Cycling for Children: St Raphael’s Primary School, Bougainville Br Charlie Randle sm & Marist Seminarians in Rome

Dear Marist Mission Centre Friends,

Br. Charles “Charlie’ Randle celebrated his 80th birthday in late November last year. He is still ready, willing and bale to ride his bike for 500+ kms to support our Cycling for Children Appeal for the building of a classroom block at St. Raphael’s Primary School at Buin, Bougainville.

This country has recently endured 15 years of civil war causing painful conflict and divisions between and within communities and the people are now rebuilding their lives.

Br Charlie will again be joined by some our Marist seminarians studying for the priesthood in Rome. There are nine Marist seminarians from five different countries. Br. Cameron Mota sm comes from Buin in Bougainville and he is delighted to be able to support his local district.

Our 2021 Cycling for Children Appeal is for the building of a classroom block with two class rooms. Most of the existing classrooms are built out of bush materials. A new cyclone proof building will a significant improvement to the school.

This year the Marist Mission Centre again invites you to sponsor Br. Charlie in Brisbane, Br. Cameron and our other Marist seminarians in Rome to raise funds to improve the educational opportunities for the primary school students at St. Raphael’s Primary School, St Aloysius Parish at Tabago in the District of Buin. Bougainville.

Bougainville is one of our poorest neighbours in Oceania and has suffered from civil war and unrest as well as the exploitation of mining and forestry interests. Last year the country gained its status as the “Autonomous Region of PNG” with their own elected President and government.

Many of the school facilities are basic ‘bush buildings’ and are deteriorating quickly. They are at risk to weather and other events of nature are totally inadequate to create an atmosphere for education and learning.

Cameron, our Marist seminarian who is studying in Rome, grew up in the District of Buin but due to the conflict and violence of the civil war, his family relocated to a safer part of the country.

St Raphael’s Primary School serves 200 children of six to nine year of age. This project is to fund building of a classroom block with two class rooms. Fr George Baruka sm, the Project Manager, said ‘that the project will enhance both learning and teaching, and help in the overall building of the school ethos and the students’ self- confidence’.

The school is currently being supported with the building of a similar classroom block. These two new classroom blocks will make an enormous difference to a small village community and the District. This will be the beginning of a new era of healing and hope.

Your generous support will assist in the building of a new classroom block for the children at St. Raphael’s Primary School, District of Buin, Bougainville.