We continue our 5 part series of St. Clare girls telling their own stories. Our focus here is on Samburu (home to the Samburu people in north central Kenya) and Machakos (a city of poverty near Nairobi).
Diana (her name has been changed) age 14 is from Samburu in Northern Kenya. She was orphaned at a very young age so she lived with her grandmother. They were very poor so they had little food and no money for school fees. As is the custom in Samburu, in order to secure a dowry of a few sheep and some sugar, Grandmother planned for Diana’s marriage. Her aunt intervened, said NO and arranged to bring Diana to St Clare. With great determination Diana continued “After my education at St Clare I want to be a nurse to help other girls BUT not in Samburu. I want to pick my own husband and not be told who to marry.” She concluded,” St Clare has saved my life”
Nine year old Nancy (not her real name) comes from Machakos, an area south east of Nairobi. Although Nancy has parents and 6 brothers with whom she lived in Machakos, her father brought her to St Clare when she was 7 years old. Nancy NEVER returns to her home area to visit. If she were to go ‘home’ for even a few days Nancy would be forced to beg on the streets for something to eat. Some girls take shelter at St Clare to escape extreme poverty, with Nancy being one of these children. She appears to be exceptionally bright so with the care and good resources of St Clare she now has a chance for a future.