The girls from St. Clare Centre for Girls are actively involved in several competitions once again. Mr. Kaberia, the Deputy Principal, composed and directed the choral verse that the girls recited in Swahili. These drama festivals are tough because St. Clare competes with school that invest so much in terms of costumes, backdrops and professional trainers. And yet, the St. Clare girls earned third place. In addition, several other girls presented a Giriama cultural dance in the district drama festivals this past February. They too took third place. (Madam Sarah, St. Clare’s administrator, is the one who taught the girls this dance.)
The 2014 Lenten Campaign was a great success, bringing in $16,000.00 for sustainable agriculture for St. Clare Centre for Girls. Making crop production sustainable at St. Clare is one of Father Riwa’s priorities. Ingeniously, Father looks at all the stalks (maize, tomatoes, squash, etc.) that are left over after the harvest. Because stalks always remain, Father has taken to getting a “second harvest” from them. He and his staff grind up all the stalks to create a type of flour. Right now this is being done by hand. Eventually, Father hopes to purchase a regular small mill to grind these remnants into flour. With some of this, they feed the pigs, but also create small pellets for food for the fish fingerlings. With no waste, crops are grown to feed the children, and flour is a by-product that keeps the pigs and fish fed. It is a win-win situation.
Again this year, Truda Dearie Frekko (one of Sue Ozar’s college friends) and her grandchildren decided to do a lemonade stand to benefit the girls at St Clare Centre for Girls. Because the venture was so successful in 2013, Truda’s grandchildren were excited to repeat their project. Setbacks aside (rain every day), they caught a lucky break when the weather drastically improved. The grandchildren had so much fun with their lemonade stand, which included meeting many interesting people who stopped by. When the lemonade drinkers saw a poster of the St. Clare girls, many of them opened up their wallets. Landscape crews on their way home from work stopped and enjoyed the lemonade with the children. Raising $100.00, Truda’s grandchildren had fun and benefited St. Clare Centre at the same time.
Earlier this summer, Bud and Sue Ozar traveled once again to the Diocese of Johnstown, Pennsylvania to speak to folks there about St. Clare Centre for Girls. On this trip, they spoke at Resurrection Parish in Johnstown. Resurrection is a parish that was created six years ago when six ethnic parishes were combined. The parish now includes Irish, German, Polish, Croatian, Slovak and Hungarian parishioners who ancestors came to Pennsylvania to work in the steel mills in the 1800s. Once again the people of Pennsylvania were open to hearing about St. Clare Centre and also offering financial support. Asante Johnstown-ers for your care and support of the wonderful St. Clare girls.
During their visit to St. Clare Centre for Girls in February 2014, Bud Ozar and Rich Horrigan spent time seeing the tilapia ponds and other fishponds Father Riwa has developed with Friends of Kenyan Orphans’ support. Bud and Rich were pleased to see that over 90% of the ponds are highly successful. In addition, Father is using two of the ponds to experiment with catfish. These fish grow fast and are large. As a result, Father uses the fish to feed the girls as well as selling some in the local markets. With the funds he generates, Father is able to buy other foods that he is unable to grow. Bud and Rich also spent some time visiting the on-site greenhouses at St. Clare. In these greenhouses different kinds of vegetables are growing which are then used to enhance the diets of the girls at St. Clare. Finally, they walked in the gardens where bananas, mangos and paw paws are also growing well. Many of the mangos the girls eat come from the tree, which is the original spot where Father first began helping Meru’s street children.