Archive for August, 2011
Sr. Kathryn Cliatt, OP is one of the four sisters at St. Clare. She wrote this account.
“Two other girls were brought down from Samburu from the Masan tribe by women in an organization called “One more day for a Child”. This organization was started by a Czech woman and is run locally by Kenyan women. They rescue abused, neglected and endangered girls. The girls they brought, interestingly, both named Evelyn, are tall slender and have beautiful elegant features. They are both 12 years of age; one has been married for two years andone for seven months. They were married to very old men who were beating them because they were not yet pregnant. Both have been circumcised, another horrendous experience. So the girls ran away and the brave women from this organization rescued them, took them to doctors for physicals, obtained the meds for infections and brought them to St. Clare Center.
The first day the girls looked terrified. Neither could speak English nor even Kiswahili. Fortunately there are teachers in the school who speak the Samburu language and could communicate somewhat. I saw them again a week later when I was sitting in one of the first grade classes where they had been placed for initial learning and they both looked at me several times during class with big smiles. They clearly feel safe and cared-for. Slowly they are learning English.”
Since St. Clare Centre began in 2004 a proper sanitation sytem has been a dream. The former cess pool was no longer adequate as more and more girls arrived to the safety of St. Clare. About the only advantage of the long drought is it provided long dry days to pour the cement which will be the septic system for the St. Clare Centre.
Each day, in sweltering heat, the men work from dawn to dusk, pouring the cement.The photos taken by Sr. Kathryn show the cement coming down the chute into the forms. Notice the men precariously balanced on the rebar, directing and packing the cement in the forms.
Once the cement is in place it will take 20 days to cure. During this period it must be kept moist. The well at St. Clare makes this possible. Before this well was dug last year, this whole project would have been impossible due to the lack of water.
When the cement walls are strong enough, the pumps will be installed. Each day we inch closer to the dream of a proper sanitation sytem at St. Clare and all this is made possible by the generosity of so many donors in the States, Canada, Germany and Switzerland.
For two months 26 men and 1 woman have been digging a huge hole. In the past three weeks the workers install rebar and forms for the concrete walls. Last week the work of pouring the walls began.
On the day of the pouring Sr. Kathryn reported the workers arrived at the first glint of daylight and worked until dark and literally ran on the site all day just trying to finish one wall at a time. Sr. Kathryn captured the process on these photos.
The first critical step was to reinforce the wall forms. So hundreds of saplings were cut and pressed between the forms and the earth walls of the hole. See the photo on the left.
Then the workers began the mixing and this called for shoveling rocks, cement, water and sand into the cement mixer. This had to be done quickly, over and over, without a break until the forms were filled. No breaks!
This will be done many times over for there are four exterior walls to this huge tank and then three interior walls which will create four interior tanks through which the waste will pass on its way to be usable grey water.
More on this process in our next posting.
The seven year drought has also impacted the 800 plus children at the Children’s Village. Fr. Riwa has planted all available space in order to increase the food they raise. With the new well he is able to water the crops, by hand, plant by plant. However, the farm never did produce all the food needed and Fr. Riwa always had to purchase about 40% on the market. That option is no longer there because maize does not exist and rice is too expensive to purchase. So Fr. Father Riwa has had to cut the servings in half and the children only have a mixture of beans and corn each meal.
Sr. Kathryn reported for Easter the sisters where able to find one egg for each child at St. Clare and it was a big treat. Yet she also lamented the girls were beginning to show the physical effects of this limited diet. Many were loosing weight. In email an earlier email to us Fr. Riwa noted: “These children are so courageous. They do not complain about the small servings.”
At the urgining of the sisters we have added another dimension to the work of Friends of Kenyan Orphans and added a section called the Emergency Food Fund. Recently donations from the Tom and Carol Cracchiolo Family and friends of Sister Kathryn in Georgia have provided temporary relief and we are grateful to them for their generous hearts.
If anyone wishes to donate to the Emergency Food Fund, just mark it on your check or PayPal entry and we will be sure it is forwarded immediately to Kenya.
The situation is Kenya is made more accute by the thousands of Somalis who are fleeing across the board to escape the terrors and violence in Somalia. They are in refugee camps on the border and the Kenyan government is trying to find ways to feed them. In a country with nothing to give, this is impossible and dangerous. International aids is trying to alleviate this situation but it is never enough for the thousands seeking safety.
Many have asked the effects of the 7 year drought in Kenya upon the Children’s Village. All of East Africa is caught in this drought. First the landscape turns brown, then it becomes a highland desert, then the livestock die and finally the people die, elders and children first.
USAID has been coming into Kenya and the Diocese of Meru is entrusted with distributing food to the Villages in the Meru area. These photos show lorries coming, unloading and rice and beans being unloaded and stored. The Diocese then takes the food to the parishes and it is distributed to the village according to greatest need regardless of religious affiliation. The Catholic Church has been the best conduit for aid over the years and avoids any government corruption.
Of course there is not enough to go around so people just go without eating and live mostly on hope, hope the rains will eventually come. This is a classic case of the effects of global warming. For centuries the people could count on two rains, and they planted between the rains and their little patch of land produced enough maize for the family.
Kenyans do not shop at super markets. They grow what they need on a little patch of overworked overburdened depleted soil. They eat what they grow. That little patch of dirt is their grocery store. They depend on it. When it fails, they go hungry.
In the days ahead I will tell you how Fr. Riwa is shepherding the Chidren’s Village through this national tragedy.
In western Pennsylvania we had the opportunity to present the needs of the Children’s Village to two parishes St. Francis and St. Aloysius in Cresson, which is part of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese. The welome by the pastors, Fr. Val Bradley and Fr. John Byrnes, could not have been more gracious and the parishioners responded most generously. The Friends of Kenyan Orphans found many new friends in Cresson and we are most grateful for their support and welcoming spirit.
Pictured here are Mr. and Mrs. Hine with Sr. Mary Barbara at St. Francis Xavier Church.
Thank you Cresson for your welcome.
Bud and Sue Ozar
How far would $480 go to fed, educate, clothe and shelter a child in the USA??? That is the cost to care for a girl at St. Clare FOR ONE YEAR! To date 81 people people and families have stepped forward to sponsor a child for a year. If your name is not on this list below, PLEASE THINK ABOUT JOINING THESE WONDERFUL PEOPLE AND SPONSOR A GIRL AT ST. CLARE.
THE INFORMATION ON HOW TO BE A SPONSOR IS ON THIS WEBSITE.
THANK YOU TO:
A. Charlotte Ames
B. Toni Babcock / Richard Baks / Jean and Julius Ballew / Marilyn Barnett,OP / Mary Ruth Becker / Mary Margaret Beland / Ed and Fran Benz / Peter Benz / Lugene and Keith Berning / Marion Berry / Mary and Gerry Black / Kelly and David Boll / Catherine Bowe / Christy Bracken / Lorie and Terry Bronson /Hugh and Mary Ellen Buchanan / Clare Burgan / Judy Byron / Mary Byron
C. Miguel and Kristen Chavez / Mark and Julie Cooper / William Cosgrove / Peter and Christine Costantino / Mary Grace Crowley-Koch, /Joan Cunningham.
D. Frank and Dorothy Danchetx / Margaret Devereaux / Veronica Drexler
E. Pam Ellington
F. I and M. Fandanelli / Patty and Dave Feighan / Sandra Fisher / Kathleen Fitzgerald / Nancy Flickinger / Edna Foster / Carol Fowler
G. Beth and Lee Gardella / Tammy Piotrowski and Gesu School / Paul and Evelyn Grandgennett / Grosse Pointe Rotary
H. Sandy Hagenbarth / Diane and Dan Henry / Eric and Elizabeth Hildebrand / Jack Horrigan / Madeline Horrigan
J. Stephanie Jenemann / Dale and Robin Johnson
L. Ted and Carole Ann Lange / Ken Lewis / Janet and David Lewis / Maureen and Sheldon Light / Karen Lizza and Seneca Middle School
M. Wolf and Diane Maennie / Valerie McDonald with Lauren / Erika and Leonard Ellison / John and Mary Helen McGruder / Ali and Sue Montgomery, / Theresa Montgomery
O. Mary O’Donnell /Old St. Joseph Parish /Dennis and Fran Ortman
P. Maureen and Madeline Pence / Jon and Lisa Peracchio Family / Doreen Poupard / Glenda Price
R. Regina High School / Theresa and Gordon Risk / Jean and Charlie Rooney / Caroline Roulier
S. Patricia and Howard Schultz / Charlene Smith / Jessica Smith
U. University of Detroit High School / University of Detroit Mercy Minsitries
W. Elizabeth Walker / Walsh University / Joy and Jack Waters / Kathleen Woods
PLEASE CHECK THIS WEBSITE ON HOW YOU CAN ADD YOUR NAME TO THIS LIST AND BECOME A SPONSOR ALSO. JUST CLICK ON “HOW YOU CAN HELP” AND GO TO THE SPONSORSHIP PAGE.
People marvel we are able to keep operational expenses at 2%. We are able to do this because many wonderful people jump in, grab and oar, and move us forward. Below I am listing 31 of the volunteers who make all this possible. Please thank them when you see them.
Sponsorship: Patricia Harrington Hooper and Sarah Wachiru
Grant Writing: Sara Bingham and Sharon Cure
Website: Jon Jarc, Mary Vanderwalle, Colin Gildea and Kathryn Cliatt, OP
Print and Communication: Bob Pawlak, Rich Laskos, Kathy Partlow, Joanna Porvin and Rebecca Ozar
Development Committee: Glenda Price, Kathy Partlow, Cathy Nordby, Moira Keefer, Patricia Harrington Hooper, Lee Warras and Chris Miller
Administration: Bud and Sue Ozar
Book Keeping and Accounting: Bob Shell, Tom Montgomery , Dave Camilleri and Mary Ward, OP
Board of Directors: Bud and Sue Ozar, Glenda D. Price, Kevin DiDio, Bob Shell and Elizabeth Horrigan Rahtz.
Construction: Norman Peladeau
Envoys to Schools: Matt Rahtz, Karen Lizza, Kathy Partlow and Katie Nowak.
On behalf of the children in Kenya. Thank You!!!!!!!! This would not be happening without your generous hearts.
Last week we traveled to western Pennsylvania to speak at the masses at Sts. Gregory and Barnabas parish, in the Altoona Johnstown Diocese . We were welcomed graciously and extended wonderful hospitality. This was the annual mission appeal for the parish and we felt privileged to be invited to speak to the community about the Children’s Village.
Thank you to the pastor, Fr. Bob Ruston for your kindness and openess to our appeal. It is our hope St. Gregory and Barnabas will create a link with the orphans in Kenya which will continue year after year.
God bless you, Fr. Bob and your wonderful parishioners.
The hole for the septic system was progressing so well and then they struck water. This not drinkable water for it is very salty and turned the site into a mud pit. Everyday it had to be pumped out. But the men and woman continued until they reached the bottom.
Last week the base for the septic tanks was poured and now the rebars are being put in place to create four separate tanks. The waste water from St. Clare will enter one end, be processed through 4 tanks, and exit as grey water usable for irrigation.
What rhymes with “irrigation???” Irritation! The constant seeping of water into the site is a huge irritation and a costly one. If you look at the photo you can see it on the left side of the photo.
The good news is that once the walls for the septic tanks are poured and set, then they can back fill and forget about the water. Until then, they just have to muck it out!