Posts Tagged ‘kenya’
Last week Walsh University in Canton Ohio held a week of activities aimed at heightening global awareness and solidarity with the poor. A highlight of the week was the students took An Uncommon Walk for the Common Good where they wore flip flops or no shoes at all to simulate a connection with people in the developing world. Funds raised during this week were given to Friends of Kenyan Orphans with the specific purpose of purchasing flip-flops for the St Clare girls in Nchiru Kenya.
Matt Rahtz, pictured here on the left with a friend , is bringing the message of the Children’s Village to his school mates at Vincentian High School Academy in Pittsburgh. Through a variety of school activities Matt is aiming to establish a regular link between St. Clare Girls’ Centre in Kenya and Vincentian Academy.
Matt has a long standing relationship with the children in Kenya. His family are sponsors for one of the girls at St. Clare and his mom, Betsy, is a member of the Friends of Kenyan Orphans Board. Five years ago, when Matt was still in middle school he was involved with his parents, Jim and Betsy and sisters, Collen and Erin, collecting funds at school, family and in the community to purchase jeans, shirts and sandals for the chlidren.
Matt is working with the International Baccalaureate program in his school and we are hoping this will be the template for approaching other schools to assist their brothers and sisters in Kenya. Thanks Matt for leading the way.
PS: Matt is also a heck of a basketball player.
We reached 100 sponsors when the Mary Rose and Robert Hecksel Family in Lansing, Michigan decided to sponsor one of the girls at St. Clare. Thank you Mary Rose and Bob. Your donation of $480 will clothe, feed, educate and shelter a girl at St. Clare for an entire year. “Such a deal! Such a life-saving deal!”
The Sponsorship Program continues to be the life support system for the St. Clare Girls’ Centre. Throughout the year the children exchange letters with their sponsors. Through the letters the children learn, even though they are abandoned and orphaned, there is someone who loves and cares for them and an opportunity for the children to share their lives with someone who cares about them.
With 350 girls at St. Clare many more sponsors are needed. We encourage you to onsider being a sponsor. You can be a sponsor as an individual, a family, a class or a group such as a book club or Rotary. It only costs $480 a year to support a child and let her know she is not alone in this world.
For many years, for several months each year, Marilyn and John Parker have been traveling to Kenya from Conneticut to assist non-profits who care for the orphans in Kenya. They were our neighbors in Meru and we have depended on them for accurate information about conditions in Kenya. You can view their website at www.theparkerplace.org. Earlier this year Marilyn wrote giving us the first sign of the drought and impending famine: “In June, a month when we got there, the crops in the shambas were about a foot high – and then in August, there was nothing. Everything had just dried up – because there was no rain at all in that two or three month period. People had no maize and no beans to harvest – and so nothing to eat – and nothing to sell to get some money to buy food – and nothing to plant now for the next season, when, we pray, the rains do come.”
Then last week came the good news via Normand and Sheila Pelladeau, Canadian lay missionaries with whom we worked. Normand was our construction adviser for building St. Clare and the Siena House. They are presently working in the neighboring diocese of Isiolo building hospitals for Mater Care. Sheila wrote the most encouraging words about rain:
”Rain seems imminent. On Sunday we had rain. It lasted about 15 minutes. Wonderful! However, prices are rising all the time here, how this will get reflected via thepeople, we wonder!”
The good news is THE RAIN! All are hoping this is a sign the long rains of November will be coming on schedule and all will be able to plant in December and harvest in April. That is the hope! That is the prayer!
Many have asked the effects of the 7 year drought in Kenya upon the Children’s Village. All of East Africa is caught in this drought. First the landscape turns brown, then it becomes a highland desert, then the livestock die and finally the people die, elders and children first.
USAID has been coming into Kenya and the Diocese of Meru is entrusted with distributing food to the Villages in the Meru area. These photos show lorries coming, unloading and rice and beans being unloaded and stored. The Diocese then takes the food to the parishes and it is distributed to the village according to greatest need regardless of religious affiliation. The Catholic Church has been the best conduit for aid over the years and avoids any government corruption.
Of course there is not enough to go around so people just go without eating and live mostly on hope, hope the rains will eventually come. This is a classic case of the effects of global warming. For centuries the people could count on two rains, and they planted between the rains and their little patch of land produced enough maize for the family.
Kenyans do not shop at super markets. They grow what they need on a little patch of overworked overburdened depleted soil. They eat what they grow. That little patch of dirt is their grocery store. They depend on it. When it fails, they go hungry.
In the days ahead I will tell you how Fr. Riwa is shepherding the Chidren’s Village through this national tragedy.
Finally, I suggest some possible long-term solutions to Kenya’s problems: the greatest
promise for Kenya’s future and the potential of its economy lies in the
practice of agriculture and agro-based industries. This potential should be
tapped through irrigation. Dams need to be built with floodwaters channeled
into them for use during the dry seasons. Kenyans also could sink boreholes and
wells. Solar power can be used to produce cheaper electricity for pumping water and running micro-industries. Government leaders should not only talk of fighting ignorance, disease and poverty, but should act on plans to change things.
Father Francis Limo Riwa talked of fighting the above-mentioned vices and he
has really done much to accomplish his promises and mission. He has drilled
boreholes, built schools and a dispensary. Why can’t government leaders follow
the example of this man of God? He talks less and acts more. This man of God
uses what he has to help the poor who are despised in society. It is safe to
say that if all Kenyans were like Father Francis Limo Riwa, this country,
Kenya, would be blessed and the richest country in Africa.
What can the government do to accomplish this? The government needs to invest
more in educating children and inculcating good morals in them. Only good,
well-prepared and dedicated teachers should be hired.
The children at the Village realize education is their path to a successful future. They do not have a family network to save them. So education is very important to them. Nancy, a Form II student offers her reflections.
EDUCATION IN KENYA By Nancy
In Kenya there are two types of education, formal and informal. Informal education is traditional education whereby people receive special teachings from their elders by word of mouth. They are instructed on how to behave as adults, warriors, future husbands and parents. They are also taught the secrets of their community. Formal education in Kenya is the modern way of learning in institutions of education. The curriculum follows the 8:4:4 system which means 8 years in primary level, 4 years in secondary level and 4 years in a college or university.
People in Kenya believe that education is the source of a successful life. So it is more valued and the more educationally advanced Kenyans speak three languages: English, Mother Tongue and Kiswahili. Kiswahili is a national language in Kenya. It is spoken in all of Kenya.
Most Kenyans nowadays learn practically. They believe that through education people are equipped to concepts and skills that are needed in solving the day-to-day problems of life. Education in Kenya aims at providing the Kenyans with necessary knowledge with which to control or change the environment for the benefit of the citizens.
Education in Kenya helps the Kenyan to develop careers. In order to develop careers, people are expected to work hard. Hard work is appreciated and valued in Kenya. People are encouraged to work extra hard through education and other works.
Lazy people are not welcomed in Kenyan society. This is demonstrated by a Swahili saying “Mgeni siku ya kwanza, ya pili mkaribishe y tatu mpe tembe.” Translated this means that people should not depend on others. If they need help from others they can be helped once or twice, but the third time they must work for it. So this expresses the value of hard work. It is emphasized that poverty is the consequence of laziness.
The Kenyans are taught to work very hard in order to fight and defeat the enemy, poverty. They really exercise their minds in thinking big and dreaming big with both words and actions. Through hard work Kenyans can transform the world and meet their basic needs at the same time. So what do you need in order to develop yourself and help to build your family and nation? You simply need to cultivate the virtue of hard work and become educated The role of education in Kenya’s everyday life has been made clearer by bringing out better understanding of the inter-relationship between Kenya and other countries. People of Kenya are encouraged to go to other countries, for instance the U.S.A., to extend their knowledge. A Kenyan who is not an educated citizen could be considered useless. No one will care for him/her since they do not work. The Bible says, “I will help those who help themselves.” The book of 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says that, “If you do not work you should not eat.” This is the philosophy of Kenya: if you are not working for your basic needs no one will provide them. So who is a loser? A loser is only the person who is not interested in participating in learning. Education is free in Kenya. The Kenyan government educates for free those who desire a better life. In other words, education in Kenya is the key to life.
It was a cool, sunny afternoon and the journalism class of six girls from St. Clare together with their teacher Madam Lisa, and Sister Kathryn, a nun from the United States of America, were taking a walk to the nearby forest to watch the elephants. These are huge animals that live in the jungle.
African elephants are black in colour and huge in size and they weigh a lot of kilograms. The government has tried its best to provide security for the people living around the forest. In earlier years the elephants were always disturbing people and destroying their gardens and crops and sometimes also killed people. For this reason they posed a great danger to people. This did not go on for a long time since the government came up with a solution. It provided electrical fence that prevents the dangerous animals from attacking people.
Elephants live in large groups that are comprised of male and female elephants. They move together with their calves. While grazing, one male elephant guards the others to provide security for the grazing elephants. They eat grass and the leaves of trees. Elephants are classified as herbivores due to their mode of feeding.
Elephants mate to have calves. Their gestation period is one year and the female gives birth to a calf. The calf grows under the care of its mother and when it is old enough it becomes independent.
The existence of elephants has a great importance in our country. They attract tourists from all over the world and by so doing they bring foreign money which the government uses to boost the economy of the country. The elephants have tusks that are very valuable. Because of this ivory hunters kill them. The government has fought a big fight in order to protect the elephants. It has set laws on how to take care of wildlife, which are usually followed, and the lawbreakers are put in jail for hunting. Everyone should protect his/her country’s heritage.
Last Saturday they participated in an inter-school competition sharing stories, poems, songs and plays in their mother tongue.
What a wonderful learning experience and community builder.
The Children’s Village in Kenya
The streets of Kenya are littered with thousands of orphaned children, the silent victims of the extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS pandemic ravaging Kenya.
The Children’s Village is the inspiration of Fr. Francis Limo Riwa who in 1999 began to rescue orphaned and abandoned children from the streets. Today it is home, family and school to more than 600 children, living on two campuses: the St. Clare Girls’ Centre and the St. Francis Home for Boys.
The Children’s Village and the survival of these children depend on the generosity of people like you. You are in a unique position to help. Please consider joining us and lending support.