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Priest’s reflections grow a new school in Uganda

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Students from the Pere Achte Catholic Primary School in southwestern Uganda will benefit from sales of the third Cuppa Time reflections book by Fr Martin Maunsell. Photo: Supplied
Students from the Pere Achte Catholic Primary School in southwestern Uganda will benefit from sales of the third Cuppa Time reflections book by Fr Martin Maunsell. Photo: Supplied

A friendship between Sydney Catholics and a remote community in Uganda will revamp a preschool where the children have never seen a toy or a book much less held one.

The preschool is attached to Pere Achte Catholic Primary School in a mountainous region called Rwenzori in southwestern Uganda and will benefit from sales of the third Cuppa Time reflections book by former Eastwood parish priet Fr Martin Maunsell.

More than $5000 has already been raised from the sales of the first two books, an initiative first reported in The Catholic Weekly last January.

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Proceeds have already funded primary classroom renovations, a new toilet block, computers and food aid.

The partnership grew after the schools’ founder, Fr Fabius Kisembo Bainakanaama, spent some time serving in the Eastwood parish five years ago.

Fr Martin Maunsell with his Cuppa Time reflections book. Photo: Supplied
Fr Martin Maunsell with his Cuppa Time reflections book. Photo: Supplied

Parishioner Marisa Pongan has helped Fr Maunsell to secure sales of the books, which offer snippets of wisdom from literature, contemporary events and his personal experience, as well as donations of second-hand laptops, toys, clothing and books.

Last October she visited Fr Bainakanaama’s growing school and said its more than 60 preschool children could not begin to imagine the renovated nursery when she tried to describe the planned improvements.

“Currently it is two empty rooms without windows or furniture and a dirt floor and Fr Fabuis says it is no wonder that some of them don’t want to go there,” she said.

“But if they don’t, then it is a burden on their parents who need to go into the fields to work each day.”

Fr Maunsell said their friends overseas are grateful that there are people in Australia who are interested and willing to support them.

“What strikes me about this is that once I tell people about it, they invariably want to not only buy a book but make an extra donation as well.”

To purchase a book or make a donation email [email protected] or [email protected].

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