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St Pauls International Projects 2018
Over the next few months four groups from St Paul's High School will be packing their bags full of aid for separate projects all over the globe.

Almost 50 sixth-form students, four teachers, four non teaching staff members and their school Chaplain will be taking part in the school's 2018 projects.

St Paul's students who head to Romania in June.
St Paul's students who head to Romania in June.

This week Mrs Bridget McConville will introduce new Chaplain, Fr. Seamus White, to the Kenyan project started 15 years ago by Fr Dermot Maloney in collaboration with St Patricks Missionaries, Kiltegan.

Miss Jamie Larkin and six students will travel with them to join host, Fr Martin Barry in Londiani, East Kenya. During their time there they will visit the many schools, clinics, churches and communities St Paul's have sponsored over the years, to see how their funds have been utilised to provide the basics we all take for granted including water storage tanks, running water, toilets (long drops), kitchens, desks, seats, even window panes. Many sweets, pens, football jerseys and footballs are distributed during visits. The Kenyan students are very keen to find out all about the education system here and our customs and they will share their culture through recitations, song and dance.

The group will meet with Sister Placida, a Franciscan sister in Kericho, who runs the 'Live in Hope Centre', a rehabilitation centre for young mothers with HIV, orphaned and homeless boys and also children learning to live with a HIV diagnosis.

This weekend coming Mrs Elaine Cahill, Mrs Maeve McShane and Mrs Patricia McAleavey will accompany 23 students to Brasov in Romania. This is the fourteenth year a large group of students from St Paul's have had the opportunity to visit orphanages, Residential Care Centres, hospitals, Daycare Centres for young adults with Special Needs and more. Massive improvements in the conditions and facilities of the Centres have taken place over the years and there is evidence of a focused educational programme to assist with the integration of young adults with Special Needs in society.

St Paul's students who head to Russia in February.
St Paul's students who head to Russia in February.

The students will spend a week visiting and interacting with the children and residents, distributing fresh fruit and vegetables, providing essential disposable healthcare products and anything else the centre may require at that particular time, may it be a fridge, bedsheets, curtains or a Robot (Industrial food processor). Last year St Paul's provided Robots for 8 out of 12 places visited.  Many bags of children's clothes, football jerseys, babies hats and lots of books, toys and footballs will be distributed throughout the week.

During February Miss Karina Traynor and Mrs Michelle Morgan will travel with another six students to Kirovsk, Russia to visit School 7. In 2013 Newry & Mourne Council invited St Paul's to initiate a partnership with School 7, Kirovsk. Both schools now work together sharing educational experiences and different cultures on their annual exchange visit. Representatives from School 7 visited Newry and St Pauls in 2013, 2015 & 2017 and this will be the third visit to Kirovsk. School 7 is the top performing school in Maths and Physics in all of Russia and is listed in the top 10 Russian schools. It's a very proud community with a very ambitious young generation who see education as an essential route to a better life. They are very impressed when they visit us and see the contrast in provision and teacher pupil relationships.

St Paul's students who head to Kenya this week.
St Paul's students who head to Kenya this week.

In June Mrs Marion McMahon and Mr Kevin Kearney return to Prejmer in Romania, with another 12 students to work with the Peter Pan orphanage. The team plans to remove the old broken fence and play area that was built almost 10 years ago for a much younger clientele. They will replace with a new fence, shelter and picnic area suitable for the young residents there. St Paul's students will be expected to work hard with both grounds work and building work. This is the first time the Bessbrook school has taken on a construction role and they hope to adapt and develop this programme for future projects.

A school Spokesperson added "All projects require a vast amount of fundraising from the students and their families reflecting the school motto "Rooted in Charity", the hard work helps to develop the essential life skills required for success in today's society and it is rewarded with the experience gained from the adventure.

St Paul's students who head to Romania this weekend.
St Paul's students who head to Romania this weekend.

"We are very grateful to all the local community who have assisted in supporting the many events that have taken place, to all of those who have sent in very generous donations and to Newry, Mourne and Down Council who have initiated, supported and sponsored our Russian visit."

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