Coronavirus at Mary Ward Schools
The school in Vicenza, Italy, was the first Mary Ward school world-wide that had to close because of the coronavirus. Not very soon afterwards, many others were following! 
Here are some thoughts about the time in lockdown, sent in by teacher Andrea Vezzaro. Many thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
24 Feb 2020 - This week is special for us in Italy: all schools will be closed. I ask you to pray for the sick, for the doctors and nurses of all the countries involved. May God protect us in such a difficult time.
8 March 2020 - Tomorrow begins the third week with the closure of schools in Italy. I ask you for a prayer for our students, for their families, for our teachers and for those who work in Mary Ward schools all over the world.
18 March 2020 - The emergency is now worldwide and we are all experiencing difficult days and weeks. Personally, without meeting my students, I am depressed ....
23 March 2020 - We have reached the fifth week of closure. We continue to entrust our foundress Mary Ward: our prayers for the Holy Virgin Mary. For the good of our elders and our community.
30 March 2020 - This is the sixth week of closing of schools in Italy. The educational activities continue. Our school in Vicenza is in constant connection with our students, every day there are lessons online.
6 April 2020 - The Italian government is evaluating the possibility of continuing distance learning until the end of the year. Not seeing my pupils is really difficult, but we will do it! The fundamental point is the health of everybody.

South Sudan has been named as the toughest nation in the world for girls to receive an education, with nearly three-quarters failing to attend even primary school, according to an index published this week.
Nine of the top 10 most difficult nations for girls to be educated are in sub-Saharan Africa. Afghanistan, which has the highest level of gender disparity in primary school, is the only non-African country to make the list, ranking in fourth place. Some countries – including Somalia and Syria – could not be included on the list as they had insufficient data about girls and education rates. Although many school-age boys in conflict zones, including the 10 countries listed, often fail to attend class, in some nations the gender gap is particularly striking. In Central African Republic, for example, nearly twice as many girls (38%) are out of school as boys (20%).
Research shows that girls who are not educated are more at risk of poverty, child marriage, violence and prone to diseases, including HIV and Aids.
South Sudan has the worst record for educating girls – 73% of girls do not go to primary school, and the government spends just 2.6% of its total budget on education
The 10 toughest places for a girl to get an education. Scores out of 100, based on 11 indicators including literacy rate
South Sudan                               15.93
Central African Republic               17.75
Niger                                           21.5
Afghanistan                                 23.51
Chad                                           26.16
Mali                                            29.28
Guinea                                        30.35
Burkina Faso                               33.03
Liberia                                         36.2
Ethiopia                                       36.79
Source: The One Campaign
Taken from: The Guardian, 17 October 2017

Did you know that there is a Mary Ward School in South Sudan?! Sister Orla and her team are doing amazing work in a very tough environment.