Mayo Man’s Pioneering Efforts in South Africa

Mayo man Muredach Tuffy recently returned from South Africa where he was  quite literally building homes for and links with members of South Africa’s community. Muredach made his second visit to Cape Town as a volunteer with the Niall Mellon Township Trust and was one of the 950 volunteers on the November 2009 Building Blitz.  While there, he held a meeting with South African members from the global Pioneer network.

“It was very useful to meet with our counterparts in South Africa. While founded in Ireland, the Pioneers are now a vibrant world - wide organisation and it is vitally important that each country continues to make efforts and reach out beyond our own Pioneer centre and country and to keep our links with other countries alive. We got a warm welcome from our Pioneers in South Africa and look forward to developing that relationship when I return next year, hopefully”. 

An active member of the Pioneers in Ireland, Muredach worked as a safety officer on the site at Wallacedene where 200 families have new homes this Christmas. He played a crucial role in ensuring members of the local community were kept safe during the construction of their new homes. He also had to ensure the safety of the volunteer workers, many of them Irish, who worked on the site. 

The Niall Mellon Township Trust was started by Niall Mellon in 2002. His aim is to build quality social housing for impoverished families living in shacks in the townships of South Africa. The charity operates a year round house building programme and is now the largest charity provider of quality social housing in South Africa. Since the charity first started it has built 12,500 a figure that grows annually.

The Pioneers work to address the problems in society caused by excess alcohol consumption and drug use. The Association does this through faith, prayer and example. The Pioneer vision - based on the love in the Heart of Christ, as expressed in The Gospels - is to help to build a society where people live to their full potential and alcohol can be enjoyed in moderation avoiding the fall-out that arises in society from alcohol abuse. More information on the PTAA is available from

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11 January 2010