Page 3, 1st October 1965

1st October 1965
Page 3
Page 3, 1st October 1965 — FOOD FOR MOUNTAIN CHILDREN
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Organisations: Catholic mission
People: R. GORDON ASH
Locations: Mashai

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FOOD FOR MOUNTAIN CHILDREN

MR. GORDON ASH, an Oxfam official who has just returned from the drought-stricken areas of Africa, in some of which this is the fourth or fifth year without proper rainfall, sends this report on the work of a Catholic mission in the Basutoland mountains: The people in the remote village of Mashai, some 6,000 feet up in the Drakensberg Mountains, are having a desperately hard year. The long period of drought. followed by and extremely severe winter, has brought hunger and suffering. ln their hour of crisis they have reason to be thankful to Fr. Rhcal Cousineau, 0.M.I., who for seven years has been parish priest at St. 1 eresa's Mission.

abovethe village and, from the air,

mountainside. We flee there very early in the morning because the pilot had to make a landing at the mission airstrip before the glare of the sun, rising over the mountain peaks, made it impossible. There to greet us at the strip was Fr. Rhcal. well e rapped up to face the morning cold, and he and the six Basuthu sisters who reside at the mission gave us an enthusiastic -welcome ...

"He supervises the feeding of 270 children and 100 boy shepherds each day. Through six out-stations in his mountainous parish. and with help from Oxfam, he manages to feed a total of 1,300 children daily. Similar feeding schemes are being carried out at other mountain mission stations.

LITTLE FOR ADULTS "Fr. Cousineau said that at the moment he could do very little for the adults, though they, too, were hungry. Though some rain had fallen recently and the snow was melting, no crops could be harvested before next March or April.

-We saw the shepherd boys corning in after a cold night tending their flocks. \\ rapped only in a single thin blanket against the cold, and saw how badly they needed the cup of soup that was ready for them at the mission kitchen." "The mission stands 800 feet




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