Zambian Street Children
One of the global charities that St Mary’s supports each year is the ‘Friends of the Street Children’. This is a non- government organisation based in Kitwe, Zambia which is totally reliant on voluntary donations. A Newry based Social Worker, Barry Traynor has been working with this charity for many years. Every two years Barry travels to Zambia and works with the charity, helping some of the poorest children in Africa.
St Mary's is very proud to support the Friends of Africa project for street children in Kitwe Zambia. Local social worker Barry Traynor spent most of January working at the shelter and he brought us gifts from the children and the project teacher Meya. The beautiful art work and pictures and hand made gifts remind us of how valuable our support is to the project which provides shelter, education and health care to children who have no family members left. Thanks to all the parents, pupils and friends of St Mary's who support our fundraising for this very worthwhile cause.
United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child
By supporting the work of Fr Donall, St Mary's pupils are helping to ensure that the Kamberi children have access to the following rights within the convention
Article 19: Children should be protected
Article 22: Children who are refugees or asylum seekers have the right to special protection.
Article 28: Children have a right to education
Article 31: Children have a right to relax and play
Article 24: Children have the right to good health care, clean water and food
In Zambia children are trying to survive on their own in the most drastic of circumstances. A lot of the children are AIDS orphans due to the AIDS pandemic sweeping Africa. When parents die the children are forced to move to the streets to find food and on the streets they are often the victims of abuse and violence.
Friends of the Street Children has 3 shelter houses that can keep 150 children at any one time. The shelters cater for boys and girls of all ages giving them a place of safety where they are cared for by the most dedicated people on the planet. Their basic needs are met on a daily basis.
Saint Mary’s High School has been helping the children in the shelters since 2011 and without this help and support the shelters would almost certainly have had to close and children would have had to return to the dangerous streets.
The funds raised by St. Mary’s each year helps the street children of Kitwe, Zambia in many ways:
Provided food and clothing for thousands of children who live on the streets
Purchase first aid kits and medicine to all of the children living in the shelters and thousands more on the streets.
Provide emergency medical treatment and life-saving operations in a clinic in Kitwe so street children can receive treatment day or night
Helped to educate the street children both boys and girls in mainstream schools in the local area.
Purchase educational resources to help teach the street children.
Create a vegetable garden in the grounds of the shelter so there is a fresh supply of food all year round.
Help families and orphans to establish their own small businesses so that they can be self-sufficient and not have to worry about feeding their children day to day.
Purchase sewing machines and craft materials so the children can learn how to make crafts that they can sell to buy food.