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St Edward's School

Whole school event where pupils and staff walked for water to raise money for charity.





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.


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.

Charity walk

"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."

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We're currently raising funds for Phase 6 with 14 tanks in Kiwanyi Primary School and the St Mary’s Vocational Institute. Our project focuses on the installation in selected schools of large 20,000 litre water harvesting tanks built by local contractors. Marram / sand bricks are made in a mould and pressed and dried in the sun to create the structure which is then encased in concrete.The water harvesting tanks bring many benefits. Having clean water in school helps improve pupil health, reduces time lost from classes and attendance rates rise and importantly frees girls from procuring water to attend lessons. Our impact data from the first seven schools where work has been completed cites examples of girls now able to attend school five days a week. The project started in mid-2023 and to date (April 2024) 33 tanks are meeting the needs of 3,265 pupils and teachers in seven schools.The project’s engineer in Uganda, Mr Dan Kilimani and the Chair of the local NGO, Mr Mathias Wakulira of MADLACC have noted evidence of significant social, cultural and health related changes. Nominal rolls have risen in all schools with new staff being employed in some schools tocater for the higher numbers. Most significantly, the evidence shows that many girls are now receiving education for five days as a result of the construction of the water tanks in schools. The transformation wrought by simple access to clean water is profound and augurs well for the future


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“As teachers in Catholic schools we believe passionately in the collective integrity and power of young people; a power that can be harnessed and be brought to bear on some of our planet’s most pressing challenges,” said Stephen Whelan, Mission and Ethos Lead at St Edward’s.

“The work that the diocesan schools are doing as their part of the project is about living out the values of Fratelli Tutti; it’s about a preferential option that empowers children themselves to break the cycle of poverty and to tackle some of the effects of climate change; it’s about working together on something that lives out in a practical way the concept of Faith in Action.”

Oak tree sapling


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.

Oak sapling grow at school, ready for planting. This is to help the school move towards net zero emissions.

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.


The Emmaus Project

The project involves funding the construction of 20,000 litre water harvesting tanks at 22 Masaka schools. When the project is completed in 2025, it will have delivered clean water to over 10,000 school children in 22 schools; children of all denominations and faiths.

Population growth has stretched water and sanitation services, with millions of Ugandans now lacking access to safe water and improved sanitation facilities.

The increased impact of climate change in recent years added to the economic effects of the pandemic with a significant number of Ugandans forced to buy water from vendors at exorbitant prices, and a history of subsistence farming is also contributing to rising poverty levels.

The project is being delivered by a partnership between the Masaka and District Land Care Chapter (MADLACC) in Uganda and WaterHarvest, a UK water-harvesting charity based in Winchester who have so far provided 85% of the funding and employ the lead project engineer in Uganda, Mr Dan Kilimani. The Emmaus partnership which links the 33 Clifton Diocese schools, has provided the other 15% of funding. The lead UK school is St Edward’s Roman Catholic SEMH school in Hampshire.

All funds raised will be donated to WaterHarvest, a charity registered in England & Wales, No. 1127564

Walk for Water

Thursday 13th July 2023

St Edward's School - Hampshire
St Edward's School Hampshire, Walk for Water
Pupils from St Edward's School walking for water.
Organsiers for the sponsored walk for water to raise money for the Emmaus Project


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.

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