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Our Lady Queen of Peace
Merrion Road, Dublin 4,
D04 NX33, Ireland

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home > News & events > 2017 Christmas Appeal for Parish Outreach Project: Queen of Peace Primary School for Girls, Lodwar, Kenya

2017 Christmas Appeal for Parish Outreach Project: Queen of Peace Primary School for Girls, Lodwar, Kenya

Once again, our parishioners have been very generous in their response to our annual Christmas Appeal. This is for the continuing support of Queen of Peace Primary School for Girls, our parish outreach project in Lodwar, Kenya. A total of €13,960 was contributed this Christmas. (See school Facebook page here 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. 

The school is developing very well, as Bishop Dominic outlined in his November 2017 email. There are now 620 students and it is expected that this will rise to 700 in the next Academic Year.

Bishop Dominic pointed out that:

"the two projects that are ongoing now simultaneously are the Convent and a new dormitory expected to accommodate 200 students.  We urgently need financial help to complete the two projects.  

  • The dormitory will cost 8,000,000 Kenyan Shillings (€80,000) and we only have Ksh. 6,000,000 (€60,000) 
  • The convent will cost Ksh. 6,000.000 (€60,000) and as of now we have Ksh. 4,000.000 (€40,000)."  

Total donations from our parish since 2011 amount to €95,430.

A total of €15,996 was donated between summer and Christmas of 2015.

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.

In 2014 our Christmas Appeal raised €10,539.

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 will continue to do so. The Christmas 2014 contribution was slightly up on the €10,471 donated in 2013 and is an indication of our ongoing commitment to this worthy cause.

Our 2012 Christmas Appeal, raised €9,264 for the second phase of the project: the construction of 4 more classrooms and some administrative offices.

In 2011 we raised €14,095, which gave the initial impetus to begin the project with the building of the first 4 classrooms of the Queen of Peace Primary School for Girls in Lodwar.

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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