St Virgil’s College Walks for Mary Rice Centre

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Today over 800 students, staff and parents have come together to celebrate Mary Rice Day in Hobart Tasmania. A highlight of the day is the Walkathon where students walk laps of the College grounds to raise funds for their brothers and sisters at the Mary Rice Centre.

The walkathon is the culmination of four months of fundraising activities that will enable to the College to make a significant donation to the Mary Rice Centre to assist with its operational costs for 2017/2018.

On Saturday Acting Principal Terry Blizzard will leave Hobart and make the journey to Kibera to visit the specially abled children of the Centre and to bring with him the prayers and best wishes of the St Virgil’s College community. In the Mary Rice Centre Liturgy prior to the Walkathon Mr Blizzard commended the boys on their courage; “I am proud that as a school community we have had the courage to stand with our brothers and sisters from the Mary Rice Centre and to pray and raise funds on their behalf. We have not accepted the inequity that exists between human beings in Australia and Africa and have had the courage to do something about it. This is what our readings of the Gospels challenge us to do and what our founder Blessed Edmund Rice did when he set up his first school in Waterford – have courage the good seed will grow”. 

Mary Rice Day continues the strong two way partnership that exists between the Centre and St Virgil’s College. Director Br Gerald has spent time at St Virgil’s and is in regular contact with senior staff at the College. The activities of the Centre are very much in the hearts of the boys of St Virgil’s College as they live out the school motto – “by deeds, not words alone”.

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PARENTS WORKSHOP

This week the Mary Rice Centre was privileged to organize a workshop for parent of children with different needs. The workshop was not only for the parents but also for the community as well. The parents were encouraged to come with their neighbour and friends so as to share this knowledge that will help them raising and taking care of children with special need. The workshops educated the parents and the community on different types of disabilities,their causes and how they can be managed. wp-1466198638772.jpeg

The workshops was conducted by representatives from Educational Resource Centre Nairobi(ERC) who are certified by the government to conduct general assessment on children with special needs and recommend appropriate schools, therapy and approach on how to handles children with different needs. wp-1466198604493.jpeg

This workshop was indeed very helpful not only for the parents but also the Mary Rice staff who work directly with children with special needs, This surely help both the parent and the staff in providing quality services to the children of Mary Rice Centre.

 

 

FUN DAY

At last the long awaited fun day had arrived. Since the time we had received the invitation from Brother Bausang, we had been pre-empting on how the say would be and indeed it turned out to be one of a kind. We arrived at Brother Bausang at 9:00 am. We were 7 staffs from Mary Rice and 16 children. One could already read the mood and the excitement from the children’s face. We were welcomed with a cup of tea, introduced to the rest of the staff and later taken round the school to see all the activities there.

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Later we went to the field that was outside the school and it was the exact place where the event would take place. The colourful PE-kits made the whole thing exciting. The music too was really enjoyed by many and we could see children and their teachers dancing and swinging their hips and wiggling their legs. They were dancing to the tune and singing along and our own staff Teacher Naomi was not left behind too. The activities were many. They included filling and emptying, racing, balancing, tag of war and many others. Our children participated well and conducted themselves well.

We went to take our lunch at 1:00 pm and later in the afternoon went back to the field. The activities became even more exciting than before. The parents and the children were equally involved. The staff too participated in all the activities and cheering. It was a day well spent both for the parents, staff and the children.

THE SPIRIT OF EDMUND RICE

The session kicked off well with the Mary Rice staff listening to the Edmund Rice song. After the song the facilitator who was Br. Bill asked the participants to reflect on the words of the song and how they are relevant to their current life situation.

 

Br. Bill then started by asking very deep questions like do you have the power to change the world? How can you change the world? The participants responded well and agreed Yes everyone can change the world one child at a time through touch.IMG_20160226_092702

We looked at different great people who changed the world through doing simple small things that had great impact like Mother Teresa, Edmund and Jesus.

Then we proceeded to the next question which was, how have the children at Mary Rice Centre affected you? What disability do you have? And where did Mary Rice come from?

After that we went into the next session where we looked at the Edmund Rice portrait and discussed different quotes from Edmund. Br. Bill explained to us the different photos in the portrait and what they meant. Something outstanding was the black colour throughout the portrait that simplified the many challenges Edmund faced. Then the spiral with orange colour, which represented the spirit of Edmund and Bill.

From the different quotes of Edmund what was outstanding was that love is more valuable than silver and gold, and that when we pray we should pray for what will make us a better person but not what we want and that we should pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on us.

Finally we concluded b Br. Bill asking us how working in Mary Rice and Christian Brothers has impacted our lives either positively or negatively and what can be done to make sure that the spirit of Edmund runs even after the Brothers leave.

At the end Br. Bill explained to us that his role is to help all organizations under Christian Brothers internalize what Christian Brothers are about and the way they do things and their charism, which is to Recognize that all children have rights and make sure all children live with dignity and even after they leave the charisma will still be alive.

We finished with the Edmund Rice prayer.

FUN DAY

At last the long awaited fun day had arrived. Since the time we had received the invitation from Brother Bausang, we had been pre-empting on how the say would be and indeed it turned out to be one of a kind. We arrived at Brother Bausang at 9:00 am. We were 7 staffs from Mary Rice and 16 children. One could already read the mood and the excitement from the children’s face. We were welcomed with a cup of tea, introduced to the rest of the staff and later taken round the school to see all the activities there.

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Later we went to the field that was outside the school and it was the exact place where the event would take place. The colourful PE-kits made the whole thing exciting. The music too was really enjoyed by many and we could see children and their teachers dancing and swinging their hips and wiggling their legs. They were dancing to the tune and singing along and our own staff Teacher Naomi was not left behind too. The activities were many. They included filling and emptying, racing, balancing, tag of war and many others. Our children participated well and conducted themselves well.

We went to take our lunch at 1:00 pm and later in the afternoon went back to the field. The activities became even more exciting than before. The parents and the children were equally involved. The staff too participated in all the activities and cheering. It was a day well spent both for the parents, staff and the children.

WHAT A ROLE MODEL HE IS!!

Everyday I look at my boss and I feel very inspired! When people talk about down to earth people, then in Br Gerald this is exactly what defines this well used statement! Sometimes I look at him and wonder what really inspires him to do the thing he does, and how he does it. He is so amazing, kind hearted, compassionate and very generous with children.

Today I was amazed when he picked one of the children who was very hyperactive and placed him on his back to calm him down.  He walked with him clinging on his  back making his way around the whole compound without caring about who was looking. Brother Gerald will never cease to amaze me because he is surely one of a kind!

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Since the team at MRC has worked with him he has regularly surprised all the staff and parents at Mary Rice Centre and even the people we work with in the same compound. We have seen him do all kinds of activities, not usually done by a boss of a school – and yet he continues to do so to inspire , entertain and support the children of the Centre.

He is one man who will bend and help his staff in mopping the classroom for the children, wash the children who have an accident, help in cooking, help in fetching water when their is no water in the compound,feeding the children in class and amazingly help all the staff when need be.

The most amazing thing is that above everything else he does, he love spending time with the children in class instead of his office. Without doubt he is a God send and he continues to inspire the staff who so gladly work with him!

A HEALING TOUCH

This is a story of a young boy at the Mary Rice Centre who made tremendous change in a very little time span. Richard is 4 years old which makes him the youngest child in Mary Rice currently,he was admitted in Mary Rice Centre on 11th january 2016 when he became part of the family. the boy is mentally fit, the only challenge that he has is physical, he has a condition called Hemiparesis,this is a condition which causes entire weakness of left or right of the body.

when he was admitted he could barely walk and even standing proved to be a challenge for him,then he started therapy sessions with the occupational therapist(O.T) at the centre three weeks ago, he had therapy sessions everyday for three weeks until this week on tuesday when he made his first steps. This was like a miracle that wasn’t expected to happen because last week he tried to move from the chair he was seated only to fall and hurt his head so bad.

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His determination and trying finally payed off and us the Mary Rice family we can not be more grateful and thankful to God for a very skilled occupational therapist that has brought a lot of change to the Mary Rice Children. This was such a big success for him, the mother and the O.T for the improvement he had shown in a very short time.