Recent Appeals

Water for Tumaini Health Centre in Arusha, Tanzania

September 18th, 2019

Tumaini Health Centre and Sr Flora at work

Tumaini Health Centre and Sr Flora at work

Sr Flora Mushi of the Congregation of Our Lady of Usambara Mountains is the Director of Tumaini Health Centre. The centre is an important source of medical treatment for the surrounding area and has a good record of meeting the needs of the poor local community. It is a busy place, especially the maternity and baby section.There has been a growing problem with water and sanitation and Sr Flora has asked for our help. She would like to install a rain water harvesting system, incorporating a new metal tower and plastic tank, and to replace the pipes to the existing sanitation block. This is a very basic request and one which would make a real difference to patients and workers. We are grateful for whatever you can give to help us support this project. Thank you!

Appeal fully funded, thank you.

Housing for the Poor, Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

July 20th, 2019

Picture of 2 storey house.

The houses will be simple to maintain and will have minimal environmental impact.

In Papua New Guinea there is a major need for adequate housing for the poor. Social change has encouraged many people to move to urban areas to find work, but pay is low and accommodation limited. Many workers live in squatter settlements where standards of health and hygiene are very poor. There is also a problem when workers retire – they have lost their ties with home so can’t return to the countryside, but they cannot afford to buy a decent home in the town. They have been good workers and good citizens and deserve better.

To address this need, the Archdiocese of Rabaul has devised a scheme to build 240 houses near Kokopo, the provincial capital. Sixty hectares of land belonging to the Archdiocese have been allocated for the project, which is detailed and well thought out. It involves co-operation between the Archdiocese, The Caritas Commission, Provincial and Local Governments and the beneficiaries themselves who will trade labour on the building work for a stake in their new home – so-called ‘sweat equity’.

The houses will be simple to maintain and will have minimal environmental impact. They will use solar panels for electricity, compost toilets to conserve precious water and the plots will be carefully cleared to minimise erosion. Each house will have space for a vegetable garden. Residents will need to comply with basic rules and quick re-sale of the properties will be prohibited.

SPICMA has been asked to help fund this important project. Please contribute, if you can.

Appeal fully funded, thank you.

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.

Appeal fully funded, thank you.

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.

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.

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.

Appeal fully funded, thank you.

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.

Appeal fully funded, 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.”

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.

Appeal fully funded, thank you.

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.

Appeal fully funded, thank you.

A Roof for St Matia Mulumba School, Uganda

October 1, 2018

At the moment, there is a single classroom which is used by 256 children.

At the moment, there is a single classroom which is used by 256 children.

St Matia Mulumba School is located in rural Nebbi Diocese. At the moment, there is a single classroom which is used by 256 children. Thus, there is a need and strong desire for a new school amongst the local people, who have managed to dig the foundations, make the bricks and build the walls already. However, they lack the skills, materials and money to roof the school building and to equip it with water and electricity.

Fr John Hercules Odokodit, the local parish priest, asked SPICMA for help…“We therefore request your organization to help complete the classroom block by supplying us with the following construction materials: iron sheets, nails, timber, payment of skilled labour, cement, doors and windows, ceiling board, electrical installation and water tanks.”

Nebbi Diocese is making a small contribution, so this would be a collaborative effort which we would very much like to support.

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 a new window).

Building a youth centre in Chipata, Zambia

July 30, 2018

After Mass with Fr Juan

After Mass with Fr Juan

The Comboni Missionaries, founded in 1867 to minister to the world’s poorest and most abandoned people, have worked in Zambia for the last 40 years, with four missions spread across a wide area of the country. They have asked us for our help to build a youth centre in the Chizongwe suburb of Chipata, a small city in the eastern province.
Chipata, set in one of the poorest areas of the country, is home to many people who have migrated from the countryside in search of a better life. The reality is that jobs are menial and badly paid and living conditions are poor. As always, it is the young who suffer most. The missionaries have a plot of land in Chizongwe where they plan to build a youth centre offering training, accommodation and the opportunity for spiritual and cultural growth. They have started work, clearing the ground and digging a bore hole for wate, but they need our help to continue construction. Please can you help?

New classrooms needed in Palnellore, India

July 30, 2018

Schoolchildren sitting on the ground under a tree with teacher.

An outdoor class at Palnellnore.

Founded in 1926, the Catholic primary school at Palnellore is one of the oldest schools in the Diocese of Chingleput in India. Before it was built the nearest school was 10 kilometres away, so the children of this remote area of Tamil Nadu have benefitted greatly over the 90 years it’s been in operation. Thousands of children have completed their primary education in this school, with many continuing in education and some going on to become priests or nuns. Although the school receives some support from the local Tamil Nadu government which pays the teachers’ salaries, it is struggling to offer the children the education they deserve, due to lack of space.

The school year runs from June until the following April. There is one small building shared by all pupils. Years 2 and 3 are taught in one room and years 4 and 5 are usually taught outside, in the shade of a tree. But this is far from ideal – children are easily distracted. And in the monsoon season even these outdoor lessons aren’t possible, and many children drop out of school. Fr Arockia Raymond has asked for our help to construct two new classrooms which will allow the school to accommodate all the children throughout the academic year.

Appeal fully funded, thank you.

July 12, 2018. Thank you to SPICMA and all its benefactors…

…from St. Joseph Children’s Home, Motakondur, Nalgonda District, in southern India, where thanks to an £8,000 grant from SPICMA, they were able to build kitchen, store room and dining facilities to replace a temporary structure that was destroyed by heavy wind and rains. The completion report and photos can be viewed here (opens in a new window).


May 23, 2018

Many people are requesting food aid.

Many people are requesting food aid.

St Joseph’s Catholic Parish covers two government sub-counties of Panyangara and Nakapelimoru with a total population of 67,392 people. These people live mainly in the villages and can barely afford a meal a day.

Late in April and early May, we were blessed with some rains and we were happy that people could get some wild vegetables to eat as hunger was becoming a big issue. Unfortunately the rains were brief and the vegetables failed. This increased the hunger situation and now there is lot of hunger. Many people on a daily basis are requesting food aid. These are few compared to those who are really badly off in the surrounding villages.

We really need a lot of assistance urgently. We therefore ask you please for urgent funds.

Thanks and God’s blessings.

Fr Tatah Johnson MHM

St Joseph’s School, Mallayapalem, India – clean water and sanitation facilities

April, 25, 2018 on wages of £3 a day they cannot possibly afford such a project.

…living on wages of £3 a day they cannot possibly afford such a project.

This school needs help in accessing clean water and sanitation facilities. Like many schools in India, St Joseph’s RC Mission School has no toilet block or access to clean water. The children have no choice but to use the open ground around the school. As they get older, many choose not even to do this, but wait until they are back home. Girls often stop coming to school altogether.

Fr Yeruva, a recently appointed local parish priest, has sought our help. He would like to construct a 20 unit sanitation block which will be connected to a water storage plant, fed by a new borehole. The local people are primarily agricultural labourers and are living on wages of £3 a day. They cannot possibly afford such a project. With your help, we can give them this, improving the health, dignity and comfort of school children in this deprived part of the Andhra Pradesh.

“As I was searching who could help me, I was so fortunate to come across SPICMA. It gave me hope.” Fr Yeruva

Appeal fully funded, thank you.

Solar Power at St Mary Goretti Boarding Primary School, Tanzania

April, 25, 2018

Solar Power would allow the children to read and work after 6pm

Solar Power would allow the children to read and work after 6pm

The school is located in Njiro, a very poor part of Arusha District. It was established just over 20 years ago by the Passionist Sisters to help educate the poorest children of the area and has a current enrolment of 383.

Sr. Annarose has asked if we would fund the installation of solar power for the school dormitories. This would allow the children to read and work after 6pm. Also, it is hoped that with adequate light, snakes and lizards hiding in the dormitories to escape the sun can be more easily found and removed.

We would very much like to help this school if we can.

Appeal fully funded, thank you.

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.

Appeal fully funded, thank you.

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?

Appeal fully funded, thank you.

Pre-2018 Projects and Appeals