Do you ever wonder exactly how your donations make a difference in the world? It’s a natural question for most donors. The Sisters of the Holy Cross would like to take you on a virtual journey around the world—through seven countries on four continents—to show you how your donations to the Ministry With the Poor Fund help us educate the young, comfort the afflicted, give food to the poor and empower those without a voice.
As part of our yearly Christmas Appeal, we want to direct your attention to successes with ministries in Asia and Africa. In December, we will spotlight ministry projects in North America and South America. These projects are but a sampling of how you join us on the front lines to better the lives of every person the Sisters of the Holy Cross encounter. We thank you for your past support and invite you to continue walking with us through a gift to the Ministry With the Poor Fund.
A chance to attain dreams in Ghana
At Our Lady of Holy Cross School (OLHCS) in Kasoa, Ghana, the sisters noticed that many of their scholarship-funded students were struggling to pay for student fees after they graduated eighth grade at OLHCS and moved on to high school. Even though the students were no longer under the auspices of the Congregation, the sisters wanted to ensure that their educational pursuits did not waver.
Ministry With the Poor funds have made all the difference. Now, six students are benefiting from new scholarships that are helping them continue their studies.
“The students chosen would not have access to pursue further studies, be it high school or tertiary education, without this support,” said Sister Callista Tetteh, CSC, who is leading the project.
One of the recipients, newly graduated from OLHCS, is being raised by a single mother who is unable to pay for her son’s post-eighth grade education. With help from the Ministry With the Poor Fund, her son has a chance at attaining his dreams.
Sister Callista shared the story of another student, a young girl, best in her class, who in the last two years lost her father and then her mother.
“She is in high school now but needs support to complete her studies,” Sister Callista said. “I am most grateful to our donors who continue to uplift us in our direct outreach to the poor. I look forward to sharing the wonderful outcomes of these students who are benefiting from the loving generosity of so many.”
In Uganda, “we pray for all donors regularly”
Eastward across the continent, at Moreau Nursery and Primary School in Kirinda, Uganda, children ages 3 through 14 who are the most financially disadvantaged but show promise for academic success receive scholarships. This coming year alone, more than 80 students will receive at least some level of financial assistance to help pay tuition and fees.
The economic impact of the pandemic has been especially hard in Uganda, which has only recently begun to lift lockdowns. Some students returned to school in mid-October but many may not until early 2021.
“Those making donations to Ministry With the Poor give much hope to our students and their families,” said Sister Jacinta Katusabe, CSC, headmistress of Moreau Nursery and Primary School. “We pray for all donors regularly at our all-school gatherings because without them, our ministry of education would not be possible.”
Safe housing for girls in Bangladesh
Southeast Bangladesh is hilly, rural and remote. More than 60 percent of individuals subsist on farming with little to no income. Poverty contributes to illiteracy in more than half the population.
But there is hope through the Khagrachari Girls’ Hostel in Khagrachari Hill Tracts. The hostel provides safe housing for young girls who live too far away from the local school to attend. Many of the girls are orphaned or from families with little to no resources.
Sister Joyce Rozario, CSC, administers the Khagrachari Girls’ Hostel. This year, she received funding from Ministry With the Poor to provide books, food, medicines and other critical necessities to the girls. Tutoring is also available, providing the hostel residents with additional educational support. Without the hostel that enables them to receive an education, these girls would have limited futures. Currently, 15 girls reside at the hostel.
Your gifts to the Ministry With the Poor make education a reality for young girls living on the periphery of society in southeast Bangladesh.
In India, needing “the hands and hearts of many”
Likewise, Our Lady of Holy Cross School in Barakathal, India, provides housing for students attending this Sisters of the Holy Cross-sponsored educational ministry. Separate hostels for boys and girls currently accommodate 47 students.
The students in the hostel also receive one-on-one sessions with the sisters, including tutoring and spiritual accompaniment. Your gifts to the Ministry With the Poor will purchase much needed furniture for the hostel, such as study tables, beds and musical equipment—engaging the heart and mind requires studying but also some leisure as the students enjoy exploring their musical talents.
“We give thanks for those who support our educational mission in India. Providing an education here for those living far from the school requires we provide housing, which we could not do without you,” said Sister Khochem Mossang, CSC, headmistress of Our Lady of Holy Cross School. “Our mission needs the hands and hearts of many, and those who have supported us give us the courage and hope to continue to inspire the hearts of young children in our distant place.”
In 2020-21, you have made it possible to support more than 50 ministry projects in seven countries. In total, you were instrumental in our awarding $345,000 to implement these life-enriching projects. Every dollar—100 percent of it—we receive goes directly to the sisters’ ministries:
- 28 percent for education
- 16 percent for social outreach
- 12 percent for basic necessities
- 12 percent for health care
- 11 percent for training/empowerment of women
- 11 percent to outreach with immigrants
- 10 percent for faith and spiritual formation
These sweeping impacts on the lives of our brothers and sisters are possible only with your generosity. We hope you will continue to journey with us to help the sisters meet the needs of the people they serve. Please consider a gift to Ministry With the Poor this Christmas season. Please select Ministry With the Poor in the “My gift is for” section.