St. Irenaeus parishoners host MAALGO School Project Fundraiser

Photo by Edna Ethington Pictured at the April 22, 2023, Fundraiser for The Maalgo School Project, at the Cypress home of Jim and Mimi Di Rosa are, left to right, the hosts Mimi and Jim Di Rosa, Fr. Rudy Alumam, Betty Borowski, and co-host Ruth Burns. The women are holding bags and a fan made of straw by the villagers of Vea, Ghana.

St. Irenaeus parishioners Jim and Mimi Di Rosa and Ruth Burns hosted a fundraiser for The Maalgo School Project on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at the Di Rosa home in Cypress. St. Irenaeus parishioners Matt and Susan McDowell registered 64 guests who came to support The Maalgo School Project. The guests included parishioners from St. Irenaeus Catholic Church in Cypress, a few parishioners from Holy Family Cathedral in Orange, and some friends of the Di Rosas.

Guests were served with a variety of appetizers prepared by hostess Mimi Di Rosa, Ruth Burns, Betty Borowski, and Elaine Brewster. Wine, beer, water, and sodas were available for everyone to enjoy with all the special hors d’oeuvres while they listened to music playing in the background.

Host Jim Di Rosa welcomed everyone in the family room area of his home. He said that The Maalgo School Project is a 501© 3 non-profit organization with Tax ID 27-4069272, with all donations fully tax deductible. He said that 95% of funds that are raised for the Maalgo School Project goes directly to pay for water, food, school supplies and building supplies. Jim said that founder of the project and Board members receive no salary. He introduced the project’s founder, Fr. Rudolph “Rudy” Alumam, to update current information about The Maalgo School Project in Rudy’s home village of Vea, Ghana.

Fr. Rudy started the Maalgo 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, or smoked fish, for students, so they would want to come to school and would not go hungry all day.

Fr. Rudy served as parochial vicar at St. Irenaeus Church from 2015 to 2017. Fr. Rudy and St. Irenaeus parishioners held a School Supplies Drive at St. Irenaeus and 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 moved 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.

Serving African food at the fundraiser.
Photo by Edna Ethington

MAALGO means “PROGRESS” in the African language, and Fr. Rudy showed the progress in work that has been done and is ongoing in his village of Vea with a visual presentation. Two wells have been dug in Vea, and Fr. Rudy showed one well that is solar powered which provides clean water for families. He also showed students sitting in their new desks, and the start of construction of the first Brand New two-story school in Vea. Fr. Rudy also showed village’s men physically digging the trenches for the school’s foundation by hand and not with machines. 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.

Fr. Rudy said that the Nsor family from St. Irenaeus, who originally came from Nigeria, and the Judkin family from Ontario, provided the African food at the fundraiser. The food included Jollof Rice, cooked in tomato sauce with spices, Baked Chicken with seasoning, and Puff-puff, the African version of a donut. Additional food of Spinach with Smoked Turkey Sauce, and Fried Plantain, came later. Some people were able to try the two African style dishes and even took some home!

There is still a great need for donations to help supporters of THE MAALGO SCHOOL PROJECT to fulfill the motto of: “Supporting education through sustainable change in poor rural communities of Ghana in the name of Jesus Christ.” The students in the village of Vea, Ghana, still need financial help to be assured of having enough water, food, school supplies, and the completion of their only village school.

Persons interested in helping to provide these necessities of life and to improve the students education opportunities, can donate directly online by contacting, or by writing a check written 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,, or