Boys from 4th Newtownabbey BB Company, which meets in Carnmoney Presbyterian Church, have raised over £1,700 for the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s Junior BB project, the largest amount raised by any one company.
Called ‘A Place to Play - Jordan’, over £8,000 was raised by BB companies to construct and equip a playground at a church-run school for refugee children in the town of Fuhais in Jordan, where a local church provides free education to 32 children, aged four to 13 years old.
Rev Dr Jim Campbell, chair of the Presbyterian Boys’ Brigade World Mission Committee said that he was “delighted” by the very generous response of all BB companies.
Dr Campbell said: “On behalf of all those who raised funds for last year’s appeal, the Junior Section boys from Carnmoney BB handed over a cheque for £8,500. The efforts of the boys, officers, and parents, was greatly appreciated and we hope our new project for the incoming year will also be well supported.
“Preparations are underway to purchase the equipment for the playground and we hope it will all be in place in the coming months. There are currently 35 pupils at the school in Fuhais mainly from Syria and Iraq with a couple from Egypt. They are all very excited at the prospect of having a proper playground at their school.”
Speaking from Jordan, the head-teacher of the school in Fuhais said: “We are so thankful to the Lord to receive such a generous gift from members of the Boys’ Brigade in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. It is wonderful to know that boys have such love and care for refugee children living many miles away here in Jordan.”
The Boys’ Brigade is one of the biggest Christian youth organisations in the UK and the Republic of Ireland and has a long association with the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI).
Each year, the Junior BB Project - for eight to 11 year olds - gives BB companies in PCI congregations the opportunity to help raise funds in support of an overseas project.
This year’s Junior BB project, ‘Reaching Higher’ aims to raise funds to help build a nursery school for children living in the mountains in the Maasailand heartland in southern Kenya.
Launching this year’s project Dr Campbell, said: “Reaching higher - Kenya’ aims to raise funds to build a nursery school for children living in the mountains in the Maasai heartland of southern Kenya.
“The Maasai people in Kenya traditionally are a semi-nomadic community, however in recent times many areas of Maasailand have been demarcated and with each adult male being allocated land, and this has encouraged many to settle in one location.
“Some have settled high up in the mountains in a remote area called Siana, where there are very few facilities including schools. There is currently no school in the area around the village of Elemisigio. The nearest is some distance away and it is dangerous for children to get to due to wild animals, including elephants and lions.
“Presbyterian global mission workers, Gary and Mary Reid in southern Kenya, know this area and the people around Elemisigio well, and have set up a small church in the village. The local people have asked them for help in building a nursery school for their children. They also intend to use the small building on Sundays for church services, as the people currently gather to worship each week under a tree.”
While companies are free to choose how and when they raise funds for the project, the aim is to have all contributions gathered in by the end of June in the following year.
A small percentage of funds raised by the project each year is given to the BB Global Fellowship to support the worldwide work of the Boys’ Brigade. Dr Campbell said it was a privilege to be able to assist people in need and was confident that this year’s project would be well supported.
For more information on ‘Reaching Higher - Kenya’ the 2019/2020 Junior Boys’ Brigade project, check out www.presbyterianireland.org/Mission/Mission-Projects/Junior-BB-Appeal