Sr Mona Maher of Annegrove has returned from Uganda for holidays and the following is her account of how the people of Roscrea and the surrounding area are making a huge impact in Uganda by their financial support given for the education of children there.
As you may remember in Sept 2004 I was overwhelmingly supported in the running of a concert in Grant’s Hotel. Over €28.000 was collected and this together with over €10,000, which my sister Eileen received from a raffle in Aug 2006, has providing educational opportunities for many children in Uganda. To date over 500 children of primary, secondary and tertiary levels are receiving funding from us. This is a huge tribute to the people of Roscrea and its surrounds and I sincerely want to say a big thank you. Without your support for our Uganda Mission work many children would not have got this opportunity of education.
However much still remains to be done. Uganda has suffered greatly from the HIV/AIDS pandemic and presently there are over 2.5 million orphans in the country. Many of these children at 12 or 13 years of age are heading households. Such families are vulnerable to all sorts of abuse and these are of particular concern to the sisters. However great progress has been made over the years. I have seen the change that has come about since money from the Roscrea area has been available for education. By 2006 the HIV/AIDS rate in Uganda had fallen to 6.2% from 23% in the 1990s. It is education of the present generation of children that is responsible for this. All schools have HIV/AIDS programmes written into the curriculum so it is our hope that with increasing numbers of children getting the opportunity of schooling this decrease in AIDS prevention will continue.
Schooling is still the privilege of the rich and although not expensive according to Irish standards, it is not available to the poor because of lack of money. To educate a child in primary school of a year it costs €25, for secondary school for a year €100. If anyone would wish to contribute to the education of a child even for a year it could mean the difference between life and death to a whole family in the future. The Uganda Mission Fund A/c set up in the Credit Union in 2004 remains open. The number is 014918D. Also I can be contacted at 0505 21681 and 0877470961 .
Since I came home my friends have encouraged me to hold another concert for the children of Uganda. We have booked Grant’s Hotel for Sept 14th for a great night. Please continue to support this worthy cause. There will be details later on.
Sr Mona Maher Has returned To Roscrea And Is planning A Major Fundraising Concert In The Town For September 14th