Posts Tagged ‘Bud and Sue Ozar’
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give”
These words, written over the archway within Chestnut Hill College’s main building, are the same words delivered at the Chestnut Hill College Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11th in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. These words introduced Bud and Sue Ozar who received honorary doctor of laws degrees at graduation that day.
Each year at Commencement individuals are honored who exemplify a core value of Chestnut Hill College, ”Service to one another and to the global community.” According to Margaret Carney Mc Caffrey, Board President, the Ozars provide an example of a husband and wife who witness their faith through commitment to family, church and society. In addition she highlighted the Ozars’ work in family life ministry, education, service in Samoa and Kenya and fundraising through Friends of Kenyan Orphans.
Pictured with their doctoral citations are Bud and Sue with Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, President of Chestnut Hill.
In early February, Bud and Sue Ozar delivered some important papers to Madam Sarah, the administrator at St. Clare Centre for Girls. (Bud is shown presenting the papers to Madam Sarah.) St. Clare is now fully registered as a school. This means that the government of Kenya acknowledges that St. Clare has met all the requirements for a legitimate school. As a result, all other educational institutions in the country will recognize any degrees and courses from St. Clare. As a registered/accredited school, national exams can be administered at St. Clare and the girls will not need to travel to other schools to sit for these test. Congratulations to Madam Sarah, and the teachers at St. Clare.
A donor group met at St. Ambrose ARC, the church gathering space. Chris and John Miller provided the wine and cheese refreshments while Bud and Sue Ozar and Father Riwa showed the group a series of photos marking the progress of both the building and the children themselves over the past several years. In addition to the brief formal presentation, folks enjoyed the refreshments served and visiting with one another.
The diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is tucked into the beautiful, rolling Allegheny Mountains of west central Pennsylvania. Matching the area’s beauty, the hospitable priests and people of the diocese welcomed Bud and Sue Ozar to the Cathedral and four additional parishes to make appeals for support of the St Clare Girls’ Centre. Thank you for your generosity and for being so welcoming.
On February 20, 2012, Bud and Sue Ozar were in the middle of their annual visit to St. Clare and St. Francis schools. Curious to know how the students viewed them, Sister Kathryn, one of the Adrian Dominican sisters living and working at St. Clare, asked this question of the photo- journalism class, a class composed of Form Two (sophomore) and Form Three (junior) girls:
“How has the Mission of Madam Sue and Mr. Bud Ozar influenced my life?”
Here are some of their answers.
“Where would some of the girls be if it were not for our benefactors like Mr. and Mrs. Ozar? Many would be suffering in the streets. These “guys” are full of life.”
“Whenever I see Madam Sue and Mr. Bud, I feel peace around me because they are the people who think of me. They leave their home, not to come as tourists, but to come and ensure that I have quality education, good shelter, am fully dressed and that my dreams are fulfilled. They are doing this for us not expecting no repayment from anybody, except Almighty God. I wish that when I grow up I could go to America and take care of them in their very old age.”
“When I grow up I would like to help street children, orphans and needy children. I always ask God to help me to have the heart for helping others. I am looking forward to following in the footsteps of Md. Sue and Mr. Bud.”
“I have thought of giving them a title. I did research, wrote poems, and read other books. The best title I could give them is from the set book The River Between by Ngugi Klataiongo and that title is ‘SAVIORS’”.
“St. Clare has not only helped me but the lives of hundreds of people. Truly my life is changed. At least I can see a future ahead of me, a life full of happiness and hope. Perhaps Md. Sue and Mr. Bud were sent into my life as my ‘saviors’”.
“Their mission has really influenced my life in that I wish to serve the poor when I complete my studies. When I have a profession and a paying job I plan to use some of my earnings to help St. Clare. I will support St. Clare the best that I can.”
“Md. Sue and Mr. Bud actually came to Kenya as missionaries. Their mission was to support and uplift the life of street children and the orphans who are really mistreated and despised by everybody. They have fully dedicated their lives to serving the needy children.”
“All that I can say about them is that they are heaven sent to help us to get out of poverty. It is only a person with faith, hope determination, love and a person who has a call from God who can do all that they have done and are still doing for us.”
“I wish one day, one time in life, that I will be like them and help people like me who are really in need. They help us so that we can be the messengers of tomorrow to help others.”
“Since I came to St. Clare in the year 2006, my life has really become better. A lot of support from this couple, like building our classrooms has provided a good environment that has enhanced learning. I wonder how I would be, what kind of a person I would be if I were not at St. Clare. Maybe I would be in the street, a school dropout.”
The Saint Clare Girls’ Center’s Photojournalism class interviewed the founders of Friends of Kenyan Orphans (FOKO), Madam Sue and Mr. Bud Ozar when they were at St. Clare for their annual trip in March 2012. This is the second part of the interview conducted by the girls.
Christine: How do you manage to get the money contributed for the building of the school?
Md. Sue: By writing letters to friends in America, Germany and Singapore. Sometimes we also bring friends to St. Clare so that they can see how wonderful the girls are. We also ask for help on our web page and by writing articles.
Mr. Bud: We also give talks in churches so that people may contribute. We spend most of our time traveling around the country to talk about these wonderful girls. As we travel to some schools some students help out. We spend 12 to 14 hours per day and seven days per week on this.
Lydia: Are there people from your country who support you in this mission? Are there others who don’t believe in your work?
Md. Sue: Yes, there are many people who support us. Many of them have huge hearts and they are willing to help the poor girls like you children. There are also others who do not believe in the work that we are doing, but the majority are those who believe and support us.
Irene K.: Do you still have enough time with your families?
Md. Sue: Oh, yes. We do have time with our families. All we do is to plan to have time with our families and spend much time with them. Although they complain that we have paid much more attention to Africa (she laughs). My children say they wish they were small Kenyan children so that more of our attention can be paid to them. The real thing is that we try our best to have time with them.
Agnes: How are you planning for every pupil/student at St. Clare in the future?
Mr. Bud: We are focusing on completing the building and sponsorship for every single child’s support. We plan to bring many people with us on our trips here to meet you.
Pauline: What do you think you might feel when you see girls succeeding and joining highly qualified universities like Joseph Mutuma did?
Md. Sue: Probably, I will be very proud, most impressed and a most happy person.
Mr. Bud: This will make me very happy since Md. Sue and I want you girls to find happiness in life. Joseph Mutuma has really impressed me even the way he conducts himself in the college. I will be very happy to see you girls like Joseph. We are hoping to see all of you in colleges and universities, and be successful women.
Nancy: When you come to Kenya to visit the children, what challenges do you meet? Do you see any change to the children and the school? Or do you find it the same as when you left?
Md. Sue: It is not a challenge for me to be here. The only thing that I see that is difficult is when many people come to me for help and I cannot give it. And it is very hard to leave you.
Mr. Bud: We do see a lot of changes in you. You are more organized. There is a good environment. You are becoming beautiful women and wise ladies.
Both: There is wonderful change.
Pauline: How do you manage to continue helping an institution like St. Clare when you find some things that are disorganized, like clothes on the floor, dirty pavements/ classes? How do you tolerate it and manage to make the next visit?
Md. Sue: Oh! I just ignore this since I understand that the girls are young and some of them do not know how to take care. We also have families and know this is how little girls are.
Mr. Bud: There is a great improvement in the cleanliness of the sanitation block, so I understand that you girls are taking care of things and are educating the little girls on how to take care of things.
Mercy: Since the time you have been at St. Clare and the time you have spent with the girls, how can you describe them?
Md. Sue: Words to describe girls at St. Clare are beyond comprehension. But if I am really urged to describe them, I would say that they are intelligent, open, joyful, hardworking, friendly, affectionate, welcoming, attentive students and lastly I can describe them as “special girls”.
Mr. Bud: The girls at St. Clare really give me hope in my mission. They are young leaders and missionaries in training. I call them “special girls” also just as the twelve disciples, they were called aside to be trained so that they can also continue with God’s mission in the future. They are girls of much honor and are full of virtues.
(The girls in the Photojournalism class designed their interview with Madam Sue and Mr. Bud Ozar. They then conducted the interview, took the photographs and put the interview into words for FOKO’s web page. Continue your wonderful work, ladies!)
(Pictured below are Purity, Mr. Bud and Mercy and Madam Sue and Ann.)
On March 29, 2012 the St. Clare Girls’ Center Photojournalism Class held its first press conference and photo shoot. Madam Sue and Mr. Bud Ozar, long-time benefactors of St. Clare and the founders of “Friends of Kenyan Orphans, Inc.” (FOKO) were here at St Clare for their annual visit. Since 2006, this couple has spent incredible energy and endless hours soliciting support for the girls and the school. A large part of the school building is witness to their efforts as is the number of girls sponsored by FOKO. The girls had many questions to ask Sue and Bud.
Nancy: Where do you come from and where is your home now?
Md. Sue: I was born in Pennsylvania in a town called Reading. Mr. Bud and I both live in Michigan now.
Mr. Bud: I was born in Michigan and I live in Michigan with Md. Sue. We sometimes spend 1 or 2 months in Kenya.
Beatrice: When you first visited Kenya, were you coming as a tourist or did you have a plan to come and start your mission of helping the needy?
Md. Sue: We belonged to a lay mission group in our country and we were first sent to Samoa Island in the Pacific Ocean for 3 years as missionaries. After the 3 years we were sent to Meru to work in the year 2006.I started teaching at St. Dominic in Meru and I saw very little work for me to do there. Since I was energetic I decided to ask for more classes and I got to teach at St. Francis and St Clare. I was always inspired to work with the poor since middle school, throughout college, and now in my real life.
Purity: How did you meet Father Riwa?
Mr. Bud: I was working in the Diocese of Meru at Bishop Mugambi’s Office where my mission sent me. Father Riwa used to come there regularly and one day he came into my office and told me that he would like us to visit his children’s home at Nchiru. When I visited the girls’ school I was touched and felt that I should do something to help him in running his mission. Before I left for the U.S.A. I promised him to raise the money for the building of the school. I believe this is the year that you will see the school complete.
Md. Sue I had the desire to help the needy and when we returned from Kenya and he talked to me about helping Fr. Riwa in completing the Girls’ school, I immediately agreed. We dedicated ourselves fully to helping Fr. Riwa because we believe in his mission, and (she laughed) because he is a smart man.
Caren: What inspired you to help Father Riwa and help the needy children?
Md. Sue: I always wanted to help the poor. Something that is found deep in me that always showed me that I need to serve God through poor people.
Mr. Bud: When Father Riwa visited me frequently I learned to love him by the way he lived simply and was honest. It made me want to support him to help the poor.
Irene A.: Are there suffering girls and boys in your country and if there are, what made you leave them and come to Kenya to help the poor girls here?
Md. Sue: Yes, there are. Our interest was to come to Kenya, Africa to help and so our missions focused on the needs of Kenyans.
Mr. Bud: This was a call from God. We had to respond to it.
Mercy: Did you two agree and come up with the plan to help St. Clare together, or did one of you think of it first?
Mr. Bud: It was a natural idea. We both felt that we were still connected to the children in Kenya. We were most impressed by Fr. Riwa and even the smart girls at the children’s home impressed us.
Md. Sue: We felt that we needed to help, and it took us a long time to think and pray about it. God helped us with finances and we started our mission. Although we knew that Father helped both girls and boys, we decided to put our energies into St. Clare rather than St. Francis.
Claudia: When did you start your mission of helping St. Clare?
Md. Sue: I came in 2008 and taught English in both St. Francis and St. Clare.
PART 2 OF THE INTERVIEW WILL APPEAR ON MARCH 26.
(Madam Sue and Mr. Bud Ozar along with members of the St. Clare Girls’ Center Photojournalism Class.)