Sunday 21 January 2018

Wexford woman is global citizen of the year

David Tucker

Breda with her Dóchas award.
Breda with her Dóchas award.

Boolavogue nurse Breda Gahan, a champion of the poor and disadvantaged, has won the Dóchas Global Citizen of the Year Award.

The Dóchas Awards celebrate work by people and organisations in Ireland working for global justice.

Breda, Concern's Global HIV&AIDS Programme Adviser, is a Dublin-trained nurse with a Masters in Public Health from Liverpool University. She has worked in Iraq, Sudan, Cambodia, Mozambique, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia.

The Boolavogue woman has been working with Concern since 1988, principally supporting health and HIV programmes in some of the world's poorest countries.

Concern CEO, Dominic Mac Sorley said: 'For those of us who know her well, Breda is the perfect global citizen, someone who is committed to tackling poverty and all forms of inequality.

'She treats everyone the same way, buys from local market stalls and small retailers, engages with a range of issues in her personal life as well as in her work life, writes letters to the newspapers, is heard frequently on radio programmes and turns up at all kinds of events related to poverty and inequality.'

In 1990 on completing a stint in Sudan, Breda moved to Cambodia to open the first Concern office in the country which was first quickly developing a serious problem with HIV/AIDS due to a a boom in the underground sex industry.

The problem soon became known as 'the new landmine' to Cambodians who had lived through many years of war.

The Wexford nurse worked on the ground and supported communities which were struggling to cope with the disease. On a global level she has worked tirelessly to convince world leaders of the role which they can play in affecting positive change.

In 2011 Breda participated in the international Aids Conference held in Toronto where many world leaders discussed the necessary measures which must be taken to achieve a target of a virus-free generation by 2015.

The underlying message she preaches is one of 'hope'

Wexford People

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