| St. Theresa pupils learn to share
the wealth via Lenten project
During the Lenten season last year, the pupils and families of St. Theresa School in Oakland embarked on a new and more enriching Lenten project, the Khula Village Empowerment Project.
One of our graduates, Danielle Piccinini '02, is a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa. It was her hope that she could make a change for this tiny village in the KwaZulu Natal region where the HIV rate is well over 50 percent and the population of school age children exceeds 2,000.
Her philosophy of "education being the key to change," helped her create after-school programs that she ran on a weekly basis. She began a "girls club" for those children attending primary school as well as teaching high school students life skills that could be brought with them as they move forward with their education. She targeted the orphans of the village, numbering well over 500, and included them in conversation, play and reflection.
Piccinini's endeavors sparked interest in the St. Theresa School community and from there, support for her cause spread like wildfire. St. Theresa pupils began doing extra chores to earn money that they could donate to specific needs of the Khula Village.
The pupils learned about sacrifice firsthand, particularly during the Lenten season, by doing without allowances in order to make a donation and a difference in the lives of as many children in this South African village as they could. Piccinini is an excellent example of St. Theresa School's mission statement: "Educate the child: Mind, Body and Spirit."
St. Theresa's fundraising support for the children in the Khula Village clearly demonstrated one of the many messages of Jesus' love. St. Theresa donated extra books from its library to sit on new library shelves built by villagers in Khula, which are credited to the monetary donations by St. Theresa students. Bus stop benches are now available for elderly patrons of the village to enjoy, and educational field trips for students are now possible thanks to the generosity of our pupils.
The fundraising sponsored by the St. Theresa pupils helped to increase the awareness about those who are hungry and/or orphaned due to oppression in less fortunate communities.
St. Theresa's schoolwide Lenten project provided an opportunity to share some of our wealth with others in need and appreciate how lucky we truly are.
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