This last year came with more challenges than any of us could have expected, and Holy Cross Africa Ministry (HCAM) Education Fund was not spared. Programs that were just getting started were halted, changes in the Holy Cross District of East Africa put our scholarship program in jeopardy. The Covid-19 pandemic forced all schools to close, jobs to disappear and sent many families of the slum community into desperate need. HCAM Education Fund continued to work throughout the year to solve problems and strengthen our program.
HCAM Education Fund is very thankful to the St. Monica community for supporting the young people and families at our Sister Parish in Dandora, Kenya, especially during this year of pandemic uncertainty. Your contributions have made a life-changing difference to so many young people, and we pray that each of those who’ve been touched by your generosity will one day help lift their families out of poverty.
One such student HCAM Education Fund sponsored is Magdeline. This year she completed her advanced degree in pharmacy and alternative medicine. She lost her father to AIDS as a young girl and her mother could no longer afford her school fees. HCAM Education Fund sponsored her through high school, and when she proved to be an exceptional student with much ambition, we continued her sponsorship through university. We hope there are many more students like Magdeline who will do great things if given the chance.
Our programs have continued to evolve based on the needs expressed by the community. Today we sponsor over 40 individual students a year. But we also help the entire school with programs that benefit everyone such as sponsoring field trips and extra-curricular activities and providing funds for computers and classroom supplies. We’ve helped the award winning choir, the PTA and the Scouts so more children can participate regardless of ability to pay. We provided funds to hire the tailoring school students to make 7,500 re-usable masks for the community during the shut-down.
We have grown to include support for young people and at-risk kids by helping renovate a basketball court and sponsoring a basketball league open to all. This program is giving kids a place to belong and a healthy and safe environment. We look forward to seeing how this program develops as the leaders on the ground work toward creating jobs, training and opportunities beyond basketball for the youth of Dandora. We continue to provide funds for food, hygiene kits and rent support to help these young people facing food insecurity and eviction during the pandemic.
Thank you for the gifts that make all of this work possible. If you are called to serve, have a passion for education and youth, please consider joining our team and bringing your talent and time to helping us continue this mission. We extend our special thanks and prayers to Fr. Dave Ayotte for his generous appeal in helping us spread our message; and to Monsignor Torgerson for his leadership, love and commitment to caring for our brothers and sisters in Dandora.
Pray for our friends at Holy Cross Dandora as they are praying for all of us.
HCAM Education Team: