What is the Edmund Rice Developing World Immersion Programme?

Edmund Rice schools provide opportunities for teachers and students  to connect with communities in the developing world. This programme, known as the Immersion Programme, reflects our mission as  Catholic schools and indeed  is a unique and inspirational expression of the Edmund Rice ethos.

The Edmund Rice Developing World Immersion Programme was begun by the Christian Brothers and has been further developed by the Edmund Rice Schools Trust. This programme affords the opportunity for our schools to connect with Christian Brother, and other communities in the Developing World, and, in doing so, forge relationships of radical solidarity, mutual affirmation and friendship with marginalised people made poor.

The emphasis at all times is “on being with” not on “seeing and passing through”. It is important that people meet each other as equals and avail of the opportunity to explore cultures, understand ways of life and enter into lasting friendships. Taking the word “immersion” in its literal sense,  it is about immersing into the culture of the host community, living like them and experiencing their way of life for the duration of the visit.

Whereas fund raising to provide resources and donations to fund projects may well form part of a school’s Immersion Programme and will be welcomed in the host communities it must not be seen as the purpose of the project.

Why undertake an Immersion Project?

Through the Immersion experience students will have opportunities for personal, social and spiritual growth. By awakening our students to the realities of life in developing countries and by exposing them to the injustices and inequalities inherent in those societies we are helping to form a new generation with a social conscience, a sense of  fairness and justice and hopefully a desire and commitment to make a change in the world.

  • Personal Development

Through the Immersion Programme participants will grow and develop personally through opportunities to:

  • Work in a team
  • reflect on and articulate their emotions
  • develop the skill of thinking critically and expressing opinions
  • become aware of their own skills and talents, and those of others.


  • Social Development

Through the Immersion Programme participants will

  • develop a generosity of spirit, compassion and friendship with those less well off
  • build on their understanding of the causes of poverty, human rights, justice and environmental issues.
  • Become aware of their own potential to act on issues of social and environmental justice.


  • Spiritual Development

Through the Immersion Programme participants will

  • be inspired by the life and good deeds of Blessed Edmund
  • be invited to be faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ and to live by gospel values
  • be encouraged to grow in their own faith while at the same time respecting and celebrating a diversity of beliefs.
  • Reflect on the meaning of their own lives and on how they can achieve their full potential


“Edmund opened his whole heart  to the poor. Compassion was at the heart of what Edmund was about.”  Br Philip Pinto, (May 2012).