An African woman has been named the Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year for her dedication in supporting the residents of the Direct Provision Centre in Ballyhaunis.

Owodunni Mustapha, known as Ola, who lives at the Old Convent in Ballyhaunis received a standing ovation when she was named overall volunteer of the year on Friday at a ceremony in Dublin.

Ola studied Political Science in Nigeria, but as an asylum seeker she was prohibited from working in Ireland , so she gives her time and skills to volunteer for the diverse community of asylum seekers living in the Direct Provision Centre in Ballyhaunis.

The mother of three organised a number of initiatives including coffee mornings, social trips and life skills programmes, and was also involved in setting up a residents committee at the Old Convent, as well as the Ballyhaunis Inclusion Project.

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