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The Bishop of Eshowe, Rgt. Rev Mansuet Biyase, and Father Gerard T Lagleder, parish priest of Mandini and Mangete.

A helping hand for the sick and the poor

Blessed Gérard's Pre-Primary school and crèche was blessed on Saturday, July 29, by the Bishop of Eshowe, Rgt. Rev. Mansuet Biyase and officially opened by the Chairman of the International Cornmittee of the Federal Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in the United States of America, Daniel E. Meehan.

Two years ago the community of Whebede, a poor rural area north of the Tugela River, approached the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard for assistance to set up a crèche, to enable the mothers of the area to look for work. After much deliberation the executive council decided that a crèche was not enough and took the idea one step further to a pre-primary school. The decision having been made, they began canvassing for donations. Large donations were received from The Action of the Three Kings and Malteser Hilfsdienst both of Germany, a Swiss Foundation and a personal donation from Daniel E. Meehan of Milwaukee in the United States of America. Through their generosity the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard was able to go ahead with the building of the pre-primary school and crèche.

In the meantime, however, the Bishop of Eshowe gave his permission to temporarily utilise a partitioned off section of the church and so classes began with a newly employed teacher. This facility will now be able to move into the new building which has all the necessary equipment. The only important thing lacking is a constant water supply. They are hoping to replace the rainwater tank with a borehole, as soon as finance is available.

Among the dignitaries who witnessed the opening of the pre-primary school and crèche and the work which the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard does in the Mandeni area, were Dr Albrecht Count of Rechberg, who is the co-ordinator for the help of Malteser Hilfsdienst, Germany to South Africa, his wife Joy Countess of Rechberg and their son Thomas Count of Rechberg, Manfred Schulz, the managing director of Malteser Hilfsdienst Bavaria and Ruby Martin, the former Minister of Administration for the State of Virginia in the United States of America.

The Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard is a Relief Organisation of the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta in Rome, it works with the sanction and blessing of the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Eshowe, Rgt. Rev. Mansuet Biyase and is based in Mandeni. They are a non-profit organisation run on donations and the voluntary service of its members. They have many projects running with the aim of giving people the chance to become independent of charity and possibly even become helpers themselves. A secondary aim is to provide direct aid in cases of emergency and immediate need.

Blessed Gérard's pre-primary school and crèche is embedded in a whole spectrum of charitable projects of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gerard, which have run successfully for more than two years. Presently they are helping:


the north coast courier · No 378 Volume Ten · Friday August 25, 1995


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