Coordinating a family get-together can be tough in 2019 with competing schedules and commitments, but one longtime St Jude’s supporter decided to tempt his family with travel, inviting 11 of them on a trip of a lifetime to Arusha, Tanzania to visit a place very close to his heart.
Brian Moloney has been involved with The School of St Jude for 15 years, sponsoring two students’ academic scholarships as well as supporting additional boarding and transport costs.
His friendship with Gemma and the school has had such a profound impact on the Australian from Canterbury in Victoria that he and his wife wanted to share the experience with their children and grandchildren.
“I saw Gemma on the ABC and I was so taken back I started sponsoring a student’s scholarship. Visiting here I am so impressed where the money goes. Students are dressed well, the campus is spotless, the food is great, the opportunities everyone is given, it’s just outstanding,” Brian said standing next to one the school buses he helps maintain.
Brian is passionate about the ethos of giving back to those in need and wants to instill that idea in the next generation.
“I think it’s very important that Australians get behind the school as Tanzania is a country that is struggling and there is a lot of unemployment. This is an opportunity to change that, we could help make the future very bright.”
Part of that future is Brian’s granddaughter, Georgia, who’s already planning to follow in the footsteps of her Pa after visiting St Jude’s.
“Being here has opened my eyes. I’ve grown up with Pa sponsoring the students’ scholarships, I’ve seen all the letters and photos so it’s been amazing to actually be here with him. The highlight has been seeing the resilience of the students who have done it tough. I want to come here more times in my life and keep up the connection to St Jude’s,” Georgia shared while enjoying lunch with the students.
For Brian’s daughter the family’s jam-packed itinerary visiting the homes of St Jude’s students, joining them in extracurricular classes and exploring the wider community has been life changing.
“Thank God dad saw Gemma on the TV and he’s been able to share this school with us. This trip has been a big wake up call for me. St Jude’s has really embraced our family. The students are respectful, disciplined, keen and are invigorated by coming to the school,” Brian’s daughter Danielle reflected.
While St Jude’s has over 1,500 visitors each year, the majority coming between May and September over high season, this special intergenerational interaction was one to remember, bringing together the past and the future.
It’s safe to say the whole Moloney family are on board with Brian’s retirement plan to use his newfound spare time to fundraise for St Jude’s, after seeing the educational institution’s impact and their grandfather’s contribution come to life for themselves.
Brian and the Moloney family can see the change’ St Jude’s is creating. Join them and visit St Jude’s to see firsthand the impact that people from all over the world have achieved together, changing the lives of 1,800 students, over 500 graduates and 290 staff and their families.