Archive for January, 2012
Earlier we told the story of Jane who was brought to Father Riwa by volunteers Marilyn and John Parker. Born with a defect that caused a severe limp, Jane had corrective surgery, which was completely successful. Focusing on healing, Jane has made remarkable strides and is well on her way to a full recovery. Jane is pictured here standing on her own without the use of her crutches. Continued good health, Jane.
Another member of the group of volunteers heading to the Children’s Village next month is Jack Horrigan. Jack Horrigan and children fit together on many levels. The oldest of eight children, Jack is the father of six, grandfather of eleven, and proud great-grandfather of one, Livi (pictured here with Jack). Jack has been a personal and financial supporter of the children at St. Clare from the very beginning. In addition, he was one of the very first sponsors. By going to Kenya, Jack will be seeing first hand what he has been supporting for the last six years.
Friends of Kenyan Orphans will be the beneficiary of Kroger Stores, with your help. Kroger offers its “Community Rewards Program” (Kroger will donate to the shopper’s registered charity) to folks who shop at Kroger. All you need is a Kroger Plus Card (which can be obtained at any Kroger customer service counter for free), and the number 90964. Armed with these two things, you can sign up on line and Kroger will earmark a percentage of your purchases to go directly to Friends of Kenyan Orphans. Click on the Kroger Plus Card logo above, and go directly to the web site where you can sign up. Once you are signed up, all you have to do is swipe your Kroger Plus card when you shop and you will see how much will be sent to Friends of Kenyan Orphans. (FYI: Anyone using Kroger Community Rewards must re-sign up every April.) By taking a few minutes to sign up, you can make a real difference for the girls at St. Clare Center.
Over the holidays, the forty eight girls who remained at St. Clare enjoyed a safari to Sweetwaters. Boarding buses, the St. Clare girls, matrons, kitchen staff and Adrian sisters traveled to Sweetwaters, on the other side of Mount Kenya where all had a wonderful time on “safari.” Sweetwaters, host to the “Big Five,” the elephant, rhino, lion, water buffalo and hippo, has the only chimpanzee sanctuary in Kenya.
The end of the school year at St. Clare Centre for Girls was hectic, but wonderful. The girls enjoyed a school assembly as they celebrated the end of their school year (which ends in December in Kenya).
Joining the group traveling to Kenya in February are Andy and Cathy Cahill from Central Jersey near the Jersey Shore. Cathy is a pediatric nurse practitioner and will work with children who are HIV/AIDS positive. Andy is an investment manager for FirstCity Crestone, LLC and will focus on creating a video and photographic record of St. Clare.
The Cahills will join three others and spend two weeks at the St. Clare campus of the Children’s Village lending their skills and expertise to improve the life of the children and lend their skills to the staff.
The Cahills depart from New Jersey on February 10 and will return on February 26.
Twenty little girls between ages six and ten will be arriving at St. Clare from an IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) Camp. These girls have languished in the camp since the post 2007 election violence. They will come to St. Clare with absolutely nothing except nightmarish experiences of the deaths of their parents in the violence and the abuse suffered in the camp. The girls already at St. Clare will embrace the new girls as their new sisters, teach them the school rules, community expectations and assure that each little one will have what she needs. While the four Dominican sisters and administration worry about where the basic essentials (underwear, jeans, shirts, sweaters, shows) will come from, the St. Clare girls know that God will provide donations for everything that is needed.
Michigan Governor Rick Synder has appointed Glenda Price to the State Review Team. (This team is charged with reviewing the finances of Detroit to see if an emergency manager needs to be appointed to take over control of the city.)
Growing up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Glenda has Pennsylvania roots like Sue Ozar. Glenda’s credentials speak for themselves. She taught at Temple University (Philadelphia) , served as provost at Spelman College (Atlanta) and was president of Marygrove College (Detroit). In addition, Glenda serves as the chair of Focus Hope’s Board of Directions, has served as interim president of the Michigan Colleges Foundation and director of LaSalle Bank.
A strong supporter of Friends of Kenyan Orphans, Dr. Glenda Price, has been involved from the very beginning. In 2010, Dr. Price traveled with us to Kenya, is a sponsor for one of the girls at St. Clare, serves as a director on our board and chairs our Fund Development Committee.
Congratulations are in order for Glenda. Friends of Kenyan Orphans is proud of you and happy for Detroit and for Michigan to have someone of your talents working to solve this difficult and controversial task. You bring clear thinking, experience and sensitivity to all you serve.
Sister Kathryn, one of the Adrian Dominican sisters, at St. Clare (pictured above with one of the St. Clare girls) offers some wonderful thoughts about the girls at St. Clare. She says, “They are the heart of this thriving community. They embody the love and trust that continues to call forth the best that each of us [the four Adrian Dominican sisters] has to offer. In response to them, Sister Christa counsels individuals, small groups and teachers to work through their pain and troubled spots. Sister Maurine has drawn from their souls incredible works of art with the simplest of materials and even when they and others think that real art is not possible. Sister Renee, along with a group, “the garden club,” has created a beautiful and productive shamba (garden) that surrounds our home. These girls who have endured such suffering, such deprivation and poverty in their lives, have learned to expect nothing, demand nothing, and yet their very presence invites people into their lives even if for just a little while. They have accepted and loved us, though we are white. They love in spite of all the abandonment they have faced. They also have learned to hope and believe that if they can focus, study, get an education, they will be able to make a better life for themselves and for Kenya. They talk of being the future leaders of Kenya, and it thrills my heart, for I believe that some of them will be just that.”
The new year presents a new challenge. Since 2004 the focus has been on constructing a building. Now that the building is almost complete, for the first time the focus is on acquiring a sponsor for each child. At this time we have 103 sponsors for 340 girls, presenting us a new challenge for 2012, a challenge we hope you will accept with us.
As we close 2011, we are most grateful to all our donors who have make St. Clare possible. We are especially grateful to all the wonderful donors who responded to our Famine Relief Fund and provided food for the children at St. Clare.
We enter 2012 with confidence, knowing you are walking this mission with us.
We wish you a year of grace, peace and health.
Bud and Sue Ozar