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Marian Academy Participated in Project Africa:

“You can make the Desert Flourish!’’

A hope for our sisters and brothers in Africa

March 1, 2012

Each year during Lent the pupils and teachers at Marian Academy are encouraged to make sacrifices towards a needy cause.  This year we participated in Project Africa. This project was a concrete way for us to become engaged together with the Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union worldwide in ventures which are linked to the development of women and obtaining better and cleaner water services for our sisters and brothers in Africa. 

On March 1st, 2012 Project Africa was launched at Marian Academy with an educational, enlightening and interesting powerpoint of water facts and the aims of Project Africa.  Sister Marie Harper, Principal of Marian Academy, suggested that some water facts of Africa should be added, as background information, to the powerpoint provided by the Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission RU.  Sister Shelly Jhetoo, presented the powerpoint to the Primary Department at their assembly where the teachers were also present. Sisters Marie and Shelly did the presentation for the Secondary Department.

In addition to the powerpoint Sr. Shelly explained to the students and teachers how Project Africa came about, who are involved, who will receive the funds and how it will be accounted for. Prior to the launch Sr. Shelly, through her Religion lessons enlightened the students of what it means to make sacrifices and give alms especially during Lent.


At assemblies Sister Marie encouraged the Secondary Department of the importance of giving at Lent. The teachers also made an effort to promote Project Africa in their classrooms and at assemblies.

Weekly donations were made by the Secondary Department and the Primary Department made donations three times each week.  We started off with two Lenten boxes where the students freely and happily put their donations for Project Africa. The students were told to take their donations directly to the boxes, which were kept in the office, if they wanted to donate on others days.  

The water situation in Africa really touched the students as many went home to tell their parents. Some of the students even had their own little project among their families and brought their donations to school. The generosity of the students was astonishing some of them brought their entire piggybanks while others brought all the coinage they could find at home. What struck them most were that children, in some parts in Africa, are unable to attend school because they have the responsibility of collecting water and the long distances the people have to walk to get water which most of the time is unsafe.  

However, the students are well aware that here in Guyana we also have poor water quality and in some areas no running water through a tap. 

To celebrate WWD, World Water Day, 2012, members of the Environmental Club made drawings depicting the difficulties to get clean water in some parts of Africa. These drawing with other information on the issue of water were on display in the School’s Hall.  Our students were encouraged not to buy the (bottled) water  at school, especially on WWD, but to bring their own. Since the Nursery were not at the launching of Project Africa one of the Nursery teachers suggested they take their students to the Hall to explain the Project to them. The teachers then asked the Nursery parents to give a donation towards Project Africa specifically on WWD. 

During the last week of the term the Lenten boxes were opened, we eventually had four boxes, and the total sum counted.  On Thursday March 29th, 2012, after our final Mass for the term, Sister Marie announced the amount donated towards Project Africa.   Present at the Mass were some past students and parents and they were eager to make their own donations as well.  We accumulated GD $236,000.00 and have decided to send our donation to Project Sediba, Serowe, Botswana. Project Africa was an opportunity to help our students and teachers to join efforts with others towards a global cause.  We were very happy to join with the Ursuline Sisters to help provide some women and children in Africa with clean water.  

Prepared by

Sister Shelly Jhetoo, OSU

April 13, 2012


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