By Amanda Murthy
A local Catholic charity has plans to carry out its next mission by sending Bibles to students in Africa, as part of their efforts to build a relationship with the community and to encourage the people to continue to see the beauty of being a Catholic in the midst of struggles.
The Medjugorje Centre Inc is a lay Catholic charity (established in 2010), with the goal of improving the education, health and wellbeing of underprivileged and other charitable works beneficial to the community, focussing on the Aboriginal community of Western Australia.
Since its inception, their efforts included working with the Moorditj Noongar Community College in Eddie Barron Drive, Middle Swan.
Medjugorje Centre Inc Director Trevor Knuckey spoke to The Record on some of the group’s efforts and why it is important for the community of WA to recognise the struggles happening within and outside the local community and how we can play a role in making a difference, however small.
“Some of the things we have been focusing on over the years were to influence progress on improving attendance, behaviour and academic standards in our local schools,” Mr Knuckey said.
“Our charity based organisation is currently working closely with the Moorditj Noongar Community College, providing seven programs and some of our efforts include starting a breakfast club, having an after school social club, the literacy helper’s programme and we host a free bus service for parents.
“These small efforts have definitely impacted the students in terms of behavioural and spiritual changes in encouraging students and community members to take more interest and involvement in the school,” he added.
Mr Knuckey explained that the charity operates on a volunteer basis, therefore running on low funds, but all volunteers involved have a deep genuine passion for helping the less fortunate community.
“One hundred per cent of the donations received through our work goes back to charitable works, which is pretty unique in this day and age,” he cited.
“We are so blessed to have the support of our Chaplain Fr Leonard of St Anthony’s Greenmount who supports us through our efforts.”
Through the charities many efforts, Mr Knuckey said the group had formed strong friendships with other missions and charities, providing more opportunities for collaboration.
Together, he confirmed that both groups are currently working on collecting the bibles and teaching materials to be sent to a number of schools in Africa.
“The Sant Nirankari Mission is a spiritual group from India that have previously raised funds for the Medjugorje Centre.
“It is fantastic that we have managed to maintain, grow this relationship and now collaborate as the mission have now decided to take care of the actual delivery and cost of sending the teaching materials and bibles to the schools we nominate in Africa, while our students and staff will assist with the packaging and other preparations.
This effort to help the underprivileged students of Africa will not stop at helping just one school. Mr Knuckey stated that the group will donate school supplies and bibles to schools in Uganda and Kenya.
Mr Knuckey added that there are many opportunities in such a project for students here and in Africa to benefit educationally and the usage of social media is the first step to build the connection and bridge the distance gap.
“Using the inter-school video chats for one example,” he added.
“I believe everything we do in this charity is inspired by the love of Christ, prompted by the Holy Spirit – We are just doing what we believe the Holy Spirit is asking of us today.”
“If we can send the Bibles and influence the people by our example to see the beauty of being a Catholic and they are excited at the prospect of being partnered by our school, we have accomplished our mission,” he concluded.
To donate used or unused Bibles to be sent to The Medjugorje Centre Inc mission, email email@example.com.