Friday, August 1, 2008

Bishop Boland Gives a Push to Indian School Project

An Irish school teacher just finished riding his bike across the U.S. to raise money for a school in India from benefactors around Tipperary, Ireland. It sounds like a needlessly complicated fundraising scheme, but at the end of his ride, Richard Walsh has ensured two or three years education for 200 of the poorest children in northeast India – children who otherwise would have no recourse to education.

Bishop Emeritus Raymond Boland met with Walsh as the very fit, 62-year old teacher was passing through St. Joseph on his way to Providence, Rhode Island from San Francisco. Bishop Boland stopped by to lend moral support and also chat about people and places in the town of his birth.

Though raised in Cork, Bishop Boland was born in Tipperary Town and even spent his second year in the Irish equivalent of high school there while living at his grandmother’s house. Walsh is a teacher in the same school Bishop Boland attended from 1945-1946. Supporting the education of children in Shilong, India is both an outreach and an immersion program for Tipperary’s Abbey Christian Brothers’ School.

The Tipperary school’s outreach in Shilong began as a small, part-time tutoring program for the poor in 2000. Now a full-time educational institution, Providence School of Shilong educates 200 in a regular academic program along with vocational training.

Walsh completed his trip on July 28 and blogged about it all along. You can find his final post here. Scroll down and click for older posts to see about his ride through Missouri and meeting with Bishop Boland.

Information about supporting the school is at the bottom of this page. Lots more information about the project is available at the Abbey India main page. Inquiries about supporting the school can also be made by emailing Richard Walsh.