Newsletter from Africa – December 2013

December, 2013

Dear Friends of Africa.

      As I look back over the past 12 months it is with heartfelt gratitude for your loyal support and your faith in our cause to educate and liberate African women through education. In late October of 2012 we blessed the foundation of the new dormitory, classroom and library building. One of our teachers took a photo on this occasion. There I am pictured standing on a mound of earth above the foundation while a little first year student is standing in the open freshly excavated foundation holding on to the medal  of Our Lady ready to place it in the foundation after the blessing. Later on as I looked at that photo there was a remarkable detail which nobody noticed until they had seen the photo itself. There was little Elizabeth standing over her head in that trench with a brilliant ray of sunshine beaming down directly upon her. I immediately took the emotional interpretation that the Lord himself was intervening in this project. At the time we were so overcrowded that every nook and cranny space was taken up wherever a student’s cot could be squeezed in.

    Today just 13 months after that blessing, the two story St. Catherine’s building is ready to bring under one roof all those students from their cubbyholes and corners. There will be ample space for six girls to a room with space for their belongings in the lockers and room too for their luggage. All of the furniture was made by our village carpenters from timber we planted 30 years ago. Much of the workman’s wages go into paying the school fees for their children. This is part and parcel of the nuclear family social security system whereby the child who succeeds well in schools will be the provider for the parents in their declaiming years.

 In February 1989 I began Mazinde Juu with 40 students and a staff of one, myself. We now have a staff of over forty and a student body of over 650. Eight of our staff members did their secondary education with us and are here with us again as qualified teachers with degrees. Hundreds if not thousands are likewise making not only a life for themselves and their families but with the sharing of the light of knowledge they are bringing Africa into a new and  better place.

Fr. Damian

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