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Our Lady Queen of Peace
Merrion Road, Dublin 4,
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homepage > Christmas 2020 Appeal for Parish Outreach Project: Queen of Peace Primary School for Girls, Lodwar, Kenya
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Christmas 2020 Appeal for Parish Outreach Project: Queen of Peace Primary School for Girls, Lodwar, Kenya

Our Annual Christmas Appeal in support of Queen of Peace Primary School for Girls, our parish outreach project in Lodwar, Kenya was been launched on the First Sunday of Advent.

Last year €16,170 was donated.  
(See School website, Facebook page and photos).

The photo on the right shows Fr Fergus with Bishop Dominic Kimeng'ich in Nairobi in August 2016, giving him our summer contribution of €5,290. A further €12,480 was raised at Christmas 2016. 

Total donations from our parish since 2011 amount to €140,930.

The school is developing very well, as Bishop Dominic outlined in his November 2020 email:

"I wish to take this opportunity to thank you and the Parishioners of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish for supporting our school Queen of Peace Girls Primary School during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kenya, like many other countries, have been affected by the virus. The virus has distrusted learning in our schools. All our schools were closed since March until recently when those preparing for national schools were allowed to go back to school.

For Church schools like Queen of Peace that do not get government funding, it has been a very difficult period. The big challenge has been paying the salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff. Many such schools have been unable to operate and have opted to close for good.

Thanks to the donation that Queen of Peace received from your Parish, the school has been able to pay the salaries of the teachers and some essential staff members.

Recently when Class Eight and Class Four students came back to school, they have been able to get food and continue with their studies because of the same help.

It is now official that the rest of the students will be coming back to school in January 2021. Since most of the parents are affected by the negative impact of the COVID-19 it will not be easy for them to pay school fees. The school will require assistance from outside to keep the learners in school. They will need food and the teachers will need to be paid. The rest of the staff too will need their dues. For sure the school will need help until the Covid situation will improve.

A recent development in the school is the coming of a Congregation of Sisters from Philippines called Mensa Domini Sisters. There are two sisters at the moment and one of them will be assisting in the school. The other one will be teaching in our Minor Seminary, not far from Queen of Peace.

Here in the Diocese of Eldoret I have met quite a number of students in a number of Secondary schools here who were in Queen of Peace. I am very much delighted to see them doing very well. It shows the positive impact Queen of Peace is making. The students are now exposed to a different environment and encountering new experiences different from Lodwar.

God bless you abundantly for through your help lives are being transformed for the better."

During his visit to Lodwar in July 2015 Fr Fergus celebrated Mass for the students and staff of the school in the new multi-purpose dining hall. The liturgy was enhanced by the beautiful singing of the choir. Afterwards there was some poetry and singing to entertain the visitor, which among other things illustrated the talent of the girls and highlighted their dreams for the future.

It was a joy to see how much has been achieved already and to be able to assist in the ongoing development of this wonderful project.

Our initial donation was in fact the catalyst for launching the construction of the school.


Fr Fergus stayed with Bishop Dominic and also met Fr John O'Callaghan, a Kiltegan missionary from Kilmallock, who has been very involved in the execution of the project and Mr Tony Woods, from Doon, the diocesan administrator.

 

 

The visit of Fr Joseph Ekalimon, Vicar General of Lodwar Diocese, to our parish in June 2013 further cemented our links with Queen Visit of Fr Joseph Ekalimonof Peace School. Fr Joseph spoke at all weekend Masses expressing the gratitude of the people of Lodwar for our support. He also highlighted the need for this project: the provision of quality integral education for young girls, who tend to be overlooked due to shortage of resources. We are very pleased to be able to lend our support and we have an ongoing commitment to this worthy cause.

66P1020604.JPGThe ongoing generosity of our parishioners  is giving a welcome boost to this very worthy project and helping these young girls to have a brighter and better future through the empowerment that access to education will give.

This YouTube video gives some background to the project. See especially comments of Bishop Dominic at 2'52".


Irish Connection

The diocese was set up in 1978, and was an Apostolic Prefecture for the previous 10 years. It has a long association with Ireland - over 40 years:

  • 40Bishop Dominic Kimengich 2.jpgIts first Prefect, and then Bishop, was Bishop John Mahon, a Kiltegan missionary from Killurin near Tullamore, Co Offaly.
  • He was succeeded in the year 2000 by Bishop Patrick Harrington, SMA from Kilmeague, near Naas, Co Kildare, who retired in 2011.
  • The present bishop is Bishop Dominic Kimengich, a secular diocesan priest and a native Kenyan. He studied in Rome with Fr Fergus. Some of you met with him when he visited our parish briefly in Spring 2011.

Turkana a Deprived Area

43Lodwar girl.jpgFrom a development perspective, Turkana comes last of the 46 districts in Kenya and only 6% of the population are in paid employment. The diocese has been making a huge contribution to the spiritual and material welfare of the people of Lodwar. This district has one of the lowest levels of literacy in Kenya despite the introduction by the government in 2003 of free primary education. There is demand for education, but a shortage of facilities.

Poor access of Girls to Education

The construction of Queen of Peace Primary School for Girls is an initiative by the diocese in the context of a culture that gives less preference to girls than boys to attend school. Only 2 of the 17 primary schools in Lodwar are for girls and these are unable to cope with the huge number of girls seeking admission. This difficulty of access to primary education has various implications for girls:

  • Low transition to secondary level education
  • Exposure to early entry into the workplace and early marriages
  • And, in the long term, poor social and economic advancement.
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