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Tuesday, 14th November 2023

Deirdre returning to Ethiopia to raise funds for charity’s sight-saving work

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Deirdre McTeggart and her daughter Amy training for the 10K Great Ethiopian Run.

Drogheda woman Deirdre McTeggart (nee Byrne) will return to the streets of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa this coming Sunday, November 19, when she will join over 40,000 runners from around the world to take part, for the second time, in the Great Ethiopian Run, the biggest in Africa. 

Deirdre is taking on the challenge to raise funds for Orbis Ireland which is part of Orbis International, a non-profit global development organisation working to eliminate avoidable blindness in the world's most poverty-stricken regions.

“My first journey to Ethiopia with Orbis in 2019 was extraordinary” Deirdre said. “Returning this year, I'm thrilled to create new memories at the vibrant Great Ethiopian Run.

“I'm equally eager to revisit Orbis Ireland's impactful projects, advancing the eye care system in Ethiopia and making a lasting difference. I have received amazing support from the community through fundraising events such as music nights and basketball tournaments. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and Orbis Ireland. "

Deirdre is one of 65 Irish runners from all over Ireland taking part in The Great Ethiopian Run in an effort to raise funds for sight-saving work in the country. 

Since 2008, Orbis Ireland has brought over 500 participants to Addis Ababa for the run and to visit life-saving eye care projects in southern Ethiopia. Together, they have raised over €1,000,000 for the sight-saving work in Ethiopia.

Over a third of children in Ethiopia are affected by Trachoma, a blinding yet completely preventable eye disease. 1.2 million Ethiopians are blind, and 2.7 million have a visual impairment.

The Great Ethiopian Run is a 10km race that will see members of the Orbis team line up alongside over 40,000 competitors to celebrate Ethiopia's national sport. 

Each participant raised €4,000 for Orbis Ireland before embarking on the trip, and they are on target to generate €100,000 for the vital work of saving the sight of thousands of people in some of the poorest regions of southern Ethiopia.

In 2023, the group of Orbis supporters is made up of employees from several companies including Avolon, AerCap, Airbus, CDB Aviation, Falko and PWC. These generous companies are sponsoring their employees, meaning even more of their fundraising efforts are donated to Orbis.  

Speaking ahead of the Great Ethiopian Run, Clare O'Dea, Chairperson at Orbis Ireland, said: "This annual trip for Orbis is not only important in raising funds for Orbis but also in showing the group our vital work in Ethiopia. We are proud and humbled to announce that the hundreds of people who have travelled to Ethiopia with Orbis over the years have raised €1,000,000. On behalf of everyone in Ethiopia, whose lives have been changed is due to their generosity, stamina and endurance - thank you." 

 For more information about Orbis Ireland, or to make a donation, see: https://irl.orbis.org/en

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