Posts Tagged ‘meru’
This is the final set of stories from the girls themselves. St. Clare Centre is home to girls from Meru, a city located in north central Kenya, and Nchiru, a small village near Meru,
Deborah (not her real name) age 14 has been in St Clare for 3 years. She came to St Clare from the Meru area where she was an orphan who lived with her grandmother, who also cared for several of Deborah’s siblings and cousins. “We were very poor so I seldom was able to go to school. Instead I stayed to help Grandmother with the other children by carrying wood and water. It was hard work. I wanted to go to school, but could not.” A neighbor who heard of St Clare from Father Riwa persuaded Deborah’s grandmother to allow Deborah to go to live at St Clare. Deborah continues,” I love school where I am learning and sharing ideas with the other girls. This is a loving community. Now I am in class 7 and doing quite well.”
Ruth (not her real name)is 15 and one of the original students of St Clare. She came in 2006 from Nchiru where she lived with her grandmother. Ruth recalls,” My father died from being poisoned and my mother was sickly so my grandmother tried to care for me. In the beginning we were day students who returned home in the evening. We had no dining room and no classroom, so we ate and studied under the mango tree. I was grateful to be here at St Clare. Now my grandmother wants me to return to the village and be married. I want to stay here where I have my studies, my friends and I am safe.”
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!
This news article was taken from the Gross Pointe News, September 2, 2010.
Retired Pierce Middle School teacher Sue Ozar was honored by the National Retired Teachers Association: AARP’s Educator Community with an NRTA With Our Youth international outreach award.
Recipients were chosen for outstanding service to youth in the state, local and individual categories by an independent selection panel. Ozar was the only 2010 recipient for the individual category.
The former educator spend three years in Kenya working as a teacher and counselor in a village for abandoned and orphaned children. Upon returning to the U.S., Ozar and her husband formed Friends of Kenyan Orphans and raised $500,000 for the village of Meru. They then took a group of school teachers, physicians and nurses to Kenya to provide much-needed services to the students. They also arranged for a scholarship to Chestnut Hill College in Pennsylvania for a graduate of the school.
Current donations are helping expand the St. Clare Center in Meru, a home for 250 orphaned girls.