In the late 1970’s the Sacred Heart Sisters (RSCJ) joined the effort of the Missionary White Fathers who created Kalungu Girls Training Center (KGTC) in Uganda to provide encouragement, guidance, and practical skill training for the young village women. In the 1980’s the RSCJ were invited by the local Bishop to take over the administration of the school. The sisters expanded the Center to include a full academic curriculum according to the standards of the government secondary schools while maintaining practical skills training for the young women
The school offers an O level course of study for Seniors 1-4, qualifying the young women to go on for professional studies, as well as an A level for Seniors 5-6 which prepares them to sit for the national examinations. The school welcomes young women with all academic capacity who are determined to better their lives and that of their future families. The student body includes refugee girls from south Sudan, Rwanda, orphans from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, as well as local village girls. The legal name from the foundation years is Kalungu Girls Training Center (KGTC), but in recent years it is known as St. Charles Lwanga Senior Secondary School for Girls in honor of one of the many courageous Ugandan martyrs.
The Menard Foundation has made on-going contributions to the school for the improvement of its aging school compound and renovation of kitchen, library, and roof; purchase of rain water tanks; improvement of the educational programs; and substantial financial aid. About one fourth of the students receive tuition aid. Many of these girls have lost one or both of their parents. Others are from extremely poor and struggling families. Without this assistance they would not be able to attend the school, develop their gifts, and unfold the hopes that nestle deep in their hearts.
Besides the KGTC in Uganda the Menard Family Foundation has assisted with the following:
Polytechnic in Chekalini Village, western Kenya
This Center staffed by the Religious of the Sacred Heart provides classes in practical skills for young women who are not able to receive a formal school education. The skills of tailoring, sewing, knitting, embroidery, computer, English, along with Christian education will enable the women to support themselves and families. The Menard Family Foundation gave a start up grant for the initial equipment.
Village Dispensary in Chekalini Village, western Kenya
This 25 year old Dispensary founded by the Religious of the Sacred Heart provides a compassionate environment for basic, immediate, emergency health services and diagnostic assessment, prenatal and birthing support, AIDS survivors support, and mobile clinic outreach in this very rural setting. The Menard Family Foundation provided Grants for building renovation, water tanks, and medical equipment
thus enabling the clinic to expand its services.
Sacred Heart primary School, Kyamusansala, Uganda
This rural residential school begun in 2003 is owned and operated by the Religious of the Sacred Heart, Uganda-Kenya Province. The spirit and philosophy of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) educational tradition permeates the school. It is situated in a poor rural area of the country so that more village girls will have a better opportunity for a good education and hope-filled future. There are approximately 550 students and yearly the Menard Family Foundation has provided scholarships for the orphaned children in need
This rural school serves extremely poor children who are thirsty for an education. The school’s lunch program may well be their one meal of the day. The Menard Family Foundation gave a Grant for renovation of the school’s sanitation facility and other school needs, increasing momentum for the improvement and expansion of this school facility. The Sisters were asked to take over its administration in 1998 with 80 students. The school population has grown to 1100.
St. Charles Senior Secondary School , Kalungu, Uganda
Grant for Scholarships, rain water tanks, educational programs,
This Catholic Residential School, administered by the Religious of the Sacred Heart, offers a solid A and O level education as well as practical arts curriculum for 425 girls in rural Uganda. Many students are orphaned, from highly vulnerable local families, with some refugees. Grantee for 7 years.
St. Bernadette’s primary School, Uganda
Grant for renovation of the school sanitation facility
This Parish catholic school, administered by the Religious of the Sacred Heart, is in a very poor rural area out side Jinja Town, Uganda. The small school hosts 700 youngsters who are thirsty for an education. Grantee for 1 year.