Our Links with Africa

Our Communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda are working with some of the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet.   We do what we can to support them meeting the needs of the poorest of the poor. They are a constant source of inspiration to us.

There are now 3 autonomous Priories in Africa – Mirhi (DRC), Rwanda and Kindu (DRC). Kindu was granted autonomy in 2019. Each of the African Priories has several smaller houses in different locations, from where they serve the local people. Their Priories are growing, as is their task.

Do read our latest Africa Newsletter, and this recent report from the United Nations World Food Programme which helps to put the work of the sisters into perspective: https://www.wfp.org/countries/democratic-republic-congo

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Light an Advent Candle for Africa

We have been overwhelmed by your generosity in supporting our Light an Advent Candle for Africa appeal.  Heartfelt thanks to each and everyone of you.  Our appeal raised a record-breaking £3,400 which will be sent directly to our sisters in Africa to help the work that they are doing in Rwanda and DR Congo.

We are running the appeal again for Advent 2021.

If you would like to take part in this initiative just email your name and prayer intention to projects@canonesses.co.uk or send them in an envelope to Pauline McAloone to the Colchester address below.

You can donate whatever you are able using the DONATE button on our website or by sending a cheque, made out to Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre, to the Community at 74, Howe Close, Colchester CO4 3XD.  Mark the envelope Light an Advent Candle for Africa appeal.

100% of the proceeds raised from this initiative goes directly to the sisters in D R Congo and Rwanda and helps them provide vital services to their local communities – healthcare, nutrition, skills training and education – as reported on in our Africa Newsletter.

If you would like a bespoke Gift Certificate for another occasion or would like to make a donation on someone’s behalf as a gift, please contact projects@canonesses.co.uk to discuss.

Closer Connections

We are encouraged to see that improvements in technology has given us closer connections with the sisters and are enabling them to provide news and pictures more instantly than before, particularly via the mobile phone network.   You can read a detailed update on the work of the sisters in our annual Africa Newsletter but we also aim to post shorter news bulletins on our News and Events page to keep you more closely in touch with their activities.

If you would like more information about any of the Priories – Kindu, Mirhi, Rwanda please contact projects@canonesses.co.uk .

We are extremely grateful to all our donors and fundraisers who give generously to help our sisters in Africa.  Your friendship, prayer and material support for our courageous sisters means a lot to them and to us.  2021 has been an extremely challenging year for them.  We will try to bring you more news from them throughout the coming year.

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If you wish to discuss any fundraising ideas for Africa please contact us via projects@canonesses.co.uk

Organised Events

This year we give particular thanks to:

the Everett/Clayton family and to everyone of you who ordered tea boxes in aid of Africa in the summer 2021. This was the second year that the family put together tea boxes, which were delivered to people’s doors by some willing drivers. The campaign raised over £4,000 and from the feedback we got, also gave great pleasure to the recipients!

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in fundraising or given individual donations. The money raised greatly helps the sisters keep their projects going.

Special thanks goes to Valerie Nazareth, one of our volunteers who spent time in Rwanda, helping the sisters with their English. On her return, moved by the plight of the profoundly disabled children in Muhanga, Valerie organised a fundraising campaign.

Valerie’s idea was to get a minimum of 80 people to give £1 per week – less than a cup of coffee – for 3 years to meet the cost of food and basic necessities, such as nappies for the children. Valerie was able to send a regular amount for the Lazare Home and the group extended their giving to help the sisters through the pandemic.  It has made such a difference to the children and also to the sisters who, having that regular income, have had one less thing to worry about. The sisters are immensely grateful to Valerie and her group for this financial help in such challenging times.  As the campaign comes to an end at the close of this year, the sisters send their thanks and prayer.

Individual Donations

Thanks to those who give to Africa on a regular basis through a monthly direct debit, or on an ad hoc basis. Your gift is much appreciated and well utilised by the sisters.

Details on our website:

https://canonesses.co.uk/contact-us/donations/

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The Giving Machine

Some years ago we introduced a new fundraising idea to our readers. The Giving Machine is a now popular way for charities and schools to raise funds and without any cost to the donor. Perhaps you have thought about it but never given it a try?

As most of us are now much more used to shopping online, we would like to remind you about how to give without it costing you a penny! All it requires is a slight change in behaviour – to go via the Giving Machine when you are doing your internet shopping throughout the year.

How it works is that the Giving Machine generates a sales commission by directing you to the retailer (they work with many different retailers – Amazon, Tesco, Sainsbury etc). The commission generated is then converted into funds for your favourite charity.

We urge you to have a look at:

https://www.thegivingmachine.co.uk

and there is also a helpful YouTube video which shows you how it works.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xxc5RHI-IHY

The building of the new Priory and health centre in Kindu

Progress on the new buildings at Kindu (DR Congo) has been remarkable despite the many difficulties of transportation and rising prices.  The health centre is now open though still work to do on the building in the future when more funds available.  The new Priory was officially opened in August 2019, and work is ongoing on a new building for the noviciate which is close to the fields the sisters are tending, alongside local people.

You can see the sort of challenges faced with regard to building projects in that part of the world in this remarkable short video clip of materials being transported across flooded roads.

Creating a community of love, filled with hope