Thursday 20 October 2016

Emotional model Irma had a 'life-changing' trip to Africa


Irma Mali in Africa
Irma Mali in Africa
Irma Mali in Africa

Model Irma Mali has described a charity trip to Zambia as "completely life-changing" and said she'll never forget the orphaned children she met.

The well-known model was helping to build emergency shelters for vulnerable young girls in a small village called Kabwe with charity Zamda Ireland.

Along with Madeline Mulqueen, Teodora Sutra and Siobhan O'Connor, their 10-day construction project, Catwalk to Kabwe, was filmed for a TV documentary. An emotional Irma (30) said that she was "shocked" by some of the sights she saw - as it was so different to anything she had ever experienced.

Given that she has a 12-year-old daughter, Nikoleta, she was particularly affected by the trip and the children they met, some of whom had HIV and Aids.

"We would get up at five in the morning to start building work and then go visit some of the families, before working until really late at night," she said.

"Everything over there was made by hand from scratch, and we shifted over 130 tonnes of sand and stone in six days.

"It was hard going, but when we were working the kids were unbelievable. I could not believe how much they helped us. I was in shock at how little they had. They play games with stones."

The beauty, whose ex is Danny O'Donoghue from The Script, had brought over a pair of her daughter's runners to give to one of the children - and couldn't believe how grateful they were for the smallest gift.

"They're so happy because that's all they have for a long time, they're all smiling and so loving," Irma said.

And one little boy really touched her heart.

"He was about 13 and was an orphan and, when we were leaving, I could see he was crying. He wrote me a letter asking 'can you take me home?'. It breaks your heart."

To donate, visit www.zamdaireland.com

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