One of the principal values that underpins how we act as a community is the way we work together to help the less fortunate in a way that celebrates their human dignity.
We do this in a wide variety of ways. Our principal focus is the Emmaus Partnership Project where St Edward’s is part of a Development Partnership dedicated to putting clean water into 22 Primary and Secondary Schools in the Masaka District of South West Uganda. Each year we organise a number of sponsored events to support Emmaus including the popular Walk for Water.
Every year, pupils, parents and staff work together to collect large amounts of non-perishable foodstuffs and assorted Christmas treats for the Trussell Trust, a nationwide organisation that helps families experiencing severe financial hardship to feed themselves at Christmas. It is an opportunity for our community to show solidarity with those in need.
During the academic year pupils in English and RE take part in Amnesty International’s ‘Write for Rights’ campaign, challenging governments and international corporations responsible for the abuse of human rights. By doing this we celebrate human dignity and the right of all for just treatment and respect.
The spiritual approach followed by the school is one of its strengths. The focus is ‘to make good informed choices’ and this is shared with young people in a way that they engage in, identify with and understand.
LEADING THE DIOCESE
St Edward’s School is leading 31 other schools in the Diocese of Clifton in our Emmaus Partnership Project. Alongside the International Tree Foundation (ITF) we, at Emmaus, are committed to helping 23 primary and secondary schools in South West Uganda to install 12,000 litre ferro-concrete water harvesting tanks. These will provide essential drinking water as well as allowing the children of these schools to irrigate the tree nurseries that the ITF is going to fund. The Emmaus Project is helping to create sustainable economies in the 23 school communities by training children to plant, nurture and harvest native species fruit and medicinal trees. The children themselves will be responsible for helping their teachers, parents and peers create a means of breaking the cycle of poverty in their areas. This is not charity: it is all about empowering brothers and sisters in Uganda to achieve financial security in a Developmental Partnership of equals. We hope that all parents, staff and pupils will feel inspired to help achieve the target of bringing life changing water supplies to our friends.
"It is core to our purpose to teach our young people about the Common Good and encourage them to adopt a healthy approach to charitable giving."
WORKING TO PROMOTE SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
The Emmaus Project meets the WASH needs of each school by providing 20,000 litre rooftop fed water harvesting tanks. With this resource children can now meet their needs for water for drinking, cleaning, cooking and sanitation. We hope to transform lives in all our partner schools and empower children to create sustainable economies for themselves and their families. In this way we dare to hope that we can break the cycle of poverty in these areas.
To date we have finished 3 Phases of the project, installing 24 x 20,000 litre water harvesting tanks in 5 schools. We have built water tanks for St Jude’s Catholic Primary School, Lubanda Moslem and Kiwangala Primaries, Notre Dame Catholic Secondary High School and Happy Hours State Primary. At the time of publication Water Earth is on-site at St Maria Gorreth and Nakateete Baptist Primary Schools, installing 9 tanks.
As a leading water charity our project partner, WaterHarvest has provided the bulk of the funding to date with generous subscriptions from a large number of the schools in the Clifton based partnership. St Edward’s has employed an editorial team of an on-line Catholic newspaper and Directory to broadcast news of Emmaus to the Catholic community across the UK and thus hope to attract funding from Catholic agencies across the UK. Meanwhile our staff at St Edward’s continue to raise funds in a variety of ways and are seeking to seek support from local businesses and multi-national corporations.
We are proud of the impact our work has had on the communities where water harvesting tanks have brought hope. We have seen the nominal rolls in schools rising because they have clean water but, above all, we have seen that girls are now able to attend school for up to 100% of the time because they no longer have to stay at home for reasons of personal hygiene.
St Edward’s is not just an excellent school which enriches the academic lives of our pupils and staff: it is also a community that empowers our pupils to take an active role in helping to challenge the worst aspects of climate change and global poverty. We have planted over 1,500 trees on our grounds, constructed an oak-tree nursery of over 475 trees, begun to cultivate wild flower meadows, bring a Walled Garden back to life and cleared woodland. Through this work, we enable all involved to act as stewards for the beautiful environment we have been entrusted with.
In 2019 St Edward’s helped set up a Developmental Partnership in Uganda with the International Tree Foundation and the Masaka and District Land Care Chapter (MADLACC) to put water resources into 22 primary and secondary schools in the Masaka District of South West Uganda. Joined by 33 schools in the Clifton Diocese and financially supported by WaterHarvest, a bespoke water harvesting charity in Winchester the aim of the Project is to train young people to plant, nurture and harvest trees and for them to pass on what they have learned to their peers, parents, staff and local farmers.
Mr Dan Kilimani, a local engineer in Masaka was employed to produce a detailed survey and report for each school (see attached Final Baseline Report) outlining its water needs and establishing an Implementation Roadmap, covering 9 Phases that prioritised schools on the basis of their lack of water. (see attached Implementation Roadmap)
We set up a Steering Group in 2021 comprising St Edward’s staff, the trustees of WaterHarvest, Engineer Dan Kilimani and our NGO in Uganda, Mathias Wakulira of MADLACC. Using ZOOM meetings we tendered for contracts from a number of contractors and employed Water Earth Green Services to act as the project contractor under Dan’s and Mathias’ management. We are now working through the 9 Phases of the project, hoping to complete Phase 4 by Christmas 2023
THE EMMAUS PROJECT
Walk for Water
Thursday 13th July 2023
St Edward's School - Walk for Water
On the morning of Thursday, 13th July, almost the entire St Edward’s School community set off an 8½ mile hike across the open meadows and ridges to the north of the St Edward’s site. We passed through an area of outstanding natural beauty with long views towards the Isle of Wight in the south and across towards Winchester in the north.
This walk was done to help raise money to put 4 x 20,000-litre water tanks in the Lubanda Islamic School in Uganda, a clear demonstration of solidarity with brothers and sisters in a school where children must walk 2.3 kilometres to draw water from a muddy stream.
We will always allow our pupils and staff to demonstrate a clear option for the poor and the marginalised. Should you wish to help us create a better future for the children of Lubanda School, you can access the Just Giving page set up by St Edward's School.
We thank you for your continued support of such a worthy cause.
Mr Stephen Whelan
Mission & Ethos Lead
Charity Football Match
Wednesday 07th June 2023
The organisers for the all day charity football event to raise money for the Emmaus Project.
St Edward's pupils enjoying the beautiful game helping to raise awareness for the need to help others.
Celebrations enjoyed amongst the whole community.
All matches were closely refereed
In a world where selflessness and compassion often take a backseat, our pupils and the community of St Edward's School rallied together for an awe-inspiring event: an all-day charity football match. Beyond the goals and the cheers, this event was a testament to the incredible power of unity, athleticism, and generosity. St Edward's School came together to make a difference through the beautiful game, raising funds for a noble cause.