Each year in November for the past 21 years the Notre Dame Women’s Boxing Team has put their skill and strength to work in the ring for the annual Baraka Bouts Tournament. Their drive comes from a profound and joyful sense of service, as all of the fundraising efforts go to benefit the Holy Cross Missions in East Africa, specifically at two of our Holy Cross schools in Uganda. A recent visit to these schools in October by HCMC Director Fr. Tom Eckert, C.S.C., and Senior Project Specialist Benjamin Valle provides the joyful update of the incredible impact the work of the boxers has on these communities.
At St. Joseph’s Hill Secondary School in Kyarusozi, Diocese of Fort Portal, the visit bore witness to the completion of the past year’s fundraising project—expansion of the girl’s and boy’s dormitories. While the girl’s dorm was completed, dedicated and opened in July, the boy’s dorm was just finished during the October visit. The entire school community gathered for the celebration of Mass and the blessing of the building. These dorm expansion projects will allow the student population to grow from 400 to 600 students! Thank you, Baraka Bouts!
In Jinja at Holy Cross Lake View Senior Secondary School, the October visit saw the joyful celebration of the groundbreaking for a new girl’s dormitory project that will provide housing for 500 girls, doubling the current capacity. Gathering with current students and staff for the groundbreaking, the joy and hope in the hearts of all those gathered was incredible. With a second boy’s dorm already underway and now a second girl’s dorm started, within a year Holy Cross Lake View will have the potential to grow to 2000 students by January 2025, effectively doubling its enrollment capacity. It was explained very clearly during the October visit that it is not simply the number of students that is significant in this preparation for growth, it is the impact that a Holy Cross education has on the Minds and Hearts of all of its students that is significant. These future leaders in Uganda will be well-formed as men and women of faith, and well-educated feeding their intellectual curiosity.
The Holy Cross community in East Africa, all of the students and faculty/staff, and all of the team of the Holy Cross Mission Center are so very grateful to the friends and benefactors that make this work possible! For the work at these schools in Uganda, the Baraka Bouts tournament fundraising has been matched by the Wolohan Family Foundation Matching Grant to make these dreams a reality!
Joyful thanks to all who support these efforts!
Fr. Tom Eckert, C.S.C.
Director, Holy Cross Mission Center
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