By EDNA ETHINGTON     5/10/2023

St. Irenaeus parishioners recently gathered to raise funds and receive an update on The Maalgo Project- a special project many of them have supported for years.

Parishioners Jim and Mimi Di Rosa and Ruth Burns hosted a fundraiser for The Maalgo School Project on April 22, at the Di Rosa home in Cypress.

Sixty-four guests came out in support – they included parishioners from St. Irenaeus Catholic Church in Cypress, a few parishioners from Holy Family Cathedral in Orange and other friends from the community.

The Maalgo School Project is a non-profit organization with all donations fully tax deductible. Ninety-five percent of funds raised go directly to pay for water, food, school supplies and building supplies.

Fr. Rudolph “Rudy” Alumam, is the founder of The Maalgo School Project, which is set in his home village of Vea, Ghana.

Fr. Rudy started the project in 2005 while he was parochial vicar at St. Bede Catholic Church in Hayward, CA, where he and parishioners helped to raise funds to build a library in Ghana. They also provided lunch items of rice, beans and smoked fish for students, so they would want to come to school and would not go hungry all day.

Fr. Rudy then served as parochial vicar at St. Irenaeus Church from 2015 to 2017. He and parishioners held a school supplies drive at St. Irenaeus which sent 80 boxes of supplies to the schools in the villages in Ghana. St. Irenaeus parishioners continued to support The Maalgo School Project when Fr. Rudy was assigned to Holy Family Cathedral in 2017. In 2018 and 2019, parishioners of both churches worked together to raise funds to send school supplies and school furniture, such as desks.

Maalgo means “progress” and during last month’s fundraiser, Fr. Rudy showed the progress that has been done thus far and is ongoing – in his village of Vea with a visual presentation. Two wells have been dug – one of which is solar powered which provides clean water for families. He also showed students sitting at their new desks as well as the start of construction of the first two-story school in the village. Fr. Rudy also showed the village’s men physically digging the trenches for the school’s foundation by hand. The first level of the school was completed by villagers, but work is needed to finish the second story of the school.

The need for more help is ongoing to finish the job and continue to provide food and school supplies for the students. Anyone interested in helping to provide the necessities of life and to improve the students’ education opportunities, can donate directly online by contacting www.themaalgoproject.org/, or by writing a check to The Maalgo Project, c/o Fr. Rudy Alumam at 566 S. Glassell St., Orange, CA 92866.

Fr. Rudy can also be reached at his e-mail address, [email protected], or [email protected].