10 June 2013

For the next several months, I am out of Malawi, far from where my heart is, Kasungu.

My head (and arms and legs) are in the USA and probably also some time in Europe, searching for funds for our Loyola Jesuit Secondary School!  If LJSS is to start enrolment as planned – Form One (First Year or Grade Nine!), then we need some substantial funding for practical things like desks, beds, books, computers, kitchen equipment, etc.

To pursue this noble task, I left Lilongwe in April to visit offices, meet individuals, search directories, send e-mails, write proposals, and pray.  So far, the task has been helpful in gaining many encouragements, suggestions, and expressions of interest.  But in the next few months, those helps have to be translated into donations, pledges and tangible assets!

What does reassure me is that what we are trying to do in Kasungu makes good sense with more and more people that I contact.

  •  Co-education means better chances for young women with more promising futures for families.
  •  Locating in a poor rural area indicates a commitment to challenge the structures of poverty.
  •  Cooperation with the Government of Malawi (which will pay the teachers) makes the school more accessible to families of lesser means.
  • Total boarding school means a total learning environment.
  •  Jesuit pedagogical emphasis forms students who become “women and men for others.”
  • Primary School students eager to attend LJSS

Someone recently told me that naming the school after the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius Loyola, really puts a direction to what we want to do with LJSS.  I found a recent quote from Pope Francis very  helpful in understanding what that should mean. Talking with students from some Jesuit schools in Italy, the Pope stressed:

 St. Ignatius and his companions understood that Jesus taught them how to live well, how to live a life that has profound meaning, that gives enthusiasm, joy and hope.

 So when I’m pursing the fund-raising task – and feeling that it is certainly no “FUN-raising” task! – I do know it is worth the effort.

What do you think?

Pete Henriot, S.J.

Director of Development

Loyola Jesuit Secondary School, Kasungu, Malawi


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