While visiting St. Catherine's Parish in Wilmington, Delaware in January 2012, Fr. James Okello expressed the need of a pre-primary school. No school existed in this remote village which borders Murchison Falls National Park.
Olwiyo is a village within the town of Anaka. The people living in this area used Murchison Falls National Park for their survival by poaching. The illegal meat was well liked and brought the income they needed to live. Having this stigma attached to them inspired Fr. James to make a change. Knowing the difficulty of changing the mindset of an adult, he started with the children.
Some families know the value of an education, while others don't. The families, who do, struggle with the school fees and other items necessary to attend St. Catherine's. The children have learned that school is a good place to go. They first learn that they can play with other children, climb on the playground equipment, kick a ball, sing, dance, pray and get a midday meal. All of these elements assure them of a safe and happy place to be. They transition into their lessons and soon realize they are learning.
Presently, the nursery school consists of three class rooms, two small offices for the staff and a activity/library room. 105 children are enrolled and 42 of the students are being sponsored. If a child never attended pre-primary school and is over the age of 7, they will also be admitted to the school. A restroom building stands adjacent to the school and the entire property is fenced and gated for security purposes. An outdoor kitchen was constructed in early 2015 within the fenced property to provide the children with a midday meal. Due to the amount of electrical storms in Uganda and for the safety of the children and staff, a lighting rod system will also be installed.
Fundraising events benefitting the school, include dining out at Cafe Napoli Italian Restaurant in Wilmington, Delaware, Buy a Brick campaign held by Resurrection Catholic Church in Newark, Delaware, Guest Bar Tender Night at BBC Tavern and Grill Restaurant, Greenville, Delaware, a shopping event at the Ten Thousand Villages Store in Greenville, Delaware, Margie's Pillow Cases and the Give it up for Gulu 5K Run / Walk held at Rockford Park, also in Wilmington.
Contributions for the growth and support of this project are always welcome and no amount is too small to help make a big difference. To donate, send a check to St. Catherine of Siena, attention Mary Gispert, 2503 Centerville Rd. Wilmington, DE 19808 or donate online (see field below).
For interest in the Child Sponsorship Program, visit the dropdown menu under "Projects".
Make A Donation
Donations can be made online using the button below, or mailed to St. Catherine of Siena Church, 2503 Centerville Road, Wilmington, DE 19808. (Please note "St. Catherine's Nursery School" in memo section of check).