Last week, the SGIC student leadership group, along with other enthusiastic student leaders from the NHS, participated on our first Zoom call to our sisters at St. Joseph’s School in Zambia.
Under the guidance of Sister Deborah Jamali (RSHM), who is helping to facilitate the development of this partnership in Chivuna, the girls spoke to each other passionately about their different countries and their shared experiences of living during the Covid-19 pandemic. The girls from Zambia are in the JPIC group (Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation) which is inspired by the RSHM Sisters. They explained to our students that they have been working to raise money for their community, particularly a nearby orphanage. They are also raising awareness of women’s rights, the trafficking of women and children and identifying issues related to poverty in their communities as well as creating ways to care for the environment.
The St. Joseph’s girls asked incredibly poignant questions about the life of women in the UK and explained some of the challenges that girls and women face in their community and culture. This seemed to particularly strike a chord with many of our Marymount students who felt passionately about helping them to support their goals to achieve social justice. Just yesterday, they created a fundraiser selling pizzas and cookies and raised £130. One parent has also generously donated new clothes to the group so they can sell these to raise money for the wider community in Chivuna, particularly the orphanage.
We are keen to be led by what the girls at St. Joseph’s would like to achieve and many ideas were explored in the meeting. We are looking forward to learning from them, sharing cultural experiences and growing this friendship and partnership. I must say that this meeting was personally one of my most joyous moments whilst I have been teaching at Marymount and there is an excitement about what the future holds for both schools and their students.
Sr Deborah has also sent some photos this week of laptops that the school have acquired with the money the Marymount community has raised over the last two years. This is a wonderful achievement!
It was clear from the conversations that despite living far from each other, the girls shared the same values, mission and care to improve the lives of others. Both share the RSHM Mission “that all may have life” and this unites them in a common cause to make a better world for girls and women.
If you are interested in supporting the SGIC and our school in this exciting partnership, please do let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ms Williams, our Development Director at email@example.com.