(Written by the older girls at St. Clare Centre for Girls)
I wish to share my thoughts with other Kenyans and people from different countries and continents who read this article. For me, “rule” is a governing principle in which everyone in a country is expected to obey the laws, including powerful people, military leaders, parents, and family members in a prescribed and correct manner. It is not an option, but is something to which people must assent.
In school, students try to obey their administrators, headmistresses/headmasters, teachers, prefects and each other. Following the rules is very important in our daily lives. We follow rules to avoid punishments and for our lives and studies to run smoothly. Teachers encourage students to follow the rules in order to succeed. Students must focus, study hard and “burn the midnight oil” in order to do well with their examinations.
Rules help a person be a good model and a successful person. Every successful person has practiced discipline and obedience. This motivates me so that I can achieve my goals.
A leader is someone who is responsible for others. In Kenya, we know of leaders and some include: Father Francis Limo Riwa, our director, from Tanzania. There is Mwai Kibaki, the third president of Kenya and Barak Obama, the U.S. president. I have read newspapers and books and discovered what are the qualities of a good leader. Some of the qualities are: faithful and fair to all, honesty, hardworking, humility, generosity, being friendly, kindness, goal oriented, courageous, polite, loyal, trustworthy, respectful and compassionate.
How can a person become a leader in Kenya or anywhere? Be a role model, and a person of integrity. Take care of school property and follow schools rules. When talking to people, be respectful to those who are older and to colleagues.
By Agnes Alex M.
Some of the secondary students at St Clare participate in an after school class called photo/journalism. Under the direction of Sister Kathryn, the girls take photos of and write narratives about timely events and issues affecting their lives at St Clare and Kenya in general. Sister Sue (pictured above) has been busy organizing the photos for display.
From March 16- April 20, 2013 some of these photos will be exhibited at Swords Into Plowshares Peace Gallery (33 E. Adams) in downtown Detroit. Save the date as this promises to be an excellent exhibit.
Several young primary girls from St. Clare Girls’ Centre along with their teacher, Mr. Musyimi have caught Father Riwa’s focus on creating food sustainability. Under the guidance of Mr. Musyimi, over thirty primary school girls at St. Clare Centre began a “tomato club.” They planted tomato seeds on a seedbed. Approximately 1,500 seedlings were later transplanted into a small garden. After planting these seedlings, the club members and Mr. Musyimi took care of them each day. The care of the tomato plants was challenging due to interference from chickens, pests and diseases. The tomatoes had to be watered daily and sprayed frequently. In addition, it became very tempting to just grab a fresh tomato from the garden and take a secret bite.
With the help of their teacher, Madam Catherine, and Sister Renee, the girls in Class 5 (5th grade) made their own rosaries. (Sister Renee’s brother, Owen and his wife, Sandy, supplied the materials for the project.) The girls at St. Clare say the rosary every day as part of their evening prayers.
Because God hears their prayers, prayer is so very important to the girl. One of the girls, Saferina Kuraki, wrote, “We believe in prayer and we believe everything is possible with prayer.” Saferina said that when the girls began making the rosaries, they thought it was difficult, but now they find it easy and enjoy doing it in their spare time.
Because the building of St. Clare is complete, Friends of Kenyan Orphans is now focusing on the care and feeding of the girls at St. Clare Centre. In an effort to become self sufficient in the care and feeding of the children at St. Clare, Father Riwa is developing fisheries at The Children’s Village. In addition to his farmland and greenhouse food, these fisheries will provide a nutritious protein supply and contribute to a more balanced diet for all at St. Clare. Thus, Father’s fisheries are a perfect project for Friends of Kenyan Orphans to support.
Lent is traditionally a time for more sacrifice and often focuses on fish. Help us fill the fishponds.
- $25 will provide 5 fish
- $50 will provide 10 fish
- $100 will provide 20 fish
- $250 will provide 50 fish
- $500 will provide 100 fish
- $1000 will provide 250 fish
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:1-15)
Rounding out the group traveling to Kenya in February is Mary Ibianski. Mary has taught for thirty two years, starting in the Detroit Catholic school system at St. Scholastica. She is presently teaching in the Chippewa Valley School District in Macomb Township, Michigan, where she has been working with middle school students for the past twenty seven years. She has also taught seventh grade special education at Chippewa, but the majority of her time including the present involves teaching sixth grade math, science and health. While at St. Clare Mary will be teaching the skeletal system and girl’s health particularly puberty to the fifth, sixth and seventh grade girls.
(Workers level the tiles.)
Workers are putting the finishing touches on St. Clare Centre for Girls. Located in front of the entrance into St. Clare, the builders are completing the tile work on a patio. This will add to an already lovely home and school for the children living at St. Clare Centre.
Two more volunteers heading to the Children’s Village with Bud and Sue are Fred and Kathy Partlow. Both Fred and Kathy are teachers, having over eighty years experience between them. Fred will teach Latin to the students in Forms 1, 2, 3 and 4. In addition, he will also instruct Form 4 in Theology and introduce them to the Latin Mass. Kathy will be working with Forms 3 and 4 developing a unit on the American Civil Rights’ Movement. She will actually be picking up where she left off in 2011, when she traveled with the team to Kenya that year. In addition, Kathy and Sue will team team a combined social studies/writing class to Form 2.
In 2007, Madam Madeline Horrigan, a volunteer from the United States dedicated a small room as a library for St. Clare Centre for Girls. Madam Madeline and her friends donated hundreds of books to this library and it has served us well.
But the population of St. Clare has grown to over 300 students and so we need to expand to a larger space. The library expansion was planned by many well-wishers. Our Dominican Sisters believe that St. Clare Centre should have a spacious library where girls can sharpen their reading skills. They shared this idea with other Dominican sisters from the United States. God guided one of these sisters, Sister Judy Byron, who brought the need for the library to her family. Sister Judy’s sister and brother-in-law were blessed to have Danielle, a sunny joyful child, with blonde hair. Sadly, God called Danielle when she was just seventeen.
Danielle’s parents decided to contribute to St. Clare’s library. Because of their support, a more specious room was set aside to become the library. Danielle’s parents donated money to provide paint for the walls, shelves and other furniture and books. Danielle’s family requested that the library be named after their daughter.
St. Clare students are very happy. Through learning using different books, girls get many ideas, which bring growth and change.
The library is still in the process of expansion. Several books have been bought with more books and teaching aids to be purchased. The library is under the care of Madam Maureen Jumba, who is our librarian. Some of the girls and Sister Maurine have taken the time to cover the books, which are attractive and more appealing. Madam Maureen hopes that all the library resources necessary for a primary-secondary school will soon be available. In addition, she urges that time be given for students to make good use of the facility. We are so proud of this gift from Danielle’s family.