Newry woman features on RTE volunteering show

September 14, 2010

by Brónagh Murphy

A Newry woman has been chosen to take part in a new RTE series which focuses on volunteering and offers participants the opportunity to take part several challenging projects across the globe.

Currently filming in Africa, 25-year-old Fiona Byrne features on tomorrow (Tuesday) night’s show ‘Do the Right Thing’ on RTE 2 at 9.00pm.

Chosen from hundreds of applicants, Fiona is one of the final sixteen who will feature on the weekly series about aspiring volunteers who are ready to put their lives on hold for a year and travel to some of the most challenging places on earth.

Following a call for applications earlier this summer, 70 volunteers were selected to attend a weekend boot camp at Barretstown, Co. Kildare. From this the final sixteen were chosen – one of whom was Fiona. The volunteers are now invited to spend eight weeks challenging themselves in all aspects of overseas volunteering, including tests of leadership, adaptability, resourcefulness, robustness, organisational and planning skills, amongst others.

At the end of each challenge the volunteers themselves will decide which girl and which guy will leave the show. Their decisions will be based on performance and advice from guiding experts.

Fiona says she is delighted at having been selected to take part in the show and feels her strengths of positivity and motivational leadership skills, along with her capacity for hard work, will help her progression through the series.

Listing chocolate cake and Harry Potter among her favourite things, Fiona says she enjoys the simple things in life and firmly believes “in striving to succeed, but also in giving a helping hand if it’s in your power to do so”.

Anne Maguire, of Irish NGO Haven, who is just back from Haiti where she worked on the emergency response to the earthquake, will be on hand as a mentor to the volunteers. Anne has also held leading roles in other international aid organisations, serving in East Timor, Niger, Darfur, Africa and Asia across an eight year period.

In the end one guy and one girl will win the most challenging and rewarding year of their lives. They will spend a year travelling and working together in some of the most difficult places on the planet, all expenses paid.

Viewers can see Fiona participating in the programme tomorrow evening on RTE 2 at 9.00pm.