Student Council Supports Lusaka Students with School Fees

Next Thursday, October 22, students will elect new Student Council officers who will be installed during a ceremony following Daily Mass on Wednesday, October 28.

Before we welcome our new officers, let’s take a look at the impact our prior SCA officers created through their main service project: Donating School Fees to Students in Need in Lusaka, Zambia.

“We are sincerely grateful to Saint Mary’s Catholic School for the help rendered to us, the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa in Lusaka, Zambia, so that we may reach out to the less privileged in our society and we wish for a continued collaboration.”

Sister paula healy — fmsa ministries, lusaka, zambia

This time last year, SCA officers selected Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa to receive funds raised during Daily Mass on Wednesdays. This month, Sister Paula Healy of FMSA Ministries sent us a detailed impact report on how students living in shanty areas of Lusaka, Zambia benefited from the SCA’s generous allocation of donated funds.

In education, the sisters in Sister Paula’s order of nuns are the managing agent of St. Paul’s Primary and Secondary Schools – a Church owned school and St. Francis and Clare Secondary school owned by the sisters but operating under government sponsorship (meaning teachers are paid by the government). This arrangement renders school fees less expensive while still offering quality education to the students in need. Both schools are situated in shanty compounds.

The sisters also run St. Francis Day Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) who attend early childhood education and get one meal per day. Most of these children are under the care of vulnerable grandparents who cannot afford a meal for these children who are on medication for HIV & AIDs. These children continue to come for meals even after they move on to primary and secondary schools – most of them join St. Paul’s primary and secondary where they are easily monitored by the sisters. As they move on in their education, there is continued and growing demand for school fees, food and clothing. The sisters try to source funds for these students and others who attend classes in schools within their catchment area.

To raise sufficient school operating funds and student fees, the sisters rely on donations and support from the government, private sector, friends and individuals to facilitate quality education in shanty compounds. The schools have been built to modern standards and are a true haven for pupils who come from shanty compounds. Some parents are able to pay all or partial school fees while many parents fail to pay fees required by the government due to poverty situations exacerbated by the global pandemic. A lack of school fees often leads to high school dropouts, drug abuse, and early pregnancy or marriages; especially for female students.

BY THE NUMBERS: SCA IMPACT

Sister Healy reported using funds allocated by Saint Mary’s Catholic School SCA to pay school fees for 72 children who attend various schools:

  • 30 secondary school children in St. Francis & Clare
  • 11 children in St Paul’s Primary school
  • 21 children in St Paul’s Secondary school
  • 8 children from various other local secondary schools

1 girl in college who is projected to complete her Teaching course in December. The sisters hope she will then be able to help her younger siblings complete their education as well.

Out of the 72 students paid for, 19 are double orphans (looked after by grandparents or other family members), 24 are single orphans and 28 children have both parents (most of whom are currently without jobs).

For more information on Saint Mary’s Catholic School SCA, please contact Ms. Spring Lavallee, MLS.