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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Christmas 2020 issue

African Child Trust

Our first two children were Christopher Musonda and Joanna Sangweji both at school in Zambia. It is amazing to think that they are both now well into their 30’s and we can hope that our regular annual contributions made a difference to their lives. It would be so good to know. What we do know is that Joanna got a BA degree at university, is married and lives in Lusaka. Christopher became a footballer and rumour has it that he now plays for an overseas club.

Initially our annual donations were for 4 years but here we are, 20 years on and supporting four children in their education. Additionally we remember their birthdays by putting aside £10 each year and forwarding this to them once they have finished school in the hope that it will go some way to help them in their entry into the adult world.  Our initial plan to send a gift each year did not work out as, as often as not, the parcels never reached their true destination.

Many of our original donors have either died or moved away but they have been replaced by some generous newcomers who make an annual donation. We do get regular updates about our sponsored children and occasionally a letter from them thanking us.  A recent one from one of our children appears below.

How much longer can we go on? With decreasing church attendances by the older generation it is becoming harder and harder to reach our annual target which I reckon to be about £800, £200 for each child.  This year promises to be even harder and I will soon be sending out requests to our regulars and also asking some newcomers to consider making a small donation to this worthwhile cause. Anyone interested in hearing more should please speak to me.

Thanks for reading this short review

Tony Rice-Oxley

Back in 2000  St George’s undertook to support two children of widows in Africa hoping to enable them to achieve their full potential in life. They are among the most vulnerable group. In traditional rural African life women marry young and then have to stay at home to look after the children. The husband is the bread winner whose earnings provide financial support for the family. The death of a husband is traumatic and with no state support necessitates the widow finding some sort of paid employment. Typically this would be a low wage job which is sometimes insufficient to pay for food and shelter. Usually the  need is such that young children who should be attending school are required to take up some form of underage employment to supplement their mother’s income in order to feed the family. It is a financial burden which leads to the children being withdrawn from school. In many African countries education even at primary school level is not free and therefore is not affordable for poor families.