Saint Justin Society

Collaboration with others is an integral part of our work in health and healing. One group that has supported us is the St. Justin Society in St. Vincent's Parish, Crookes, Sheffield, UK. Founded in 1976, it is one way in which the parish 'looks beyond its own confines to the world outside'.

Members raise awareness and money throughout the year - awarenes in the parish about parts of the world in need and money to help people in these areas. Most of the help is for developing countries. The society specifies that the money be used where the need is greatest. This allows us to be flexible about allocating donations and to utilize them to maximum effect. Over the years we have used these funds: in Kenya - for people affected by HIV/AIDS, to treat malaria, and train a catechist; in Tanzania - to provide clean water and prevent malaria; in Uganda - to buy drugs; and in Rwanda - to treat chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, and epilepsy.

In 2011 and 2012, funding supported our missions in Mukuru and Eldoret in Kenya. In Nairobi, the MMM Mukuru Central Dispensary provides basic services in a settlement with about 600,000 people. Poverty is widespread with poor housing. Six people may live in a twelve-square-metre-room for sleeping, cooking, hygiene, and dining. There are no roads, drainage systems, proper garbage collection, or solid waste disposal facilities.

St. Mary's Medical Centre, Eldoret, is located in the Rift Valley Province. We provide health care services for ten new settlements, including slums with many squatters and petty traders. A comprehensive HIV/AIDS programme includes support for orphans, vulnerable children, and caregivers.

Marie Miller, the current St. Justin secretary, tells us: "Our events vary considerably, including themed evenings such as African, Asian, Irish, Scottish, Italian, and even an Englsh pub night! These were very popular with parishioners and selling tickets in advance always resulted in a 'sell-out'. Members decorate the hall, organize a themed raffle, and a local catering company provides appropriate culinary delights! Entertainment has been provided with a slide show from the country, drumming, dancing demonstrations, etc.

"Coffee mornings, afternoon teas, book sales, Christmas bazaars and refreshments all contribute. Knowing that the money will help developing countries keeps the group motivated. The parish enjoys supporting the events because they bring a real sense of community."

Thank you, St. Justin Society, for helping so many people to have a better quality of life.