The hearts and hands of the NDCL Lions touched two continents this month as our community collected more than $7,000 to help children in Uganda and Haiti.
Funds generated by the spirited coin war during Spirit Week and a very successful popcorn raffle just before Valentine’s Day will directly benefit children at Saint Julie Model School in Buseesa, Uganda, and the School of the Infant Jesus in Cite Militaire, Haiti.
Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1995, Saint Julie School serves students in the “forgotten district” of Uganda, where people are challenged by dirt roads, high rates of illiteracy and poverty, and little opportunity for girls and women. The school and related SND ministries provide social and economic mobility and access, especially for young women who are otherwise encouraged to have children in their teenage years and forgo education.
According to Academic Success Center Director Sister Michelle Kelly, who ministered for several months in Uganda before joining NDCL’s staff, our contributions to Saint Julie School will fund the annual tuition for 20 students—nearly 10% of the school’s total enrollment.
NDCL’s connection to Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, comes through Mathematics Department Chairperson Mrs. Marcia Pecek, who volunteered there in 2017. She has continued to share the stories of the Haitian people, who struggle from the lingering effects of a devastating earthquake in 2010 and an intensifying economic and political crisis that has created widespread food shortages. Relief agencies estimate that one in every three Haitians needs urgent food assistance.
“The Salesian sisters at the School of the Infant Jesus, which I visited, give students food so that they will come to school and not be on the streets begging for food or money,” Mrs. Pecek described.
After armed gangs forced the closure of another one of their schools, the sisters recently opened their doors to an additional 500 children, swelling enrollment at the School of the Infant Jesus to over 1,300 students.
“It is such a desperate situation right now,” Mrs. Pecek said. “Our support will mean so much to the students and the sisters.”