The College maintains relationships not only on Australian shores, we are a member of the Viqueque Friendship Schools, supporting education projects with our close neighbours in East Timor. The College in partnership with the Geelong Catholic Secondary Schools supports the TriUMPH Festival which raises substantial funds for overseas relief efforts in both East Timor and East Africa.
St Joseph’s College has extended a hand of friendship to the people of Mannya (a small remote township in the south of Uganda, 30 km from the Tanzania border) since 2011.
The friendship has only grown stronger over the years after the inaugural small group of Year 12 students from St Joseph’s and Clonard College first travelled to Mannya, immersing themselves in the local community, visiting the local ministries to see the work that is being undertaken to make a difference to health and education.
With the generous support of the Old Collegians, the Parents and Friends, the College community and particularly the students chosen for each trip to Uganda, fundraising has been undertaken in order to help resource the schools, as most have very little or nothing in terms of books, stationery and play equipment.The most recent focus is on St Joseph’s new Vocational Secondary school started in Kensekka, about 20 kms from Mannya. Funds raised from the St Joseph's Parents & Friends Fashion Dinner and a substantial amount from Edmund Rice Day have been sent to Mannya to assist in constructing the first building of the new school in Kensekka. The school is now open and operating and our donations have made further improvements such as construction of a dam to provide water to the school.
Following the school's completion we received a message from Fr Nestus in Kensekka:
"Greetings to you from Mannya and Kensekka community. Great news our Secondary school has now started. Today has been the first day of its opening and we have over 50 students. This is very encouraging and the parents are very excited. We are grateful for the love and support.The morale and enthusiasm the children and the teachers have is fantastic. It’s really encouraging and promising seeing great hope created in the lives of these young ones who had almost given up their future. Thanks for giving a future to the people that had become hopeless."
We will continue to support this remote community. And will continue to offer our Year 12 students the opportunity to join future immersion experiences. The aim of these experience is to immerse the students in the daily life of the schools and parish community and to maintain our friendships and continue to build relationships.
Over the years, our St Joseph’s community has contributed to the building of the Ruben Medical Clinic and the Ruben Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya and the Edmund Rice Sinon Secondary School in Arusha, Tanzania.
For more information on the Edmund Rice Foundation and the vital work of the Christian Brothers' projects and programs visit their website at: www.erf.org.au