Thanks to last year’s generous donations to FOKO’s Lenten initiative, St. Clare now has 22 active fishponds. These ponds are vital in providing the girls with another source of protein and balancing their diets. Father Riwa now hopes to convert several of these ponds to raising fingerlings so that he will no longer need to purchase them. This way, he will be able to provide the girls with fish weekly.
Continuing his goal of making St. Clare self-sustaining in terms of food, Father Riwa, is now working to increase arable land for farming. In addition, he plans to increase greenhouse production. At this point, he has already improved food sustainability from 40% to 60%! This year’s Lenten initiative is focusing on helping him achieve his goal of 100% sustainability.
As we make our Lenten journey, please know that the girls are truly grateful for your kindness and generosity. Your support provides them with a safe, caring environment, a place they can call home.
Will you help him achieve 100% by donating to the 2014 Lenten Initiative?
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” -MATTHEW 25:35
Several St. Clare elementary students drew pictures to thank you for your support. Enjoy!
In the past few weeks, Father Riwa has welcomed some new residents at St. Clare Centre for Girls. The authorities in Meru and local environs have clamped down more seriously on the children living on the streets. When the officials do this, life for the street children becomes nearly impossible as law enforcement does everything to remove them. As a result, Father answered the call once again and brought several more young women to the safety of St Clare.
Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan is providing a tuition scholarship for one of the students at St. Clare School for Girls. Purity, one of the top two students in Form 4 at St. Clare, is the recipient of the scholarship. Purity is a very intelligent young woman who has worked hard to succeed academically.
Sister Peg Albert, the President of Siena Heights University, generously offered a four-year tuition scholarship for Purity. That, coupled with a generous donor covering room/ board for four years, enables Purity to receive an outstanding education at Siena Heights University. Friends of Kenyan Orphans is grateful to the Sister Peg Albert, Siena Heights, and our donor for providing Purity with this wonderful educational opportunity.
Doreen, another Form 4 student who is preparing for graduation, tells about the impact of St. Clare on her life.
“St Clare is like my mother and my father because it gives me all that I need. I study well, sleep well, eat well and am safe. I appreciate St. Clare for her lovely heart and I thank everyone who has contributed to St. Clare. Because of you, St. Clare does well and our lives are comfortable and better.”
Soap for Hope, created by Addy, a student from New Jersey, has been actively raising funds for St. Clare Centre for Girls. Since we first reported on Addy and her friends who make soap, largely from goats’ milk, Soap for Hope has expanded. Addy goes to Farmers’ Markets, Fairs and small shops in her area to sell her hand made soap, which is all natural in addition to being most effective. Though she sells her soaps locally, she now has a website (http://www.soapforhopenj.com) and is willing to ship her wares throughout the U.S. This year Addy’s efforts raised over $1300 for St. Clare Centre. Asante sana, Addy, for your willingness to help these young women.
Safari 2014 will find Bud and Sue taking three board members to St. Clare. These board members will see first hand how things are progressing at St. Clare.
Accompanying Bud and Sue are Doreen Poupard, Sue Montgomery and Rich Horrigan.
Doreen, and Sue Montgomery will work with Sue Ozar on sponsorship connections, taking photos of the sponsored girls and assisting the girls in writing letters to their sponsors. Doreen and Sue Montgomery will also be taking photographs of the girls as they go about their daily activities, and gathering information from the girls which will be used for FOKO’s promotional work. In addition, Sue Ozar, Sue Montgomery and Dorreen will have time with the older girls regarding the girls’ future hopes for college or skills’ training. Further, the entire group will observe the day-to-day operations and running of St. Clare, meeting with the principal and director.
Rich Horrigan, a Colorado businessman, will work with Bud. They will be looking at St. Clare’s greenhouses, building and other projects FOKO funds. In addition, Bud and Rich will explore the possibilities for using solar power at St. Clare.
Finally, all five will meet with the Advisory Committee, which was set up last year. This committee includes a group of community leaders set up to work with Father Riwa. It will help FOKO here in the U.S. identify and see the needs of St. Clare and the girls there.
This is a banner year for St. Clare Centre for Girls. In November, St. Clare will graduate its first high school (secondary) class. Many of these young women are among the original girls Father took to his village. Truly they are his PIONEERS.
Along with this new era come new responsibilities. What will these young women now do? As a result, Friends of Kenyan Orphans is invested in assisting the girls with education and training post graduation. A very generous donor is giving $10,000 matching funds to begin a campaign for this purpose.
We are so very proud of the St. Clare young women and most grateful to our donor.
Madam Sarah Wambui recently sent some important information. Madam Sarah provided the results of the 2013 Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) results for the 8th grade girls at St. Clare. The students in class 8 prepared long and hard for these exams and their hard work paid off. Scoring highest in English (the third language for the girls), their mean score for all their exams put them second in the Tigania district, an area of approximately 60 primary schools. Truly the scores show the quality of education the girls at St. Clare receive.
Congratulations to the staff, teachers and class 8 students at St. Clare. Your hard work and dedication has paid off.
January 2014 began the new school year at St. Clare Centre for Girls. When the last school year ended in December, many of the girls were able to visit their home villages to spend time with people there. It is important for the children to stay connected to their roots. However, not all of the girls made such trips, as it was not safe for them. Often there is not even an extended family member to welcome a child to her home village. About forty girls did stay to celebrate Christmas at St Clare. And now the girls are studying hard as their school year is off to a good start!
Last year, teachers, Sue Ozar and Kathy Partlow, taught the Civil Rights’ Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the students in form 2 (sophomores) at St. Clare. The students listened to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and then wrote their own “I Have a Dream” pieces using Dr. King as their model.
This week we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, his life and his message. Below are lines from individual essays written by the students at St. Clare about their dreams for their world.
“I have a dream today.”
-“I have a dream that people will live together as brothers and sisters with the boundaries of racism ending.”
-“I have a dream that people will learn to love each other as brothers and sisters discouraging racism.”
-“I have a dream that both blacks and whites, rich and poor can exist in peace side by side.”
-“I have a dream that equal rights for both genders will exist so all people can prosper.”
-“I have a dream that all women will have power and see what they can do.”
-“I have a dream that all people will be given equal rights and responsibilities.”
-“I have a dream that my country will have good political leaders who will rule with courage and dignity.”
“I have a dream today.
This is my hope and this is my faith.”