The St Mary’s Zambia Immersion Programme was established here in St. Mary’s Grammar School, Belfast in the spring of 2002. The aim of the project was to encourage students and staff, in Christian Brothers’ Schools in Ireland, to work with the poor and marginalised in the developing countries of the world.
Their need is greater than ever and the presence of Covid-19 demands that fresh, clean water is made available to the orphanage.
Over the past 18 years, St Mary’s students and staff have worked to raise awareness of the conditions and causes that offend the human dignity of so many people throughout the world and to forge close bonds of friendship and solidarity with our host communities. Our Zambian brothers and sisters are not to be pitied; they do not want to live on the handouts and charitable contributions of Western nations. They want us to stand with them in the call for justice and equality for all the people of our world.
In this current climate of pandemic, fear and isolation, our students and staff cannot travel to Lusaka to be with our Zambian family. Yet, in these terrible times, one of our most vulnerable and beloved project partners has called upon us to help in their time of great difficulty and crisis…
The Home of Hope orphanage, based in the St Lawrence parish in Lusaka, has worked tirelessly to provide real hope for children who, for a multitude of sometimes preventable but always tragic reasons, have found themselves destitute, homeless and without a future. Countless young boys have had their lives transformed by the love, care, support and generosity of a generation of St Mary’s students and their families. As a school community we have witnessed the transformation of the Home of Hope from a collection of welded-together container lorries which housed 40 boys, sleeping on the floor in sub-human conditions, to a beautiful oasis of safety and security – A home where boys could feel valued and respected and live in accommodation befitting of their status as Children of God.
Sadly, we have learned that the orphanage’s access to the clean, safe water supply they so rely upon has come under threat and they desperately require our help in securing the funds to continue to provide this most basic of human necessities. The underground water supply is there - it has been identified and sourced and is more than sufficient to provide for the 96 children who depend upon it. The great challenge is finding the money to pay for the drilling, borehole sinking, plumbing and electrical costs and the storage tanks that will provide water availability 24/7.
We need to raise £2,500 to make this project a reality.
Please give what you can. With your help we, the St Mary’s school community, can raise the necessary funds to ensure a lifetime of fresh drinking water for our most vulnerable Zambian friends.
“Whatever you do for one of the least of these sisters and brothers of mine, you do for me…”