So They Can
“Dorcas Wanjiru is ten years old and lives in Miti Mingi Children’s Village, which is a home for orphaned and vulnerable children in Kenya, under the care of So They Can. So They Can is a local organisation that works to end the poverty cycle in Kenya and Tanzania through the power of education.
Two weeks ago, Dorcas was diagnosed with a Cerebral Cyst. She was in need of urgent and life saving treatment. Public doctors are on strike in Kenya, so the only option is private treatment which is very expensive and not a cost So They Can had budgeted for. We knew that if Dorcas got this brain surgery within a few weeks, she could make a full recovery, but if she didn’t, there was a significant chance that she wouldn’t survive.
Personally, I am connected with Dorcas as a result of my mum being a founding member of So They Can, she is now the Country Director of Tanzania and Sponsorship Manager. I met Dorcas for the first time when I was ten. I instantly become so close with her and ever since she has been such an inspiration to me. I reached out to Mrs. Dickinson to ask if Loreto Kirribilli would be able to help us with the fundraising for Dorcas’s treatment and she, along with the rest of the school community, was so welcoming and supportive of the idea. As a school, we raised $1,653.85 for Dorcas, plus additional generous direct donations, in only one day. Thanks to Loreto Kirribilli and the rest of So They Can’s community, we were able to raise over the original goal of $25,000 within less than two weeks. Dorcas is currently at the Aga Kahn hospital in Nairobi and she has already had a preliminary operation as the pressure on her brain was causing her to lose her vision. The pressure was relieved and she is now regaining her vision and building up the strength to have her major operation hopefully in the next week. After this, we are still hopefully expecting she will make a full recovery, however there will be a substantial period of rehabilitation.
The support of the girls, not only through donations but also through their genuine care and concern for Dorcas, has been so appreciated. So They Can, Dorcas and myself are extremely thankful. It is so special for Dorcas that she is being supported by people on the other side of the world and her house mum, Mamma Maggie, tells us that Dorcas was even able to forge a smile when she was told of all the support that she has been receiving. Thank you to every one who donated. Your support has made a huge difference in allowing Dorcas to receive this life saving treatment and it has made her feel so special and loved during a very challenging time. To learn more about Dorcas’ process and the work of So They Can please visit here.”
May we keep our Year 12 students in our thoughts and prayers during their Half-Yearly Exams and all Year 11 students as their Emmaus Retreat concludes, which included three days of service ministry, concludes.
International Women’s Day Breakfast & Justice Workshops
The following Year 10 students attended Monte Sant Angelo on Wednesday, 8 March for an International Women’s Day Breakfast and a day of justice workshops focusing on homelessness: Meg Abbott, Anna McDermott, India Rogers Liston, Evelyn O’Carroll, Sophie Jackson, Alejandra De Matteis, Madison Howse, Eloise Walker, Juliette Lee and Izabella Rizzo. The following are student reflections of the day.
“Ten Year 10 students attended the International Women’s Day breakfast on Wednesday, 8 March. Guest speakers included Judith Friedlander who is the founder of Food Faith and Dr Anita Ho-Baillie who specialises in sustainable research of solar devices. These presentations were inspiring and motivated us along with other schools to create a sustainable future for all of humanity. Our guest speakers talked about incorporating a faith life with science to connect us to Mother Nature as our generation is the first to become disconnected with our environment. These speakers not only inspired us to be proud to be women but a woman who makes a difference in the world. ‘The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change’ ‘Landato Si’ – Pope Francis.
The breakfast encouraged us to make a change in the world such as creating sustainable gardens, promoting sustainable electricity and making the world a better place for all inhabitants.”
Social Justice Workshops
“Today’s mission was to learn all about homelessness in Australia. The statistics were staggering and very eye opening. Whenever people think of homeless people there is generally a stereotype in their heads. Some stereotypes include having tattoos, living on the street, having addiction issues, having problems at home and probably not having a job. Sadly some of this is true, homeless people generally cannot get a job that is able to support them to live in a home. The average Australian rental cost is $500 a week, however living on the dole only provides $280 a week. This means that most people will not be able to live in a house if they do not have a job. However, the stereotype of homeless people living on the street is surprisingly untrue to some extent. There are 105,000 people who are classified as homeless. This however, does not mean 105,000 people live on the streets in Australia. In fact, only 6% do, making around 8,000 which is called primary homelessness. Secondary homelessness is when someone either ‘couch surfs’ (sleeping over at someone’s house for an extended period of time) or consistently moves from one shelter to another with no permanent dwelling. Sadly 25% of homeless people are indigenous which is gut wrenching considering only 2.4% of the Australian population is made up of Indigenous people.”
“When many people think about what jails are like, they usually turn to what is portrayed on the media, which shows jails as being very rough with masculine and scary people inside who deserve no compassion or support. However, after seeing and listening to, who has just been released from jail, my perception changed enormously. The people inside jail are normal human beings some of whom happen to come from very difficult backgrounds with no support network, which influenced their future choices as a way of coping with what was going on inside and around them. When in jail, instead of helping these individuals understand and confront their issues to help them move on and start a fresh life when released, the government provides no support for them. Instead, they are released with only $250 dollars to kick start their new life. For these people, this money can barely pay for somewhere to stay, forcing them to go back to an unhealthy lifestyle, as this is what they know best and which is most familiar to them and potentially leading to re-imprisonment. However, what helped Ally get back on her feet was getting in touch with Cana farms. They provided her with the support and aid to target her issue of anxiety which led to her alcohol addiction. If more prisoners and other members of the community become more aware of these services around, then hopefully they can target their issues early on so their futures are not at risk.”
Ally De Matteis
“Some of us were spoken to by Julia who goes out every night on patrol with many other volunteers to places like Martin Place and Surry Hills helping those in need. She has also taken homeless people back to into her own home to live with her. Several years ago, she let a girl who had a broken relationship with her family sleep on her couch (we learned that it is called couch surfing) and by the time they next moved house that girl had her own room. She continued to live with Julia for the next 5 years. This story was so inspirational to the girls that were lucky enough to be in her workshop as it shows the human compassion that we all need to be able to find within ourselves”.
Evelyn O’Carroll and Maddie Howse
Project Compassion Update
Half way through our Lenten journey $3,300.46 has currently been raised. Last year $7,602.44 was raised. Hoping we can match this amount over the coming weeks.
Sharon O’Keeffe (Ms)
Director of Mission (K-12)