Global Outreach

Hope for the Future, Planting Roots for Catholic Education in Nigeria

Posted by Esther Hicks on Mar 12, 2015 6:28:00 AM

I visit the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka, Nigeria, twice annually as the director of a special partnership between the Diocese of Nsukka and the Archdiocese of Chicago based on the professional and personal friendships that are rooted in the global mission of Catholic education. Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I. and Bishop Francis Okobo exchanged letters of agreement to establish this unique partnership of promoting Catholic education in September 2006.

The Catholic Diocese of Nsukka wanted an educational system of Catholic schools to effectively educate students from nursery through high school. Every time I visit I have the wonderful privilege of talking to students and teachers as we plan for the system wide development of over 57 nursery and primary schools, and 19 secondary schools in the Nsukka diocese. The Church provides education for families who place their trust in Catholic schools that provide a consistent education with the capacity to give their children academic strength and a vision of hope for the future.

CARITAS For Children was initially brought into this program to work alongside the Chicago Catholic schools in their project in the Nsukka diocese to provide support for families who could not afford school fees.

 

Image of students from Holy Infants School in Nigeria Students from Holy Infants School, Nsukka, Onuiyi, Nigeria, January 2015

Holy Infants Nursery/Primary School is one of the Nigerian schools whose students benefit from having the support of CARITAS For Children sponsors. Students who attend the school come from very poor families. When I visited these students in January their faces were alight with happiness to see me again and to have a conversation.

Of course, they wanted to have a photo taken as a sign of our friendship and care for one another. They know that we care for them. They know that we will not turn our back to their dreams. They feel like they are welcoming their “auntie” who shows the hand of friendship and love.

If you choose to sponsor a child through CARITAS For Children’s Catholic child sponsorship program you are making a difference in the lives of children in need.

The giving from CARITAS For Children sponsors to the students and their families in Nsukka provides much more than a monetary gift. It’s an extension of the caring arm of the Church acting as a parent lifting up a distressed child and assuring him/her that they are not forgotten; they are loved. I see that every time I visit my “home” in Nsukka, Nigeria. It is Christ’s love made visible to them. To the CARITAS For Children sponsors, I say thank you.

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