Voluntary service with the Marists abroad
On Sunday, December 29th, the weekly Mass in the school chapel in Mindelheim was followed by a reception where friends, relatives and Marists said goodbye to Ms Laura Sattelmair, who was about to leave for Johannesburg, South Africa, on January 2nd. She will spend three months working as a volunteer at Sacred Heart College, a local Marist school, where brothers and lay Marists run an after-school programme for young refugees from other African countries.
Laura will help to provide an education as well as extra-curricular leisure activities for these uprooted children and teenagers. The goal of the programme is twofold: to help them make the transition to the South African educational system and to keep them away from the dangers of crime, drug abuse or other addictions.
During the farewell reception Laura, who graduated from the Marist College in Mindelheim in 2013, received many good wishes and presents. Father Kleinle gave her his personal blessing, and Brother Michael Schmalzl gave her a small “prayer box” he had made himself to take with her on her journey. Two of her fellow ex-students, Ms Jasmin Nimar and Ms Hannah Mair, received a similar send-off when they left to work as volunteers in August 2013. Jasmin is involved in a Marist project for children and teenagers in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, for a year. Hannah is in Kenya for six months to work in the kindergarten of St Martin’s technical school on the island of Mfangano in Lake Victoria. Brother Hans Seubert, a German Marist Brother, has worked there for many years.
This voluntary service offered by the three young women takes place in the context of Cmi, a global project which was established by the Marist Brothers’ General Administration in Rome two years ago. The German Marists have been involved in it since August 2013. The team which has been established has a professional and responsible approach towards organising the work and preparing and accompanying the young people. As an officially acknowledged organisation within the German International Youth Voluntary Service (IJFD) they offer past pupils of the four Marist schools in Germany the possibility of spending a year abroad doing voluntary work in a wide range of Marist projects. Several pupils of the Marist College have already indicated that they are interested in being sent on mission in the summer of 2014.
Brother Michael Schmalzl
An article about Sacred Heart College (14th January 2014): www.champagnat.org/400.php?a=6&n=3101