HVM sisters and supporters are proud of the ministry of Srs. Calista and Helen who teach children at the Little Angels School in Ichama, in southern Nigeria. The correspondence below provides a glimpse of the daily joys and the challenges they face. The writer is Sr. Calista. (Notes from SHVM website providing explanation are marked in blue.)
October 22, 2014
Greetings to all!
Sr. Elizabeth is currently staying with us. She came here last Thursday for her retreat.
We are gradually preparing for the children’s inter-house sports activities next school term. We have shared the children into 6 houses named after Saints Paul, Peter, Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.
Our tuition fee is one thousand, five hundred naira (about $8.50 US dollars) but new pupils pay nine thousand nine hundred naira for kindergarten to primary (about $56.20 US dollars). We give them 2 pairs of stockings, uniform, sportswear, sandals, pullover, exercise books (12 copies), dossier and inter-house sports wear. All these will be for the #9,900 naira they are going to pay.
I decided to go into providing all these so that the little money we will get from it can be used to support the payment of the staff’s salary. If we depend on what the children are paying, we won’t be able to be paying the staff their salary.
November 19, 2014
Dear Sr. Rosemarie,
Thank you for your concern towards our ministry in this remote area we are in. The majority of the people here are peasant farmers who don’t know the importance of education. So the majority of the children don’t have one single text book — not even on the English language.
The idea of buying Bibles with the donation from Holy Name School in Birmingham, MI, is excellent because the children need it for their Christian knowledge. I would like to use half the money for other reading books that are used here.
Secondly, there are some orphans here who are not in school because nobody is here to pay their fees. For example, this Monday l sent for one of our children that stopped coming to school because nobody can help him. I gave him a uniform, sandals and stockings without cost even though the school does not have the money to take care of this type of situation. My concerns are; how l can pay his fees, buy some books for him, sportswear etc. There are many others like him.
Sr. Calista, HVM
1st Graders at Holy Name School in Birmingham, MI, recently held a bake sale with the generous help of their parents to support the purchase of books in Ichama. Can you add to the energy of these children? Can you respond to Sr. Calista’s concerns? Visit the Contact Us/Donate page on this web site to make secure on-line donations. Your donations (in US dollars! ☺) will go a long way, both literally and figuratively, to help support the children being taught by our HVM sisters in Ichama, Nigeria.