In an email received yesterday (23rd March), Sr. Bernadette Duffy told us of two situations where help is urgently needed. Their local parish hall, which provides shelter for the homeless, is desperately in need of repair. If that wasn't bad enough, a massive fire has destroyed the homes of many of the locals.
As you know, Brendan Byrne is presenting 'Pictures from the Past' (http://www.tullylish.com/education-4-life/2975-pictures-from-the-past) to raise much needed funds for Sr. Bernadette Duffy's work in South Africa. The TLC Group also intend holding a Table Quiz and a Coffee Morning immediately after Easter. Even if you cannot attend any of these fundraisers, you can still leave a donation for Sr. Bernadette with the TLC Group. Sr. B's father and sister are travelling to South Africa in early May.
You can read Sr. B's email below and also a report in their local paper regarding the fire.
In all the years Sr. Bernadette has been on the Mission Field in South Africa, this is the first time she has made a direct appeal for help!
Just place your donation in an envelope marked Sr. Bernadette Duffy.
The E4L account provides ongoing support for Sr. B's work and that is thanks to the generosity of those parishiones who donate by standing order on monthly basis. As you know, we were able to send Sr. Bernadette money from the Education 4 Life Fund before Christmas to help feed over 1,000 homeless people. http://www.tullylish.com/education-4-life/2942-sr-bs-christmas-lunch
Sr. Bernadette's email:
"St John’s Catholic Church is situated in the Maitland area of Cape Town. This is an industrial area of approximately +20,000 people of socially low income. The unemployment rate is extreme. Many of the people who come to our church are in need of food, clothing and accommodation. We have a policy to reach out to them all but in particular to refugees and homeless seeking asylum. The Maitland area is very windy, damp and cold (when the Winter comes). Every Wednesday and Friday we provide tea and bread to all who come. We do this in our church hall with the help of St Vincent de Paul and local parishioners. The hall is badly in need of fixing, especially the roof. This is the shelter that we use to protect the homeless during the rain and cold. We are trying to raise funds to repair the roof. This has given us a major challenge and the process is very slow because the local parishioners are poor themselves and the income we get is nominal. We do not give up trying. We would deeply appreciate your support to help us raise enough money as a means to assist with the roof repairs before the Winter.
In addition to what we offer the people we also live on the outskirts of an informal settlement (shanty town/ghetto) that is home to hundreds of residents, (local SA and Refugees). Two weeks ago the shacks went on fire. The people lost everything they had and lives were threatened. This disaster has added to our pressing need to help with shelter, food and clothing. Today I visited the people at the shacks. They are busy restoring what they could salvage from the fires, which was little enough to begin with (please see pics). The fire started in one shack and then everything else went into flames. The shacks are built too close on top of each other and due to this we get a domino effect resulting in a massive fire and grave destruction. More than 120 people were left destitute, after the blaze gutted 30 shacks. "
Click below for photos of the shacks
Newspaper Report below
The residents of Texas Ranger informal settlement in Kensington awoke to the sounds of screaming as their shacks went up in flames for the second time in as many weeks. At 3am yesterday, more than 120 people were left destitute, after the blaze gutted 30 shacks. The fire is believed to have been caused by a candle was left unattended. Kulsum Fortuin, 22, a resident who lost everything, says she still can’t believe her house is gone. “I woke up and saw the shack next to me was burning. That’s when I got up and grabbed my children,” she explains. Kulsum rushed over to her mother’s house to wake her up before running back into her burning shack to try and save her belongings. “I didn’t even have time to find my shoes, I just grabbed clothes for my children and ran out before the place went up in flames.” The mother of two boys, Rafiq, four, and Rameez, one, says she is just grateful her children are safe. ...