SPICMA reaches out to the poorest and most marginalized in the developing world; it is open to the needs of small communities and individuals who neither fulfill the criteria nor have any way of approaching the larger agencies. We support both appropriate relief aid and developmental projects. We support and work through the various Missionary Congregations and Diocesan Clergy as we can then be certain that the relief gets to the people it is intended for.
SPICMA is open to assisting in projects which build up the capacity of the Local Church as it realises the importance of having an effective partner on the ground.
SPICMA requests the minimum of application details from those seeking to enter into partnership with it. It also only requires a feedback which is deemed to be appropriate to the partners on the ground.
We keep our own administration costs to the minimum, and SPICMA is run by volunteers.
SPICMA funds its projects through donations and legacies made by individuals and groups.
SPICMA provides its help to people regardless of their religious beliefs or ethnicity.

Sanitation Block and Water Tank at Sagaya Matha School, Chennai

June 8, 2019

Sagaya-Matha-School-ChennaiThis school has nearly 1,000 students, including a large number of Burmese refugees and economically-deprived children of the fishing community. It is very near to the Bay of Bengal which has led to an unusual problem. Frequent sea surges push effluent back up the existing toilet block, regularly flooding the school. When this happens, the school is forced to close for at least two days so the classrooms can be thoroughly cleaned.

Fr Ignatius, the parish priest and school principal, would like to build a new sanitation block on the first floor to solve this recurring problem. In addition, a new and larger water tank can be installed to ensure that growing student numbers can be hygienically accommodated. We are grateful for any help you can give towards this project.

If you can help please donate online or send a donation.

Urgent Appeal – Famine in Karamoja region, N.E. Uganda

March 28, 2019

The Karamoja region in northeast Uganda has struggled with drought conditions periodically for many years. The rural population is especially poor and life becomes precarious very quickly when the rains fail, as they have in recent months.

Mill Hill Missionaries Frs Mitema and Ignatius are in charge of Loyoro and Panyangara parishes and asked for our help to purchase maize, beans, oil and salt for the most vulnerable. We sent £30,000 in 2018 and another £40,000 so far this year. This week they reported that their distributions have become more frightening with huge numbers of people arriving despite limited available supplies. This situation has been exacerbated by the suspension of The United Nation’s World Food Programme operations following the suspected contamination of their cereal mix which has led to sickness among many recipients and some deaths.

SPICMA has worked in this part of Uganda for decades. We know these priests and want to support them in this difficult and harrowing time. We are not aware of any other charity offering food aid in this area.

If you can help please donate online or send a donation.

Water for Little Flower School, India

February 7, 2019

Banner reads: "Drinking water essential for our healthy life. Please help us."

Banner reads: “Drinking water essential for our healthy life. Please help us.”

The Franciscan Sisters of St Aloysius Gonzaga established The Little Flower School in 2002. Their motto is “Good News to the Poor” and they focus their work on the most needy in society. When the school began, a single borehole served their needs sufficiently, but this is no longer the case. The number of students attending the school has risen to over 700 which has forced the sisters to purchase water at a cost they cannot sustain.

There is an urgent need to drill another two boreholes—one at the school and another at the boarding house where approximately 150 girls stay during term time. The parents of the children are in no position to fund this, so the sisters approached us. Are you able to help us to help them? We are grateful for whatever you can give.

Thank you!

…from St Joseph’s RCM School, Mallaypalem, India

We have recently received a report from Fr Reddy in Mallaypalem, India. Last year, with the help of your donations, we were able to finance their project to build a 20 unit sanitation block for the school. Fr Reddy says that this “…has totally changed the environment of our school”.

You can read Fr. Reddy’s report here. The original project appeal can be found on our Recent Appeals page.

St Peter’s Muko Primary School In Uganda Needs Our Help

January 7, 2019

St Peter's Muko

Heavy rains and strong winds destroyed two blocks of the school

Fr Elias Mwebembesi MAfr (formerly known as The White Fathers) contacted us with the following request: “St Peter’s Primary School in Muko, Uganda is attended by 600 pupils aged between 6 and 14 years. The parents of this area are all peasants depending on subsistence agriculture. From what they grow they feed their families and any surplus is used for their education, health, dressing, housing etc. Heavy rains and strong winds recently destroyed two blocks of this school, sweeping away the roof that was already torn and old. The children now have no place to continue with their studies. I am seeking help to buy 450 iron sheets and 200 kilograms of nails so that this school can be reconstructed. The parents will provide labour, timber and other materials needed for this work.” The cost of the materials comes to £5,000. The children, their parents and Fr Elias would be grateful for any help you can give. Thank you.

FAMINE REPORT – Loyoro and Panyangara parishes, Karamoja, Uganda

November 28, 2018

We have received a report from the priests of the above parishes who are trying to help the people through the famine in Kotido. It is bad news. The full report can be read here (opens in a new window). Below are some extracts from it.

Poor families can’t afford enough food to keep their children healthy

Poor families can’t afford enough food to keep their children healthy

“In our two parishes, deficiency and poverty come every year in different degrees. This year has been seeing a more serious challenge. Without the help and support of SPICMA, life would be unbearable, given the needs of our old people, of the vulnerable, and of the abandoned. Long rains, then long droughts. From February to May of 2018, the long rains brought relief to dry pastures for the few who had livestock. On the other hand, those who depended on cultivation were overwhelmed by the heavy growth of grass in the fields, forcing them to wait for a pause in the rain in order to begin sowing. However, it didn’t pause, but stopped for good, so giving no chance for seed to germinate and, thereby, increasing the famine that had begun with the poor harvests of 2016 and 2017.

In such conditions, poor families can’t afford enough food to keep their children healthy and, eventually, they need emergency aid and become totally dependent on providential or external help. Moreover, the longer these factors persist, the harder it is for families to stave off the effects of lost livelihoods, even of homes.

The effects include fathers abandoning their homes because of hunger, thus exposing their families even more. Every day, we experience big numbers of people coming to the parish compounds seeking for food. Sundays have become a blessing and a curse. Large numbers of people are attending. They hope their attendance will receive in return. As it stands now, it is only the church that cares for the vulnerable in terms of food, hygiene, medicine, housing, and shelter for those whose homes have dilapidated completely.

The two parishes each received £5,000 from SPICMA for food aid towards the old and most vulnerable. We have been able to rescue the most vulnerable or abandoned, especially those in poor health. We have been giving out mostly sorghum and beans, but in some cases a little cooking oil, posho, and salt as well. We have a balance remaining of just £33; both areas remain ever grateful and continue to count on you in reaching out with hope to the people.”

If you can help you can either donate online or send a donation.

Structural work at St Kizito Primary School in Buwoola, Uganda

November 12, 2018

Buwoola School Block

The school has no windows or shutters in the classrooms

St Kizito Primary School is in Buwoola Village, Uganda, 5 km down a rough track from the Kampala-Jinja Highway. The school has 9 teachers and 178 children. They are trying to make the best of a difficult situation, with no windows or shutters in the classrooms to keep out the dust, and the floors are simply dirt which is quickly stirred up to swirl around the room. The lack of proper flooring also exposes the children to jiggers, a parasitic flea which enters the body though the feet, causing infection, irritation and potential loss of limbs or even life.
Buwoola School Classroom

The floors are dirt which is quickly stirred up to swirl around

The children have improvised a solution by spreading cow dung on the floor to keep the dust down and the jiggers out. They do this every Friday before they leave school – using dung they have carried to school with them! The parish priest, Fr Joe King Afumaboh MHM, has asked SPICMA to help provide funds for shutters for the windows, plaster for the walls and to lay proper floors. Can you help us to help them?

How to donate

Drilling 30 new boreholes in rural Kotido, Uganda

October 1, 2018

Children pumping water at a safe water hole.

We must raise £50,000 to give these rural communities access to a safe and stable water supply.

The northeast of Uganda periodically suffers from drought and all that results from that. We have raised money for food programmes for several years as famine gripped the region. In order to help lessen the severity of dry periods, SPICMA has teamed up with the Swiss government and a Swiss charity called Act-U. Together, we intend to fund the drilling of 30 new boreholes where rural communities can access them.

This will be the third time we’ve worked together in the past five years. Act-U is experienced in commissioning surveys and organising the drilling, as well as training the local people how to look after the pumps. For our part, we must raise £50,000 to give these rural communities access to a safe and stable water supply. It is a big commitment for a small charity, but the benefits are beyond measure. Thank you for any help you can give.

How to donate

Xavier Project Update, August 23, 2018

We’ve received a very uplifting video about a project SPICMA funded in 2017. Xavier Project requested our help for a new learning hub to be built in a Ugandan refugee camp called Rwamwanja. It’s home to around 70,000 people, mainly Congolese (video opens in new window).