A BIG-HEARTED garda is helping poverty-stricken kids in Haiti which was hit by a devastating earthquake more than three years ago.
Garda James Codd, who is based in Dundrum Garda Station in Dublin, travelled to the troubled Caribbean island in the past with patrons of the Haven charity such as country music king Garth Brooks (52) and rugby pundit George Hook (72).
Co Wexford native James (35) is working with the Irish-based Haven charity to try to improve hygiene and access to sanitation facilities.
James told the Clare Herald: “Poverty, lack of education, unemployment and a lack of hygiene facilities are the norm in the Ile a Vache area where we’re working.”
“The visit is also about building bridges, helping communities develop and fostering relationships between Haven and the Haitian community we have travelled across the Atlantic Ocean to help.”
Last February James helped organised a charity fashion show featuring top models like Nicola Hughes, Jane Lyons and Montinique Judge which raised thousands of euro for the volunteer trip.
Founded in 2009, Haven has brought over 1,400 Irish volunteers to Haiti to assist with the building of houses through their annual Build It Week programme.
To date the charity has constructed, repaired and upgraded 2,329 houses and shelters and trained locals in construction techniques.
The 2010 earthquake, which measured 7 on the Richter Scale, killed more than 230,000 people and left approximately 1.5 million people homeless in capital city Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas.
The Government’s overseas development wing Irish Aid pledged millions of euro to charities working in the region.