Bernice and John are people of the month

The March Blarney & District people of the month are John Mitchell and Bernice O’Brien.

POM IMG-20240402-WA0019I would be privileged to propose John Mitchell and Bernice O’Brien as Blarney people of the month, who are just back from another self-funded trip to Sierra Leone where they cut the ribbon on the newly extended Liam Manley school. 

For the last 14 years they have led innumerable trips to Africa where they have spearheaded the building of schools, teachers quarters, and provided thousands of scholarships, and so much more. The Schools and Health Foundation they created has made an insurmountable difference to the lives of thousands of people.

During their most recent trip, they attended the openings of the newly extended Mange Acre Liam Manley school and teachers’ quarters, and the new well in Masama. While there, they also met recent university graduates from the scholarship programme they founded.

To date, the Schools and Health Foundation has built and maintained eight schools in Sierra Leone, five of which also provide teacher accommodation. One thousand scholarships for children to go to secondary school have also been provided, while thirty teachers have graduated. To help maintain a secure water source, in the last two years, twenty two wells have also been installed in Sierra Leone. Additionally, ten schools have been built in Malawi with teacher housing and scholarships for students going on to secondary school; three schools  built in Cameroon, and a healthcare facility and well in Efah, Cameroon. The brother and sister started Schools and Health Foundation in 2010, with the first school being built in 2011.”

You can find out more about their wonderful work on