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Mercy House - Thank you

Dear Judy and Gerald, Mick and Penny, Gerard and Teresa, Father Andrew and Father Paul

Its arrived!

It could not have been at a better time, as the exchange rate has never been so favourable to our transactions: never before have we got R15.59 to the pound! It's truly amazing. It came through as R38 996.00! Think of that as pounds then you will understand how thrilled I am!

We are hugely grateful to you all for your magnanimous commitment to our work of helping our beloved refugee youngsters. Thank you Father Paul for your top-up. Thank you Gerard and Teresa for your magnanimous donation. Thank you Father Andrew for doing that wonderful concert! Thank you Judy, Gerald, Penny and Mick for the huge effort you put into that luncheon.... May you all be blessed...

I attach another photo of our new arrivals, two of the kids whose parents were killed in the bomb blast which I told you about in a previous email. They are Manasse ("call me BK" ) and his sister, Princess. They are such lovely kids, it is quite overwhelming. Everyday after school they are Mercy House and, when I arrive after my teaching, Manasse runs like a very fast arrow and throws his arms around me and won't let go! But I have already told you, I think, that even since they arrived, two weeks ago a social worker brought us yet another DRC boy, a kid, whose parents and all his siblings were killed by the M23 army in Goma, on 21 June, this year. He was terribly withdrawn when he arrived but is now actually beginning to smile - so nice to see.

So you can see how relevant our work is even today, 19 years since the genocide, which was the sparking-off event. Conditions in the Eastern DRC are simply horrendous , we are told, at present , with about 4 armies fighting there and plenty of desperate refugees coming (also many women who have been raped and badly abused). I will never forget what BA Pilot Stefan said on one of his visits to MH: "Africa is destroying itself..." I just have endless pity for all those innocent children.

As you know our main intent is to be able to raise funds for schooling for the next academic year. And we want to TRY to get 3 of our boys into that truly excellent Catholic school, Dominican Convent School, Moise and Zeng are already there, but I want to get another new young Catholic boy, Dioscor, in there as well, if we can raise enough money to cover him as well. Your current donation will cover one of them (fees plus the extra for uniform, transport and text books). Dibaba, like Shadadi, has always been on a full scholarship, so he is there too of course, but we do not have to pay for him. REgrettably the school simply cannot afford to give us any more full bursaries. They have to keep going, so I do understand. Apart from these fortunate four, the other kids we help just have to go to government schools whose fees are much lower.

May you all be rewarded for your committment in the ways you need it most, and as you so well deserve. Three cheers for you all and ....cheers! Diana

Grad team