Winners of the 2008 Spirid na Scoile Award, the students who travelled to Ethiopia and their teachers Ms. Mc Aree, Ms. O’ Hagan and the chairperson of the Board of Management Fr. Shane Mc Caughey.
Ethiopia the trip of a lifetime.
Ten Transition Year students and two teachers Ms. Mc Aree and Ms. O’Hagan had a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend almost two weeks in Ethiopia to experience the country and the missionary work of past pupil Fr. John Skinnader’s in the Arba Minch and Dimeka regions of Ethiopia. This trip was the brainchild of Ms. Mc Aree who proposed the idea of bringing a group of students to a developing country to the St. Macartan’s College Catholic School Committee last year.
After spending a short time acclimatising in Addis Adada the group set of on an arduous journey over rough terrain to visit Fr. John’s work in the Gatse region. The time in this region was followed some days later by time spent with the Hammer people. These truly special people welcomed their guests with open arms and put on a display of local customs, food and dance.
Fundraising before the trip raised an incredible €41,000 for Fr. Skinnader’s work in Ethiopia. After visiting the projects the students decided that the monies would be allocated in the Arba Minch area to a food safety programme, a programme for marginalised people, the renovation of accommodation for aid personnel, a widows farm project and ongoing educational support for an 8 year old orphan. Projects supported in the Dimeka region included a contribution towards the purchase and installation of a solar pump for an irrigation system, a contribution towards the upgrade of a non-formal education centre, a contribution towards the re-building of a reservoir and towards the installation of a solar system.
In a letter to the College, Fr. John thanked the people of the Monaghan parishes and from further afield for their generosity. He stated that the money donated will contribute tremendously to the overall growth and development of Ethiopian society and to the missionaries who are privileged to live among the Ethiopian people.
The complete group in Dimeka