The Jesuit Mission Office, working in an old terraced house off Gardiner Street, focuses mainly on the Irish Jesuit mission in Zambia and Malawi; but it has a broader brief especially through the work of Fr Murt Curry, and this week brought him good news for East Africa, Zambia and the Philippines. As Projects Officer Murt processes project applications from far and wide. This requires detailed preparation of applications for funding of mission projects by Irish Aid, the Irish people’s principal contribution to crying needs in the developing world. Under the new funding mechanisms from Misean Cara, all applications must now be made on-line through the Misean Cara Website. Read more below about five major projects sent in through the Mission Office which were recently approved, for a total of €435,450.
Three projects to be implemented by JRS East Africa have been funded. The education project in Kajo Keji county in South Sudan involves the building of latrines and rainwater-harvesting systems in two primary schools, furniture for 26 schools, sanitary supplies for 1,300 girl students, and a Landrover to travel the 70 Km to the furthest school. In Yei county, also in S Sudan, latrines and water supply from a borehole will be provided for four primary schools serving about 2,400 children. In Kampala, the capital of Uganda, short term emergency relief will be provided for recently arrived refugees, mostly from the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. They will also be offered language classes and basic vocational skills, and they will be made aware of the available support services offered.
Zambia: The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection in Lusaka addresses the need for a better informed, trained and committed civil society that cooperates to promote human rights and integral development. Zambia is ranked 150 out of 169 countries on the UN Human Development Index, with 65% living below the poverty line, and an HIV/AIDS rate of 15%, but the country has great resources and potential. This project aims at getting greater response from civil society to the challenges facing the country, especially in this election year.
In the Philippines, under the auspices of Fr Peter Walpole SJ from Limerick, the project is to assist the indigenous people of the Bendum Region in upland Mindanao to obtain their certificate of title to their ancestral domain. Also they will be aided in developing local income-generating projects in craft work and in agricultural production. The tribal council and committees on land-ownership, water use and forest retention will also be strengthened.