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Presentation Sisters Union                          News Update June 2009                             Print Version                          

and had befriended while away from home.

The GEE group (of Presentation Sisters) plays a supporting role to each of these groups, travelling to the schools to meet with the teachers and students while also being at the end of a phone to give assistance when called upon.

Zambia Trips 2009: Students and staff from three schools visited Zambai this summer. They were Presentation College Carlow, Colaiste Chiaráin Leixlip and Mountmellick Community School. We have reports from all three visits - just click the headings on the navigation bar to the left for information on any of the trips.

The GEE group (that is the inter-provincial group of sisters) is very grateful for the support of this project by the three provinces in Ireland and the leadership teams in Zambia and India.  Special thanks to all at local level both here in Ireland and in the host countries for their help and assistance, without which the project would not be possible. [Messages to Sr. Mary Rossiter]

Leixlip Trip: One of two groups to travel to Kalomo this year were the twelve students and four teachers from Colaiste Chiarain, Leixlip. Students, Jill Abbott, Gemma Behan, Aoife Daly, Catriona Daly, Philip Greene, Chris Hannon, Neal Harrison, Shelagh Letford, Shaunagh Mahon, Alison May, Aoife Talty and Jill Watkins with teachers, Rachael Potts, Mary Gallagher, Barry McGettigan, and Tom Cash arrived in Lusaka on May 26th. They, like the Mountmellick group, visited Chipata on their first day, travelling to Kalomo the next day via Pemba where all stopped for a much needed break and also visited the village project  which is led by Sr. Mary Lucey.

For this group the challenge was the teachers’ strike which upset the plans to spend time in the local schools but they were not idle….again the demands of the farming world gave all the opportunity to work alongside the local people in the fields.  This time the maize had dried and was ready for shelling in-spite of the blisters the group worked on and by the end of their time in Kalomo the women were able to bag the maize for bringing to the mill. In all of the schools visited puppet making (using socks) and mask making were the highlights for the students and who would have believed maths could be such fun. The drama of well known stories delighted the children although some were sacred of the monster!

Again Sr. Teresa facilitated the group with visits to her clinics and she was thrilled to have thousands of tablets packed in the appropriate way for distribution to her patients. Here too, games proved a great meeting ground, games of rounders, (played with a hurley), netball and of course football raised great chorus of laughter and cheers. This group were in Church for the feast of Pentecost and, although Mass was 3 hours long, all agreed it was a wonderful experience, as the congregation sang and danced throughout the celebration. The group visited the Victoria Falls and, despite a good soaking, was greatly enjoyed by all.

Each night the group met in “circle time” where they shared their experiences of the day – a most enriching and precious time.  At the end all agreed it was the welcome afforded the group which has made the greatest impression.  Many thanks to all who helped to make the trip so wonderful.  You will be hearing more!

Mountmellick Trip: Students and Staff from Mountmellick Community School were one of three groups to visit Zambia this summer as part of the GEE project and one of two to be hosted at Kalomo. The group was made up of ten students (Aine Furlong, Alison McEvoy, Eoghan Keogh, Eoin McEvoy, Gavin Conroy, Laura Turner, Laurence Kenny, Redmond McEvoy, Sean Gorman,and Sinead Walsh) and three teachers (Ann Bennett, Patty Conroy and Ollie Hally).

Over the previous twelve months this group had worked very hard in preparation for sharing aspects of Irish life with the children in the schools in Kalomo. However, on arrival in Zambia on 5th May 2009 the Mountmellick group of ten students along with their three teachers learned that the Ministry of Education had given an extra week’s holiday to all schools!  

In true group spirit all rose to the challenge of being open to other experiences during their time there. A range of alternative activities was quickly developed by their hosts and the students can be rightly proud of the wonderful help they gave to the women on the Bakita and Home Based Care forms. Instead of assisting

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