December 2009

In 2009 VLM sent 53 volunteers overseas. This is our largest number to date. Below are some of the new developments this year.

Montessori Partnership.
We have established a link between the St. Nicholas Montessori College, Dun Laoghaire and Bruh Tesfa Training Institute, Woylita. The Assistant Director and the Head of Montessori Department from St. Nicholas spent four weeks working with the staff of Woylita, exploring teaching methodologies, developing curriculum etc. We are hopeful that the two colleges can forge a strong link and that other teachers from Dun Laoghaire will volunteer for Bruh Tesfa.

NUIG
Nine Engineering Graduates from NUIG spent two months in Bahir Dar and helped complete the building of 8 houses in a project for the poorer people of the town.
Already we have heard that there are up to 20 Students interested in volunteering for 2010.
Project Funding.
This summer two volunteers worked to develop opportunities for project funding. An application was made to Misean Cara (part of Irish Aid) for the construction of a new workshop in the training college in Woylita. The application was successful and a grant of €44,770 was awarded.

Nigeria.
We established a link with the Vincentian Province of Nigeria. Two volunteers went to Enugu for 6 weeks and taught English to the Postulants there. This new link with Nigeria is a work in progress, but we were very grateful to the volunteers who took on this initiative.

Secondary Schools Immersion Programme.
The Secondary Schools Immersion Programme was expanded this year and a total of 13 students and 6 teachers took part. This programme is now located in Ambo. The students and teachers have opted to help support a project for Deaf people in Ambo. This is in line with a very long Vincentian tradition. The Vincentians were Chaplains to the deaf and helped to establish education for the Deaf here in Ireland. St. Pauls Raheny and St. Vincent’s Castleknock both participated.