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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Change Beyond Borders: The Tanzania Project and Loretto Abbey’s charitable impact worldwide

By: Angelica D.C., Student Reporter


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Kishiri Shopping Centre

 

A playground for children after a monsoon destroyed their school in Thakurpukur, sustainable income for women in El Salvador through cashew agriculture, and a housing and treatment centre for women suffering from genital mutilation are all past projects partaken in by the Loretto Abbey community. Throughout the last few years, Loretto Abbey students have invested their time, effort, and energy into creating international change through charity initiatives in conjunction with the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (I.B.V.M.), commonly known as the Loretto Sisters.

 

Currently, the Loretto Abbey community is focusing its energy on a project centered in Kishiri, Mwanza Region, Tanzania. As a result of the vast distance between Kishiri and the nearest accessible water pumps, young women and expecting mothers are susceptible to encountering water-borne diseases such as malaria, cholera, and stomach ailments. These ailments are in addition to the complications of HIV and AIDS that are prevalent in some members of this community. Loretto Abbey is in the process of raising funds to help provide this community with a borehole and solar pump, which would allow for easier access to clean drinking water, free from water-borne diseases. Afterwards, funds will be able to assist in starting construction of a dispensary, which will provide women in Kishiri with protection, education, and medication for HIV and AIDS.


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 The edge of the land where borehole/centre will be located


Sister Evanne Hunter, a Loretto Sister and former principal of Loretto Abbey, expressed not only her gratitude for the work of industrious and generous Loretto students, but in an interview also outlined her commitment to encouraging students to do more. According to Sister Evanne, “There will never be peace with poverty. We, as a school, need to eliminate the causes of the problem.”

 

In addition to the playground, cashew project, and treatment centre, the charitable donations received at Loretto Abbey have also assisted in the Mary Ward Development Centre at a tea plantation, where mothers were able to provide their children with education whilst working. The fundraising for solar cookers and sewing machines for women in the poor mountainous areas of Peru also allowed for the reduction of trees cut and creation of a sustainable income. Our fundraisers for the Angel Foundation, Becoming Neighbours: Welcoming Strangers, and the Arrabond House assisted children within the TCDSB community, refugees in Canada, and also helped to provide housing for individuals who were unable to go back to their homes.

 

These past charitable projects have allowed for changes in the material realities of disenfranchised individuals across Canada and the world, allowing people to better their lives, hopefully with a greater sense of their own agency. Various school activities such as civvies days, Pasta Night, and Charity Cup require a small monetary donation to allow these projects to continue and allow us, as the Loretto Abbey community, to pursue and create social change.

 

Loretto Abbey administration and Sister Evanne have helped coordinate and organize countless charitable projects with Loretto Abbey students in hopes of solving international issues at a root level that is aligned with the charism of Mary Ward. In doing so, the Loretto Abbey community has helped the lives of women and children across the world to not only be changed, but to be changed for the better.

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