Each year the All Hallows’ School Community focuses its fundraising efforts on a particular project.
It was with much excitement and anticipation that our Social Justice Captains launched the 2021 Whole School Project, ‘Paving the Path’, at assembly on Friday 5 February.
This year we will be supporting three mini projects, facilitated by Mercy Works, in Papua New Guinea (PNG). These projects are designed to support girls and women to foster their literacy and entrepreneurial skills so that they can become more productive and self-sufficient.
When formal education was first introduced in the 1960s and 1970s in PNG, only boys were allowed to go to school. Girls were to stay at home with their mothers. Sr Theresia Tina rsm notes that when the first Sisters of Mercy came to PNG from Australia, in 1956 to the highlands and in 1957 to the coast, they had to really stand their ground in order to take the girls as well as boys into the schools which they established. Very slowly, people began to recognise the importance of formal education, and girls were educated equally.
Despite advances in education in recent years, access to educational opportunities for girls and women in PNG is very limited. School is not compulsory in PNG and only two-thirds of girls go to primary school. 50% of female students finish school at the end of primary (Year 8) and only 40% of students who complete secondary school are girls. 40% of the adult female population is illiterate.
‘Paving the Path’ will support projects in the provinces of Kiunga, Simbu and Goroka.
The project logo, created by Year 12 student Bridget, references the highlands of PNG and suggests that through our work this year, we will assist in ‘paving the path’ to success for our sisters in the provinces.
We look forward to a wonderful year of fundraising in 2021.