Padraig Swan is pushing himself all the way in an effort to raise funds for the projects of Slí Eile, the Jesuit outreach to young adults. On 11 April, Easter Saturday, he will join more than 25,000 other runners in the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, a 56 kilometre run (35 miles) which begins and ends in Cape Town, South Africa. This race, which has taken place annually for nearly 40 years, styles itself ‘the world’s most beautiful marathon’, but Padraig can expect to be distracted from the physical beauty of the route by the pressure and the pain of the race itself. In an effort to facilitate fund-raising for this event, Padraig has set up a page on MyCharity.ie. Go there to learn more about the run – and please note that you can click on ‘Sponsor me now’ and help Padraig reach his fundraising goal. Also, read his letter below.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
by Padraig Swan
Are you a parent of a child? Do you have young nieces and nephews? Are you a young person? Do you remember what life was like when you were a teenager, doing your final second level exams or going to college? Do you remember getting your first job? What was society like then? What values did you live out of then and now? Where did you get those values?
Modern Ireland is going through painful change, which young people have not been prepared for. It will shape how they value things – how they value the fundamentals of life itself.
Sli Eile is a Jesuit initiative for young adults. Its approach is based on the Jesuit model of personal development – encouraging each individual to learn from experience and through that learning to develop a humane unselfish attitude to the world in which we all live.
Our name means “Another Way” in Irish – ‘another way’ of seeing and experiencing the society that we live in and how we relate to it. Our mission is to accompany young adults on their challenging journey from 18 to 35 years of age. During these years the answers to life’s more challenging questions are formed and developed. We aim to help them explore their relationship with society, their friends, their family and God. Our programmes fall under 3 headings of Spirituality, Justice and Community.
They range from local volunteering on the streets of Dublin or Galway with a homeless agency to international volunteering in a school, health centre or orphanage in South Africa, Zambia, Colombia or Jamaica. Or from going on a 3 day retreat planned and delivered by young people for young people – to taking “time out” for an active surfing retreat combining the activity of surfing at sea with some quality time to reflect and take stock of one’s life. Or it could be living in a community with other young people sharing a life of reflection combined with practical social action, and assessing the relationship between the two.
Sli Eile is an organisation based in Dublin and Galway and aims to expand to other parts of the country to work in collaboration with other like minded organisations to achieve our mission. We believe in co-operation and not duplication. Our island is too small for that.
We need support to sustain our programmes and expand our reach and if you can support us in our work then any donation will be greatly appreciated. You could send a cheque to the Slí Eile, 20 Upper Gardiner St., Dublin 1 or we also have a number of fundraising events that can be supported via an online donation. One such event is sponsorship of the upcoming Two Oceans Ultra Marathon in April. I am personally running a gruelling 35 mile race in Cape Town to raise funds for Sli Eile. All funds raised go directly to Sli Eile, i.e. nothing goes to the cost of participating in the event itself. There is a specific fundraising page on mycharity.ie as detailed below :
Whatever you can do to support our work will be greatly appreciated and I would be glad to discuss our programmes and / or your support in more detail if required. Visit our own website www.sli-eile.com for complete details of our work that could not be outlined here.
With God’s blessing,