Over 700 students and teachers from Abbey Community College took part in a sponsored walk around the Ferrybank area on Friday, October 12 as a fundraising effort for Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Zambia.
Their teacher Ms Lynch travelled to Zambia during the summer to witness and experience the work carried out by the RSHM in Zambia. The RSHM, Ferrybank (trustees of Abbey Community College), have a long association with the Zambian mission, since Ferrybank sisters set out over 40 years ago to begin the RSHM’s work in Chivuna, Zambia.
The Mission month of October provided an opportunity for the Justice Group and TY Shelton to focus on Africa, particularly Zambia, and students were taught about one of the poorest countries in the world in Religion classes. Classrooms in Zambia often contain 60-100 children, which is more than double classroom sizes in Ireland.
The RSHM support education in Zambia and are involved in expanding basic (primary) schools and a school for children with disabilities. They provide educational support for girls, orphans and vulnerable children, HIV positive children and children with special needs.
Over 15% of the population aged 15-49 are infected with HIV and the country has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world – 44 years. Gender inequality, HIV/AIDS and badly-functioning governance systems all contribute to poverty.
The RSHM support vulnerable women through women’s group, they are encouraged to lead their communities on issues such as HIV.
There was a fantastic and generous response from students and their families as students from Abbey Community College empathised with the difficulties and the hardships of life in Zambia, one of the poorest countries in the world.
Students, parents and teachers of Abbey Community College enjoyed the walk around Ferrybank as they walked in solidarity with the RSHM missionaries and those they work with in Zambia.
The whole school community is delighted with the positive response to the walk and are very proud to raise over E7700 for such a good cause.
The school community really opened up their hearts and minds to the work of the RSHM’s in Zambia. The funds raised will go directly to RSHM projects for education and health in Zambia.