Assumption Nutrition Centre

Dear Mary and Tess,

Just a note to say how much Mary and I  enjoyed the carol singing last night.  It was really lovely.  Also a special word of thanks to you, parents and friends of the school for supporting Sr. Amelia’s nutrition fund.

Wishing you all a very peaceful and happy Christmas.


Nuala Murray.

This is an email sent from Sr. Amelia via others but for our attention.

From: [] Sent: 14 December 2012 18:58
To: martha mulvey

Subject: Fundraiser

Dear Parents and Teachers,
My sister, Nuala, has told me about the work of your SNA,Teresa O’Neill and your generosity in supporting her in order to help us at the Assumption Nutrition Centre, Grahamstown, South Africa. I am indeed very grateful to you all and really appreciate your great generosity. I was in Ireland last year and I saw how everybody is affected by the recession and the unemployment situation. Yet in spite of that, you are sharing what you have with the less fortunate and for that I am truly grateful.
As I told Martha, we run a feeding programme for school going children, children who were going to school hungry every day or some may have been given food by neighbours. When we started the programme twenty years ago, we visited the local schools where the teachers told us about the plight of the children. We had just moved into a new clinic building and we were very happy to use the old building as our nutrition centre.
We started this year with 104 children, some however left during the year for various reasons. Some families moved away from Grahamstown or some went to live with a relative who was in a better position to care for them.
We provide a breakfast and lunch for the children, and for those who come for school homework, help and supervision, we give sandwiches and fruit juice.
We are a non-Government organisation and rely totally on goodwill and generosity and we have been able to provide this service for 20 years. God is indeed good!
Again a sincere thanks to all. May God bless and reward you and I wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and very blessing for 2013.

Yours sincerely,
Sr. Amelia Murphy.

Dear Parents,

As you know each year at our Carol Service we make a collection to be divided between the school and a charity. This year we will be sending a donation to the Assumption Nutrition Centre in the Joza township of Grahamstown in South Africa.

Therese O’Neill, our SNA, has been supporting the work of Sr. Amelia Murphy who works with children in Grahamstown.

The letter below outlines the help she had been providing. We hope in the New Year to forge further links with the project and load some photos of the Centre and the children who attend.

This is a beneficial and meaningful way to encourage our pupils to help other less fortunate children not only at Christmas but throughout the year.

We look forward to seeing you all at the Carol Service in St. Ciaran’s Church on Tuesday 18th December at 7 p.m.

Thanks in advance.

Assumption Nutrition Centre.

This is a project in Joza township in Grahamstown, that was started twenty years ago to feed hungry and needy children.

The teachers in the local primary and some secondary schools found that many children, especially smaller ones, were not able to concentrate at school and not even able to stay awake longer than a few hours in the morning. When they visited the homes they found out that many of the children hadn’t eaten for days on end and then only what they had been given by neighbours and what they had scrounged from bins.

So that is the beginning and sadly after 20 years the service is still needed.

There are many hungry and needy children in the area where we work.

At the beginning of each school year we ask to Principals of the local schools to give us the names and addresses of the children that they feel would benefit from the meals at the Nutrition Centre. Then we visit the homes to assess the situation there.

Many are child-headed households and homes where elderly grandparents are looking after the children. The parents have both died or have moved away to another area. Many many of the parents are unemployed and have little or no means to provide nutrition for themselves and their children.

It is true that in recent years there is Children’s Allowance, but it is not enough to support families and the children are always the one who are neglected.

We supply two meals daily – breakfast and lunch – and some of the children come for homework supervision in the afternoon and they are given sandwiches and fruit juice.

At the beginning of the year we had 104 children but some leave in the course of the year and we are now (November) left with 94. They all attend the local schools, where the education is very poor, overcrowding, no text-books, sometimes not even a pencil to write with. Towards the end of last year we visited some of the schools where our children attend to ask if the nutrition was having any impact on the children – their attendance, performance, concentration etc. One teacher looked at our list of names and said: “Sister, I don’t even know these children, there are 80 children in my class,” It is a difficult situation for any teacher to work in.

At the beginning of the year, we help needy families with school uniform, school fees (which are minimal) and stationery.

So that is our story on this project and the one that your generous donation will be used for.

A very sincere thanks to you all and may God bless and reward you all.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas and every blessing for 2013.


Sr. Amelia Murphy.

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