Christmas is a time of giving. Having a heart of generosity for those less fortunate than us is an incredibly important value that we, Religious Sisters of Charity, hold very close to our hearts. With this in mind, we have a recent story of great generosity shown by the Sisters in Australia, and their commitment to dedicating time to helping those in need.
The Sisters of Charity of Australia recently raised and donated to the very worthy cause of the Chikuni Bicycle Project, which aims to provide bicycles for students in attendance at Chikuni Girls School, Zambia. The work of the Sisters in Australia resulted in the raising of a total of $14,630, which went towards the purchase of 51 new bicycles for the schoolgirls.
We spoke to Sister Anne Taylor, who told us more about what the Chikuni Bicycle Project is, and what their involvement looks like:
“When working with the encyclical Laudato Si’ to prepare our congregational goals, the Care of the Common Home Committee tried to find a practical way to deepen our collective ecological
consciousness. We decided to encourage each Sister when she travels through any means, beit by plane, car, taxi, community transport, tram, train or bus, to be conscious of occurring emissions. When a sister travelled, it was decided that she would acknowledge this through a personal donation. We offered suggestions; but were of course happy to receive any size donation.
We saw a post on the RSC Facebook page about the ongoing fundraising efforts being made for the Chikuni Bicycle project, which gave us a wonderful opportunity to donate the funds we might raise through our Eco-Travel initiative. The Bicycle Project was launched at the Congregational Assembly in March 2023. This is a collaborative endeavour taken by the Sisters of Charity of Australia and the Religious Sisters of Charity.
The Chikuni Bicycle Project aims to provide bicycles for 14-year-old girls from Chikuni Girls High School in Zambia, who will use the bicycles to travel quickly and safely to and from school. Without bicycles, students would have to leave their homes from as early as three AM to arrive to school on time. Many of the girls would then only get home at a very late hour, when their families would be asleep.
In June, we sent $14,630 to the Sisters of Charity in Dublin to purchase a total of 51 bicycles. We were overjoyed to receive a message from one of the Sisters at Chikuni, who explained that when the bicycles were handed over to the girls, they were overjoyed! Many of the parents also cried with joy to see their girls receiving their very own bicycle. It is so amazing to be able to facilitate these young girls to receive a good education, which these bicycles truly provide.
We will be sending further donations to the project during December, in the lead-up to Christmas. We are so grateful for the generosity of our sisters and colleagues for bringing this project to life.”