What would it be like to live in a place where there was no pharmacy, no hospital, and no nurse?
The Batwa Pygmies of Uganda live with this prospect every day, and AES students, faculty, and organizations are trying to do something about it.
The Batwa Pygmies are an indigenous tribe that has been displaced by their own Ugandan government in favor of national reserves for the Mgahinga Gorilla in the Bwindi impenetrable rain forest.
According to literature from Reaching the Pygmies Ministry, an outreach of the Church of the Epiphany in Clarks Summit, PA, the Pygmies are a small, peace loving people who are in constant danger from other nomadic, belligerent tribes.
The ministry has established a resettlement program and built Epiphany School, which accommodates approximately 250 students. The Pygmies continue to struggle and could really use the help of Ascension in raising money for teachers, houses, nurses, medicines, nurse and teacher apartment buildings, and exam costs at schools.
“Ascension has chosen to raise $2,400 to provide a mobile nurse for the community,” said Mrs. Renard. “$2,400 American dollars will pay the nurse’s salary for one year.”
A motorcycle was recently donated to provide transportation for a mobile nurse, and it is the goal of the Upper School to raise enough money through various fund-raising efforts to pay for the nurse.
“We have raised money through multiple bake sales to help the Pygmies, including bake sales from the previous year,” said Junior Caroline Rhoades, President of the Random Acts of Kindness Club.
As another fundraiser for the Pygmies, students are asked to pay $5 every Wednesday during Lent in order to wear free dress. Also, there will be a car wash on April 8 from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. in the Upper School parking lot.
Pizza for the Pygmies is another program. Student Council will sell pizzas at break on Wednesdays to raise money for the cause. Students can pay $3 for one slice or $5 for two and enjoy knowing that their snacks will help others.
According to Coach Dardar, the school as already raised $955.
Ascension Episcopal School has had a long-standing relationship with Reaching the Pygmies Ministry and the Epiphany School. In fact, one of the classrooms on the Epiphany campus is dedicated to Ascension. Members of the school and church community would like to deepen our outreach efforts with the ministry.
“Reverend Tom Trees of the Ascension Episcopal Church will also be organizing a mission trip to Uganda in the near future to help the Pygmies,” said Mrs. Renard.