Thursday, 25 April 2013

Surrey Salesian Parish & School Supports Indian Salesian Project

Salesian Six Formers visiting Salesian Ashalayam Project
St Anne's Chertsey reports:
The news focuses on the Don Bosco Ashalayam Project, pioneered by Fr Andrew Ebrahim SDB, the Rector of the Salesian community responsible for the Parish and Head of Year 7 in the Salesian School. Over the past few years the school's link with the Salesian work in Kolkata has grown exponentially. The Sixth Formers' Nominated Charity is the Don Bosco Ashalayam. This is a street children project that has been run by the Salesians in Kolkata for the past 25 years. Fr Ebrahim and a teaching colleague recently visited the project with a group of Sixth Form students who paid for the visit by raising funds and through sponsorship by the School.

Most recently Brendan and Maureen Reynolds, who have given tremendous support to this Parish over the years, organised their 3rd successful fund raising event supporting Ashalayam sponsored by the Beijing Restaurant. Fr Andrew gave a very moving speech about the charity and explained that whatever funds were raised actually resulted in 70 times the value to Ashalayam in Kolkota. Brendan reports that “there was fantastic support from the Parishioners at St Anne’s, Salesian School, local business people making the whole evening truly ‘community’. It was a packed restaurant with over 80 people attending. Total funds raised, including donations, were £5,800 by dinner plate money, heads and tails, a raffle and a fun auction.The raffle and auction items were generously donated by several restaurants in Chertsey, Weybridge and Virginia.”

Such events, together with the support from the staff and students from Salesian School constitute tangible links between home school and parish making this project truly Salesian. Besides major fundraising events, the support from the project throughout the year is constant, with, for example, 19 parishioners sponsoring a child through monthly contributions, enabling the children to take advantage of educational opportunities. They in the future will be able, in St John Bosco’s words, to “earn their bread with honest work.”

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