East Africa Day & Lap It Up

by Ms Rachael Holloway - Faith & Justice Coodinator

Last week I had the pleasure of being involved in enrolment interviews for next year's Year 7 students.  One of the key reasons both parents and students give for wanting to come to St Patrick's College is the holistic education it provides students.  Through our Mission and Values we encourage students to make a difference in their world.  

One of the ways we do this is by raising awareness and funds for the Edmund Rice Foundation through East Africa Day and Lap It Up.  The Edmund Rice Foundation provides much needed funds to the Christian Brothers' projects in Africa.

For the last two weeks of Term 1, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Edmund Rice Education Beyond Boarders Immersion to Africa.  Through this immersion I was able to witness first hand what the money raised by the St Patrick's College community does.

While I visited many Edmund Rice affiliated projects throughout South Africa and Kenya, I was particularly moved by the Mary Rice and Ruben Centres, both in Nairobi, Kenya.  The Mary Rice Centre serves the community of the Kibira Slum and is a centre for students with special needs.  When many of the children first come to the centre they have limited physical mobility and speech.  With the amazing work of the staff, students receive both occupational therapy and educational programs.

The Ruben Centre is a holistic centre based in the Makuru area of Nairobi.  Currently governed by the Christian Brothers, the Ruben Centre houses a school for 2,500 students, a medical centre and runs social and economic empowerment programs.  While we were there the centre was holding its AGM and it appeared as if most of Makuru Ruben was there.  It highlighted what a vital role in the community the centre plays. 

Neither of these projects could function the way they do without the support of the Edmund Rice Foundation, which relies on the awareness and fundraising of schools and colleges, like St Patrick's.  So when the East Africa raffle books come home or a Year 12 student asks you to sponsor them for Lap It Up, be reassured that the money you give is making a genuine difference to these communities.