TWENTY years ago an Aussie grandmother flew to Africa with not much more than an idea - to see if she could help orphaned children there.
Irene Gleeson had made the incredible decision to sell her Sydney house and all of her possessions, and left behind four teary children and 15 grandchildren.
She bought a caravan and drove 1500km into a war zone.
Arriving at Kitgum, 40km south of the Sudan border, she began teaching a handful of children traumatised by war.
Over the years she established the Irene Gleeson Foundation which now provides schooling, food, clothing and medical care to more than 8000 children, most of whom are war orphans from northern Uganda.
Irene Gleeson's story is an amazing one.
After her marriage of 20 years fell apart, Irene lapsed into depression and began a search for spiritual meaning.
She dabbled in Buddhism and meditation, trekked across the Himalayas and explored Aboriginal spirituality before finding her salvation in Jesus.
Her work in Uganda was recognised by the Australian Government in 2009 when she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).
Irene Gleeson will be in Lismore next week on Wednesday, October 31, with her adopted son George Lubega and his band Exodus UG who are African gospel/ reggae/dance hall superstars.
They will be performing at Summerland Christian College in Goonellabah from 7pm.
Entry is by gold coin donation.
Irene and Exodus UG are touring Australia to promote the work of the foundation. For more information visit irene gleesonfoundation.com.