Ireland builds in Africa

November 3, 2009 in General, News

jesmissions_01Much of Murt Curry’s work in the Mission Office is in the detailed preparation of applications for funding of mission projects by Irish Aid, the Irish people’s principal contribution to crying needs in the Developing World. At their October meeting, the Board of Misean Cara approved three of these grant applications. The first of these (€74,035) is for a literacy and life-skills training programme for women in North Darfur, organised by JRS East Africa. The second (€50,000) is for a refugee education programme in Nepal and Bhutan, overseen by JRS and Caritas. And the third (€15,747) is for work on classrooms in Lusaka, Zambia, led by Fr Tom McGivern SJ. Further details of the projects below.


1. Grant of 74,035 euro. Project organised by JRS East Africa. Literacy & Life Skills Training for Women in North Darfur

The first project offers women in this remote part of North Darfur an opportunity to gain literacy and life skills – skills which empower them to achieve a better life for themselves and their families. Many of the women involved have been forcibly displaced by the conflict in Darfur between the Government of Sudan and the rebels. A new, participatory, methodology will be introduced in the literacy classes (the REFLECT method), and tutors will receive training in it before they start to teach the first new course. The life skills training will increase its emphasis on those which can help the women to generate an income, such as weaving, leather tanning, food processing and tailoring.

2. Grant of 50,000 euro (approximately half the grant requested). Project Organised by JRS and Caritas, Nepal  Bhutanese Refugee Education Programme

The second project helps to conduct formal education to Primary Students in Bhutanese Refugee Camps in Nepal. Most of these students are stateless, having been ejected from their homeland of Bhutan. Without education they have a very bleak future, either in Bhutan, Nepal or in other countries who accept them. Without support from Nepal or Bhutan, Caritas Nepal in conjunction with UNHCR organises their education, but other donors like Misean Cara are needed to supply a reasonable school system.

3. Grant of 15,747 euro. Project organised by Fr. Tom McGivern SJ in the Roma district of Lusaka – Completing Dedama Classrooms

The third project concerns DEDAMA Community Primary School, which opened in January 2005 with two classes and has expanded, with classroom number 6 completed. There are 170 pupils in total and with the addition of Grade 7 next year, the pupil population will definitely increase. The classrooms are not plastered, are unpainted, with no windows, and have very basic furniture. This gives a very crude look to the school. Finishing the rooms will improve the environment considerably and increase the morale of teachers and pupils.