that they “Keep Smiling and Keep Learning”

And that’s a wrap for Lesotho 2024

Over And Out             SWoods


See you all Soon 

Waiting to board here in Johannesburg.

All sad leaving but can’t wait to get back to our families.

See you all back in Dublin  


































Sarah Brady 


Today we did a hike in Clarens. It was very good but quite different to our other hikes there was not  as much climbing or uphills; it was more like a forest walk. We were meant to see a waterfall but due to the drought in Africa it was all dried up which is a very clear sign of the effects of Climate Change.We still got to see what it would look like without the water which was quite cool. Then we did a bit of a uphill climb to finish which was a bit harder but nothing compared to the taba bisu climb in Lesotho. After we finished the hike we were all very hot so we went into the pool the pool is very nice it’s different to our pool in avani hotel. This pool is like a hot tub just not jacuzzi jets or hot water and you can see into the mountains from it. We were all having so much fun no one wanted to get out so we petitioned to let Andy have our meeting in the pool and of course we won. After our meeting we went and got ready for the night becuase we were having our mamma Mia dress up night so everyone was wearing blues and whites. We went to a very nice restaurant and ended our meal with everyone having a sing song. Then to end the day we had a games night in the basement it was a lot of fun. Unfortunately my team didn’t win but it was still a good night. Then we all went to bed.

Sports Day

Today we had our sports day held in Seboka primary school. Here there were plenty of activities for us all to get involved in such as bottle on head which I failed at and then skipping rope games and a lot more. All of the 5 Hub schools joined us.We had music playing and it was a fun time all around. Even just spending some last moments with some of our schools and having some fun down time together was so nice.The kids were all very very impressive, they were definitely better than us despite our efforts. After I went back up to my high school and we had a closing ceremony it was very emotional and they gave our whole group tops and hats. It was lovely but very emotional. We all had a nice day. Everyone also helped finish off the painting of the primary school’s rooms and get the bathroom ready for the opening tomorrow. Today was a great day.

Kayla Woods





























Today March 27th the closing ceremony was in Lithabaneng primary school and was also the opening of the newly built toilets. The ceremony was very emotional as we were having the final goodbye to the children and we realised the effect we have on the children and the impact we have mde.MMany tears were shed by both students and adults.

After we said goodbye to the children we went back to the hotel and got our suitcases ready for the journey  up to Clarens.The journey took around 2 and a half hours including going through both borders.- Once we got to Clarens we went swimming in the pool which has a lovely view of the mountains. We stayed in the Hotel for dinner last night and got it at 7.The food was lovely. After dinner we all relaxed and then went to bed at half 10.

Isobel Keogh.



















On Friday the 22nd of March the majority of the schools were closed for a sports day in the capital of Maseru. Anyone who was in those schools went to Lithabaneng Primary School for painting. Nora and I have been painting a mural of loads of hands on top of each other to show unity and then loads of hobbies, sports and animals around them. When we finished drawing it, everybody in our room helped us to paint it, which took ages and is still a good bit left to do but I think we’ll have it finished by Tuesday. There were people in every classroom painting different murals like Kate Kavanagh painting a parrot which is amazing and others painted suns, rainbows and animals. Anyone who wasn’t painting murals were doing regular paintings in the other classrooms and the library. Everything looks amazing and I can’t wait to see it all done!

By Erica McElroy
















Blog, Kick4Life

On the 21st of March Action Ireland trust went to a football club called Kick4Life in which we played against a local team. We did this by taking turns and rotating groups to play against each other on each team. We went in with confidence but got beaten, as every year before 2024! 

I found it really fun to meet people our own age and to play football together, we also got to see how good they were at football.My favourite part from kick for life was the dinner afterwards, not only because the food was amazing but also because we got to chat with the players on the other team. 

We talked about school,sports and what teams we support . We went back out onto the pitch after and played football with them again.It was really interesting to see how similar we really are to people that are so far from us, we learned a lot about the lifestyle and their highschool here from what they told us.
























Ruby Bedford

We started at the guest house in Morija where we were split into two groups; group one went a few minutes ahead of group two.The first bit of the hike was easy and we got to see a beautiful still lake surrounded with cows and horses grazing. 

We then continued on our journey up a steep mountain of rocks. It was hard but the view at the top made it all worth it. We then got to see and learn from our guide about the dinosaur (Pterodactyl) footprints which are visible in a huge rock on its side. Going down was a lot easier but we did still fall a lot! Afterwards we arrived back at the Guest House where we ate a meal that they prepared for us and petted the resident dog. 









Ava Derry

We started off at the Mmelesi Lodge with a beautiful view of traditional hut houses and a huge echoing stage. Then we went for the hike up the mountain to see the place that is now known as the birthplace of the Basotho nation. ‘Thaba Bosiu’ was a great experience. The ascent up the mountain started off with a rocky climb, then it became less steep as we reached a smooth but steep path that led all the way up to the plateau mountaintop. From the top we had a beautiful view of the surrounding valleys and mountains stretching far into the distance. We kept going and saw Mount Qiloane which is the inspiration for the traditional Basotho hats. When we were walking up we were asked to pick up a rock each and later in the walk we dropped it as a peace offering- symbolic of our laying down our weapons as visitors to King Moshoeshoe’s original village would have. I thought it was amazing to see how many rocks were there. We went back to the Mmelesi lodge for some food and to explore the place, the food was cooked perfectly and so were the students with our red faces. The hike taught us lots about the culture and heritage of the country (and also to reapply sunscreen every hour!)






























The Action Ireland Trust swimming program went ahead again this year and it was a great success once again. The swimming program is a great way for the children to learn how to swim and for the TY students to gain a new experience. The TY students brought children from four of the hub schools to introduce them to swimming. All TY students and children thoroughly enjoyed the program as it was something completely different. Overall we would definitely recommend any future students to get involved in the program!

Mary Mckenna, Sarah Codd, Lile Tully, Ryan Grumley, Geordan Neville.


















I had no idea what to expect from my trip to Lesotho.  But I have to say it has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. 

The Basthu people have made us feel so welcome and they are so so thankful to us for coming out here and helping to make a difference.  It’s really quite humbling.  

The kids are just wonderful. To see them grow and blossom during the week…the ones who shied away a little at the start of the week are now the ones in the thick of it with the school kids here.  Their work ethic is fantastic. Whether it’s working in the classrooms with the kids or painting rooms they have just been fabulous. Every parent should be so proud of them because I certainly am.  

This is an experience I will never forget.

Ornaith Ffrench


This evening we welcomed the Archbishop of Maseru, His Grace Gerard Tlali Leroyholi O.M.I.,  and the newly appointed Irish Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho, His Excellency Austin Gormley to have dinner with us. It was a lovely evening and a memorable event.

Earlier, we started our day in our school groups, in my case I was doing the swimming programme which is where we teach children who have never touched water before how to swim. 

Our next stop was the Seboka primary school where we teach the learners every day after swimming. I taught the children how to do body percussion, which they loved. 

We had our daily 7 o’clock meeting before dinner and then we all got ready to meet our VIP guests.  When the Archbishop and Ambassador Gormley arrived and were seated. After a welcome ‘as Gaeilge’ and speeches from our guests, Zoe and I stood up to do our speeches. I felt amazing!

After the speeches we had dinner and entertainment. There was a traditional Lesotho choir who were phenomenal. We also did our “Texas hold ’em” and “Waka Waka” dances for the guests. It was a proud moment for all of us.


Thursday 21st March 

Kate & Rebecca

After waking up and going down for breakfast and collecting lunch as usual, we all hopped in our vans to start our commute, not before we waited with our convoy for the traffic to go down..

Once we arrived at our school and made a head start on our lesson plans, taking advantage of the twenty five degree weather at nine o clock as after eleven it gets too hot to be outside! We all retreat for the shade of the classrooms and do a huge variety of lessons; from saor menstrual health lessons Generally we eat our lunches quickly in the vans with the air con blasting and go back out to play football, skipping, dancing or blowing bubbles with the droves of kids! 

After school we all went to Lithabaneng to continue painting the walls and murals. We painted for two hours before we got in the vans to go back to the hotel. 

At half six we had a meditation and relaxation session in the hotel before our meeting at seven o clock.After we headed over to Cafe What and got dinner there. It had a lovely atmosphere and delicious food.Then we went back to the hotel and went to bed straight away.

It was a productive day filled with lots of fun.






We started off our day at Lithabaneng High School we talked to the teachers and the Principal of the school about what class plans we were going to be doing with the kids. We were meant to teach dancing but it was way too hot so myslef Anna, Euan and Maria decided to do a music lesson with the grade 9s we performed believer by the imagine dragons half of the class sang and the other half played instruments we were all shocked by how quick they picked up the song and the rhythms. After that I went to do an English lesson with Kayla and Maria we did story writing and listened to music with all the kids and we all shared what music we listen to. When that lesson was over we went straight into another classroom we were meant to do an English lesson but instead decided to do and Irish lesson teaching the kids the basic Irish skills and they once again picked it up so quickly. After that lesson we went for lunch with the sassy van and we had a picnic in the primary school we said hello to a few kids and then finished the day with painting the classrooms.

Today was the first day we went to the schools and meet all the children! We got a shock waking up to room 205 waking us up with a recording of Andy shouting to get up that we slept in. We had a lovely breakfast with a great selection of options. After breakfast we got ready and went to our vans to drive to Lithebenang high school for the opening ceromny. The students singing and dancing was breathtaking and we did a good job at the waka waka and texas hold em. After the ceremony we walked back to our school and ate some lunch. We went to our school and as soon as we got out of the vans there was a swarm of kids around us,so happy to see us as so we’re we! The kids went back to class and we went to each class and introduced ourselves to all the kids and did some dancing. We then went to the barracks to unload what was left of the container. After we were were very tired so we chilled around the pool and had some snacks. Now we are getting ready for our meeting and dinner followed by a quiz to end the night.



Day 2 


Kayla Woods and Aine Lambert 

Today is the 17th of March. Today was our first day here in Lesotho. We started off the day with a wake up call. Every morning each room gets a chance to use their imagination and come up with a way to wake up all the rooms and as we have the whole floor we get to do whatever we want even if it means shouting blaring music it’s all up to us. Todayit was Carl Doran,Tom Kennedy and Dara Loughnanes turn. They woke us all up at 6:30 by banging on our doors while singing and playing Christmas songs. After  this we got up and got ready. We went for breakfast at 7:00 myself and Aine both had a breakfast bar and Beans and toast. It was very nice. We then got water and got into our vans for 7:35. We got into our groups and made our way up to mass. 

We all wore black and when we went in it was a local church. They sang lovely songs and welcomed us with open arms. There were a lot of families there after the mass. All the kids wanted to talk to us and hug us and it was truly amazing to experience this and also an eye opener due to the fact that this very small interaction they were having with us was making their day. We looked at the new bathrooms that are being opened over the time we are here. They are amazing and our team helped build them . We all went shopping and picked up a few bits from the shop. It was our first time fully using rand so it took a bit to get used to but it was interesting to see the price differences on food from here to Ireland. Then we came back to the hotel and had lunch. We had pasta and it was lovely. We went into the meeting room and had our meetings with our school principals and here we discussed what we’d be doing with their kids in the schools. It was amazing to meet them. then we emptied all our resources into our vans so that we are ready for going to the schools tomorrow and also to be able to plan out what we have. It was very exciting to see everything we all had then we practised our dances as tomorrow is the welcome ceremony we are doing a dance to the Waka Waka and Texas Holdom song.

After  this we got to go to the pool we were all having a lot of fun in the pool and as they are in a heatwave right now they had entertainment at the pool so they had karaoke we all had turns to sing songs we sang Valerie dancing queen love and a lot more we had a amazing time we then got ready  for dinner at 7. Before dinner we had our meeting where we went over today and anything we need to know for upcoming days. Then we had dinner as it was Patrick’s day. They had made us their take on an Irish dinner. It was delicious. After this we all played games in the games room together and then all got into bed for 10 and we start all over again tomorrow at 6:30 with the next wake up call.

17/3/24     JOURNEY

We arrived to the airport in and around 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday. We gathered around with our parents and leaders before taking the photo of all of the students together. We then checked our suitcases in and went through security. When we got in we were given in and around an hour to get some food and chill. We then headed to our gate and boarded the flight to Heathrow. The flight was very short and we were at Heathrow airport in no time.

When we landed in Heathrow we had to go through security again. Once we were in the terminal we got a chance to get food for lunch and a bit of food and drink for the long flight. There was a train in the terminal which we all took to get to our gate which was very interesting. The plane we got on was massive and had two floors. On the flight we got two meals and there were lots of snacks on the plane to eat. Many people watched movies and ate their food until the lights in the cabin turned off and most of us decided to get a bit of sleep and before we knew it we had landed in Johannesburg.

Once we landed in Johannesburg we all got off the plane, lined up and proceeded to collect all our bags and put them on trolleys and make our way out the vans that would take us to our hotel in Lesotho,after about 4 hours of driving through the countryside filled with hills and trees we stopped in the small city of Clarence where we got food and snacks for the remainder of the journey. Once we made it to the border we got out of the vans to hand in our passports and then once we were cleared. We got back in the van and made the 5 minute drive to our hotel where we settled into our rooms and had dinner with everyone.

Dara, Carl, Tom


Welcome to the Lesotho blog 2024 where we link in with the PCS community at home to share and showcase our TY trip to Lesotho in Africa. I am delighted to be back in Lesotho and to accept the challenge to anchor our blog this year.

This journey means stepping out of our comfort zones, helping others, working together and ultimately achieving things you never thought possible. As Helen Keller Said “Alone we can do so little together we can do so much”.

The aspiration for the blog is to share with the PCS community at home the emotions Joy, laughter, tears happiness and gratitude etc that each and everyone of us on this journey will experience over the next 14 days.

The hope is from the first post to the last when we return on Easter Saturday we are all going to be proud of our young people.The rewards for their achievements will be immeasurable as they make their personal journeys through life.They will always hold in their hearts the joy they brought to the most humble, happy and loving human beings in the ‘kingdom of the sky’.

Over the next two weeks in this forum you will hear the voices of many people who have travelled to the other side of the globe as we collectively detail personal experiences and share the impact with our families and friends at home in Ireland.



Our school community wishes the 33 students, 3 teachers, our Principal and all of the volunteer adults and parents a safe trip to Lesotho on Friday 15th March. Over the two weeks the team will be very busy with projects ranging from painting classrooms to teaching swimming to building water towers. The SAOR project will be a focus this year with a very practical idea to tackle period poverty involving producing reusable towels and breaking down stigma. Best of luck to the group of over 70 who are representing Portmarnock in such a positive and consistent way. There will be a daily blog on this site where you can follow the team’s experiences.

For an article on the SAOR project click here.

For information on Action Ireland Trust click here.

Everything points to Portmarnock community school