Posts Tagged ‘kenya’
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.
(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.
Education exists in civilizations all over the world. During the colonization of African countries by European Whites, the formal European style of education was introduced. There are two types of education I Kenya, informal and formal. Informal education is the type, which was done, in the ancestral days, while formal is the type we now have in schools. Kenya uses the 844 system, which means 8 years of primary education, 4 years of secondary education and 4 years of university education.
A school’s administration employs teachers who are specialized in many and different subjects. These teachers have different methods of passing on knowledge to their students, including using textbooks. This all depends on the methods taught to the teacher at the university. Those who have good teaching methods make it advantageous for the students they teach.
Today, computers are used in areas such as weather forecasting, process control in industries, and even guiding spacecraft to the moon. In addition, they are used in book and newspaper printing, in diagnosing diseases, in looking for obscure documents in archives and other things. Travel agents can know whether a seat on a plane or a bed in a room is available. Truly computers are also part of education.
We do appreciate the presence of the western educational system for it has improved the standards of living in Kenya today. Students need to remember that education is the key to success and they need to take it seriously for a better future.
Friends of Kenyan Orphans, the staff and girls of St. Clare Girls’ Centre wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are so thankful for each of you and for all you do for St. Clare and the girls.
Since day one the interior gathering space at St. Clare has been a dust bowl in the dry times and a mud pit during the rainy seasons. As a result, dust, dirt and mud were constant décor in the classrooms, dormitories, lavatories and dining hall. Finally those days are over. (The top two photos show the problem.)
In March, work began on paving the gathering space with a grill covered drain channel running down the center and outside and away from the building. This will make a huge difference in the cleanliness of the building, but will also lessen the chronic dust cough, which has plagued so many girls. The courtyard has been cemented with the drain running down the middle. It will all be tiled, even the drain.
Upon returning to New Jersey from Kenya, Andy and Cathy Cahill told their families about their experiences working at the St. Clare Centre. Cathy is a Nurse Practitioner who works with AIDS children at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey. At St. Clare she provided physicals for the girls and health education.
Cathy relates “I can’t get those children out of my mind. I think of them all the time.” She and Andy told their story which resulted in their siblings all becoming sponsors for a girl at St. Clare. Through these sponsorships the Cahill influence will continue and have a positive long lasting impact.
The Form II girls are the pioneers of St. Clare Girls’ Center. They have encountered many tribulations in their lives. I will try to give you a better understanding of their story and mine, for I am one of them.
Father Riwa, a missionary from Tanzania, built St. Francis Children’s Village to help street boys in Kenya. The news of this school spread like wildfire. Many orphaned girls used to go to St. Francis to ask Father if he would sponsor them. St. Francis was only meant for boys and Father would not mix girls with boys, although he had mercy on us girls. Whenever he saw us, he only thought of how girls who have no parents were being mistreated. This encouraged him to build a girls’ school.
In 2006, Father Riwa built St. Clare Girls’ Center to help orphan girls from different tribes. We were very lucky to be sponsored since many of us lived miserable lives. We came from different backgrounds. Some had gone to school but others had not. When we met here in 2006, we all started with class one work because our Father Riwa believed that “Repetition is the mother of learning.”
The school was not yet well developed in 2006. There were no dormitories, and only a few classrooms. We came to school every morning and returned home in the evening. Our relatives who didn’t like us to study would refuse to take us to school so had to start our journey at 5:00 in the morning to reach school on time. Dangerous wild animals could attack us on our way to school in the morning, but since we were devoted to education we had to persevere. We also had no dinning hall so we used to eat our breakfast and lunch under the trees.
Some girls ran away because of these difficult struggles. They said that they were too big to start in class one. They had no faith that one day everything would fine. After running away from school, some got married had children. They wished to come back to St. Clare, but it was too late. Those of us who remained decided to cope with the situation as we believed what is says in Genesis 3:19, “By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread till you return to the ground. For out of it you were taken, you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We did not lose hope as we were determined to put more effort into our studies. In that one year we covered the work from class one to class four. As the days went by, we became used to the school. We were provided with everything and we even began to forget the past lives that we lived.
The second year, 2007, the dormitories were built and we started sleeping at school. The dining hall also was built and we stopped eating outside under the trees. We were very happy to be in a comfortable environment. From there we started learning two classes per year. Everyday began with Mass at five o’clock offered by Father Riwa. What a wonderful school where pupils learn, freely guided by the Word of God from the Holy Bible. The school also developed a lot because of the many friends who provided enough money.
In 2009, we sat for our final exams in primary level. Everyone was surprised when the results came out, as we all had passed with flying colors. Nobody had below three hundred marks out of five hundred. We all made it to secondary level so Father added secondary level at St Clare. As a result, we did not struggle looking for schools. We worked hard knowing that education favors only the prepared mind. We all said, “YES WE CAN. NO IS NOT AN OPTION”.
Fourteen of us passed the Form One exam and were promoted to Form Two. We refused to look backward but only forward to a bright future where we could become the future leaders of Kenya. We have different ambitions, which I hope we will attain. We are role models in our school and so we have a big responsibility, which our teachers are helping us achieve!
Purity (bottom row, fourth from the right) is a Form II (sophomore) student at St. Clare Girls’ Center in Nchiru, Kenya.
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.
Mr. Zumba is a very busy man throughout the year, but especially at Christmas. Mr. Zumba, the music teacher at St. Clare, works hard teaching music to his students. Mr. Zumba also wrote the St. Clare anthem, which the girls sing each day and has been at St. Clare for some time, perhaps the longest. However, Mr. Z also doubles as the choir director of the parish choir at St. Rita, which is made up of students from St. Clare and St. Francis as well as parishioners from the village of Nchiru.
This is just another way in which the St. Clare staff give to the community of Nchiru.
In the picture, Mr. Z is pulling out all the stops, giving it his best by combining dance and song, extremely important parts of African culture.