MISSION STATEMENT

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.
 

* * * Beekeeping Project Report just in from Uganda * * *

Learn about SPICMA’s Jubilee Project

Follow this link to view SPICMA’s and Fr Bernard Phelan’s 50th Jubilee Celebration

Apostles of Jesus School, Moroto, Uganda

January 28, 2018

Shell of school dormitory building

…all that is needed is to finish off a dormitory


Education is the key to a productive, happy and prosperous future. In Moroto, Uganda, the Apostles of Jesus run a well-attended boarding school which provides a general education for young people in the area. However, the lack of science teachers and lab has meant that parents who could afford it would send their children away in the final years to attend schools much further afield. For those without the means, their children would forego any science studies, thus limiting their options in education and careers.

Thanks to the outstanding efforts of a British chemistry professor, the school has just installed a new, fully-equipped lab and has appointed well-trained science teachers. Now, all that is needed is to finish off a dormitory so there is adequate housing for the children to remain through A Levels. There is already a basic shell in place which requires doors, windows, electrics, sinks, toilets, showers, a water tank and drainage.
Can you please help SPICMA to help them complete the dormitory?

Water Harvesting / Sanitation – The Holy Rosary, Juba, S. Sudan

January 28, 2018

In 2013 the civil war in South Sudan forced 1.5 million people, including Mill Hill Missionaries, to flee to neighbouring countries. But in 2017, following the signing of a very shaky peace agreement, Fr Emmanuel Omollo and Fr Michael Ochwo bravely volunteered to go to South Sudan to help establish the parish of The Holy Rosary in Buluk, Juba. Although not yet a full parish, its roots go back 28 years to its first catechism class and it is now quite a thriving community. A church has been constructed, youth groups have been organized, Sunday school takes place weekly and the chapel choir is one of the best in the diocese!

Frontage of Holy Rosary Church. Square building with pointed roof. Narrow front door with small arched windows either side and a smaller arched window a little above the door.

Holy Rosary Church

Juba is a relatively secure town, but there has been great upheaval and there is little infrastructure in place. Among the challenges facing everyone is the total lack of electricity, unreliable water supply (river water delivered by tankers, when there is enough fuel for deli ery) and the absence of any sewerage system. The missionaries have managed to adapt an existing clinic for their living accommodation but have asked us for help to build a water harvesting and toilet facility. There is plenty of rain between April and November, so the priests are confident that this most urgent need can be addressed with such a project. Your donation will help us to help them continue to fulfil their motto: amare et servire (to love and serve). Thank you.

Support for Refugees, Kampala, Uganda

December 28, 2017

Jesuit Refugee Services

The Basic Needs Programme “…provides food, clothing, shelter and medical care for the world’s neediest people…”

Uganda has seen an extraordinary influx of refugees from nearby countries experiencing conflict, hunger and lawlessness. Many end up in Kampala, the capital, in the hope of finding help and work. If they are fortunate, they will have a relative who offers a place to stay and some support. Very often, however, they know no one and instead face terrible exploitation and abuse. Fr Endashaw Debrework, SJ is the Regional Director of The Jesuit Refugee Services. He has asked SPICMA for support of its Basic Needs Programme in Kampala “to provide food, clothing, shelter and medical care for the world’s neediest people – recently arrived asylum seekers and refugees who have little other support”.

Given the overwhelming need and scant resources, such assistance is restricted to the first three months of arrival. It gives a bit of hope and help to people who have often experienced severe trauma and have nowhere else to turn.
We are grateful for whatever you can give.


St Marys Matriculation School, Arabakkam, India

December 28, 2017 – New sanitation facilities needed

St Mary's students sitting outside in class groups

Established 25 years ago, St Mary’s now has 1,300 students

St Mary’s was established 25 years ago to educate the children of the local Dalit and fishing communities. By offering a good quality education and charging minimal fees, it has attracted many and there are now 1,300 students in its pre-primary, primary and secondary divisions. The Archbishop of Madras—Mylapore, George Antonysamy wrote, “The existing sanitation facilities are very old and not in a usable condition. Children studying in the school face a lot of difficulties without proper sanitation facilities.” SPICMA would like to fund the construction of a new 8-cubicle block with septic tank and overhead water tank. Improved sanitation leads to better health, more consistent attendance and higher rates of student retention. We hope it will help the girls, in particular, to complete their schooling.

Agricultural Project, St Gonzaga’s Secondary, Uganda

October 30, 2017 – Thank you, SPICMA. All this achieved with a grant of £3,500

SPICMA’s grant for £3,500 allowed St Gonzaga’s Secondary School to start their project in May this year. They purchased two heifers (both have since calved) and 50 chickens, together with materials necessary for their care. The school has recently sent us a report of their purchases and achievements.

SPICMA continues to reach those small communities who neither fulfil the criteria nor have any way of approaching the larger agencies. Thank you to all our donors.


Famine Update from Loyoro Parish

October 12, 2017 – much improved situation

Receive greetings from Loyoro, Kotido Uganda. God is with his people, all the time. Karamoja has really changed. We received some constant rains that really changed crops in the gardens. Some food stuffs are now ready, as the early farmers have started harvesting them. Life is coming back to the society. In some couple of weeks, most of the food in the gardens shall be harvested.

We received some constant rains

We received some constant rains

As I had indicated before, some challenges remain unavoidable. This year, despite the measures and vigil the community took, the elephants were unstoppable. We count the loss of some food from their attacks. Recently also, some of our neighbours from Kenya have been a threat to us. They have persistently been attacking us raiding the little animal stock that the community owns. Despite some of these challenges, SPICMA you have been truly a blessing. This year, amidst the intensity of the hunger crisis, we didn’t encounter a lot of deaths. We really give glory to God. Thanks SPICMA.
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SPICMA has just sent £20,000 to Frs Sylvester and Mitema to help feed those who either could not plant crops or who lost their harvests. A large portion of the funds will also be used on medicines for the vulnerable. We hope that the coming months will see a steady improvement in the availability of food and a decline in prices. Thank you to all our donors who have helped feed the people of this region.

SPICMA Jubilee Project

Divine Mercy School, Anumarlapudi, India

Update November 10, 2017 – Thank you for all donations, project fully funded!

In Anumarlapudi and nearby villages, there is a large population of Dalit agricultural workers, also called “Untouchables”, who cannot afford to pay for education. Many children are taken into the fields to work from a young age. Fr Kumar, a parish priest, has an ambitious plan to build a 10-classroom school from scratch for 300 Dalit children. A generous landowner has donated the land and the local government has agreed to provide £20 per child per year plus lunch and books to help with running costs.

Divine Mercy School Project

Many children are taken into the fields to work from a young age

SPICMA has adopted the construction of Divine Mercy School and a nearby water plant as The SPICMA Jubilee Project. The total cost is £31,000—a lot of money, but clean water and an education will improve the health, lives and opportunities for the poorest children of this area for many years to come. As Fr Kumar said, “If such a school can be constructed and the children educated freely, they would be the happiest people in the world.”


St Faustina’s Orphanage, Andhra Pradesh, India

August 25, 2017

St Faustina’s Orphanage was established in 2008 to cater for 100 children aged 6 to 16. Destitute children from all castes and creeds live there, children who have lost one or both parents or who have been turned away from their homes because of family circumstances. The home keeps the children safe from life on the streets which is a constant threat. Currently there are only 60 residents – not because there is no need for more, but because the home doesn’t have the facilities to look after them.

They urgently need cots for the children to sleep on as at the moment moment they are sleeping on the floor. They also need desks for the children where they can sit to study and do their homework. The lack of beds and desks makes it difficult for them to concentrate and benefit from their education. In addition, travelling to school is a problem for the older children. The younger ones can walk to the elementary school nearby but the senior school is several kilometres away. There is one auto-rickshaw which is used to transport those who can’t cycle, but if they could buy a second one it would make the journey easier.

Father Showraiah has asked SPICMA for help in providing the cots, desks and auto-rickshaw. Your donation would really make a difference to the children’s lives.


Classrooms for St John Mary School, Buloba, Uganda

August 25, 2017

For many years, this primary school has used the local Catholic church as a class-room. With attendance numbers growing rapidly, the need for proper classrooms is now urgent. Local groups managed to raise enough to start building two rooms . In or-der to finish this work and add a further two classrooms, Fr Joseph came to us for help. He’d heard of SPICMA from other priests in the Mbikko Diocese and sent us the following:
“Education is part of our mission as Mill Hill Missionaries. We have been facing many challenges with our school and we kindly request, if it will please you, to partner with us in order to provide a more conducive place for learning. Best wishes and God’s blessing,” Fr Joseph Afumaboh


Famine Updates from Loyoro Parish

July 21, 2017 – violence and hunger

We have received some disturbing news from Fr. Sylvester describing the violence that has erupted amidst an already bleak situation for those suffering from hunger. He has also sent some distressing photos of some of the many people affected.


There is some positive news in his report and we can report that SPICMA are now in a position to send a further £20,000 for famine relief aid. Thank you to all who have donated. Anyone able to contribute can find out how to donate here.

Worshipping in Safety in Southern Punjab, Pakistan

July 7, 2017

We have received an appeal from a parish in the southern Punjab, Pakistan. That’s all we can say about the church, as sadly it isn’t safe to draw attention to any Christian community in this troubled area. That’s why their parish priest has appealed to us for help. He’s been told by security services to build a high security wall around the church and grounds. When the church was built 18 years ago this wasn’t necessary, but the situation is very different now and minority religions are under constant threat. If the priest doesn’t comply with the order there is a good chance the parish will be sealed and he may be arrested. This has happened to other churches and priests in the area.

Please, can you help this community worship in safety? Anyone able to contribute can find out how to donate here.


Famine Updates from Loyoro Parish

June 27, 2017 – rains have stopped

We have received an update from Fr. Sylvester – the welcome rains that came in May have not continued and the food situation is deteriorating again.

People coming to seek food relief at the mission.

People coming to seek food relief at the mission.

Thank you to all who have donated to this cause over the last year or more.

June 9, 2017

Here is a report we received from Fr Mitema on 9th June.
SPICMA has just sent another £18,000 to help feed the hungry in Karamoja, Uganda.

“Greetings and peace of the Lord be with you.

We continue to register our deep gratitude for the food relief to the people of Loyoro. The heavens have opened and the rains are with us. It has been a long dry-spell but life has come back. As the common folk here say: “Green is godly’: it is very beautiful once more to appreciate the liveliness of nature brought about with the coming of the rains.

Until the foods can be harvested from the gardens, the hunger problem continues to bite sporadically, but rain has come with a sign of hope, blessing, and relief. In Loyoro here, rain is a multi-blessing. After a long dry-spell and hot temperatures, people are delighted as the temperatures have come low. The joy extends to nature and its surroundings too. The rains have rejuvenated life, to the people and plants alike. In this case, the wild green leaves, which are a local delicacy, have thrived. The wild fruits have started producing too and, besides which, the termites used locally as food have come relatively in plenty. The combination of the three delicacies has relieved the people with gladness. There is a sense of delight as many homes can manage a proper meal. It is really worth acknowledging that, in addition to the food relief aid, nature has offered its nourishment too.

It was nobly wise that the second instalment that we received – total of Ushs. 43,906,313 – enabled us to stock maize cereals and medical care in large quantity. As indicated to you early on, another charity also contributed in a small way towards food relief. This contribution was less than expected because that charity split their relief assistance between the four parishes here that border South Sudan and Kenya, whose refugees these parishes are hosting. Nonetheless, through this aid, we were able to buy cooking oil, salt, and beans.

Overall, medical spending has reduced since most people were sick due to hunger. Food aid has really boosted people with food and energy to be able to cultivate their gardens. It remains our sincere hope that the rains will continue to bless the little produce in our gardens. The reality in our markets still scares. The cost of food is sky-rocketing, as with other commodities too. In general, life is tough and expensive. Kindly, we still seek your assistance as we continue to count on your love, generosity, and support. Thanks SPICMA, a million times. May every work of yours receive sevenfold blessing.

Many returns and thankfulness.
Yours in the friendship of Christ,

Mitema Andrew MHM, Sacred Heart Loyoro Parish”


Helping to Feed the Hungry

June 1, 2017

East Africa hit the headlines this year due to the unfolding humanitarian disaster in the face of conflict and drought. So far, SPICMA has sent £58,000 for the purchase of food and medicine. Our first grant was to Loyola Secondary School in Wau, South Sudan, where Fr Beatus Mauki SJ was desperate to provide lunch for his 400 students – the only meal most of them would have each day. Many people had been driven from the town during violent clashes and were living in camps which meant the children had to walk great distances on an empty stomach to attend school. Therefore, it was critical that some nutrition was provided for them. As the cost of basic food items had skyrocketed, Fr Beatus asked for our help. We were able to send him £12,000 which was enough to purchase a year’s supply of rice and oil for all his students.

All other grants were directed to feeding the hungry in Uganda where we have been supporting three separate parishes (Panyangara, Loyoro and Usuk). We have received updates from these areas which you may read below. We have also just approved a small grant to a technical school struggling to cope with surging food prices.

Thank you for supporting this urgent work.


St Cyprian Appeal, Uganda

School Latrines and Bathrooms needed. March 2017

The parish of St Cyprian in Ngoma, Uganda is the most remote in its diocese. Most of the local people are involved in small-scale farming and cattle raising. Like many schools, St Cyprian’s started as a nursery school meeting in the parish church. The small number of students and teachers would use the church’s pit latrine. Over the years, the school expanded and a new school building was constructed nearby. There are now 378 students (day and boarding) and 15 teachers but they are still using the one church pit toilet. They have asked if we would fund the construction of two latrines and two bathrooms at the school. It would greatly improve hygiene, disease prevention and privacy for children and adults alike.


Beehives for Kapedo Parish, Uganda

March 2017

Father John Bosco Lowany of Kapedo Parish, Uganda has asked SPICMA for help. His parish is very rural and poor, with Sunday collections amounting to less than £150 over the course of a year. To help keep the many pastoral activities going, Father John Bosco has come up with an interesting idea. Keeping bees and selling their honey would provide a much needed boost to funds. The parish is in North East Uganda, close to the Kidepo Valley National Park – a large game reserve – and the South Sudan border. It’s a savannah area with a wide variety of plants and is one of the top honey producing areas in the country – or, as Father John Bosco modestly puts it: “Honey from this area is the second best in Uganda. It’s very marketable, both locally and nationally.”


Putting a smile on the face of Children and Orphans at Christmas

Soup Kitchens for the Destitute, Diocese of Kroonstad, South Africa

Youth distributing food to children

Youth distributing food to children

In September 2016, SPICMA was able to donate R37,329.00 to Soup Kitchens for the Destitute in Zamdela, Amelia and Iraq Townships, Diocese of Kroonstad, South Africa; meant to serve the poor and the destitute of the black townships. The proposed project had its vision and mission to the service and caring of the poor, the marginalised and downtrodden. The overall effect was to bring vision and hope to the poor, abandoned and orphaned children of the poor townships of South Africa. Here you can read a first report of the project, the provision of food packages to the orphans and abandoned children in Zamdela.


Completing St Andrews Church, Kayoro, Uganda

January 13, 2017

St Andrews Church, Kayoro, Uganda

Our need now is to put down a flooring in the inside the church, and on the sanctuary and altar

We first started helping this Parish of St Andrews in Kayoro Uganda some 4 or so years ago. The people who are poor have struggled on but still have a lot of work left to do. We recently receive the following appeal:
“Please can you to help us. Our need now is to put down a flooring in the inside the church, and on the sanctuary and altar etc., plus window sills and bricks below each of the 24 windows and on all the pillars, skirting around the windows and doors and finally painting. We shall also need PVC down pipes at appropriate positions for roof water discharge and storage. For our people the cost in beyond them.”
Thank you for all you have done for the Glory of God.
Yours in Sts Francis and Clare, Fr. Joseph Waswa


Pre-2017 Projects and Appeals