(2020) While on our African travels, our delegation had the opportunity to visit the school that benefited from collected fundraising donations from students at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary who had previously read and studied the “Long Walk to Water” book by Linda Sue Park. Coming onto the property of the Maria Goretti School, the students met us singing and dancing. We couldn’t enter the school grounds without cutting a welcome ribbon and walking through a lined pathway of students clapping and singing our welcome.
Even though this happened to be the first day of the new semester of school the students were attired in their fresh and clean pink uniform shirts and dresses. For two members of our travel team who had never been on one of our mission trips, the welcome was truly an overwhelming blessing. Speaking of blessings, we couldn’t proceed without the students asking me to invoke God’s special blessing upon them as we began the celebration.
It wasn’t long before with great excitement they took us to the site of the new latrines and new water tank. Of course more ribbon cuttings were involved and great joy enveloped us. It is amazing how what we think is insignificant can produce so much good to many in other nations. The celebration continued of course with speeches, presentations and again, dancing.
While traveling we also had the opportunity to visit with the school named St. Judith Bulanga Primary School. This school will be the next recipient of successful fundraising efforts from the school and parish of SS. Peter and Paul in Williamsville, NY. In addition to a new water tank, the school needs new additional latrines and some classroom building repairs and modifications. These efforts were initiated by both our Ugandan partner Fr. Emmanuel Katabaazi and his American Mother Marion Streit-Dauer. Taking the never-short walk to the school students’ source of water convinced us of the need and reality that these students live with each day. Through the tireless efforts of SS. Peter & Paul School, a huge amount was raised just before the COVID- 19 Pandemic, that will supply this school’s many needs as well as possibly a few more. May God continue to bless the students from all our area schools who contribute so much so other students around the world can just live, survive and even begin to thrive. Blessings to all….