Posts Tagged ‘Samburu’
This past Fall, the girls at St. Clare Centre for Girls put on a short program to welcome some friends to the St. Clare campus. Visiting were Gian Carlo and Fernando, friends of Mama Beatrice (Queen of St. Clare). Since the couple had heard so much about St. Clare Centre from Mama Beatrice before she died, they wanted to visit. Of course, they brought some gifts for the girls (baseball caps). Another couple, Kathy and Derwyn, friends of Sisters Maurine and Renee, was also visiting from Canada. Everyone enjoyed the program and the girls were thrilled to display their skills.
The girls in grass skirts depicted a Luo dance and the girls with the long turquoise, red, and yellow danced a tribal Samburu dance. The girls made all the beaded accessories.
Recently participating in the district competition for extra-curricular activities, St. Clare’s primary students earned first place. The football team (soccer team) brought home a second place trophy. This was the first time these players have ever entered into this type of competition. Clearly, the girls are extremely pleased with themselves. While small, the girls insist that their trophy is pure gold. The team and their coach, Mr. David Kiberia, are pictured here.
In addition, Madam Sarah has entered St. Clare into a dance and voice competition. The girls will present tribal dances of the Samburu, Luau and Somali tribes. Further, there will be poetry recitations and choral pieces. The girls are busy practicing and excited as they make costumes; Luau girls are pictured here making their grass skirts. The Samburu group is making very showy beaded body decorations. District competitions are a great experience for the St Clare girls.
We continue our 5 part series of St. Clare girls telling their own stories. Our focus here is on Samburu (home to the Samburu people in north central Kenya) and Machakos (a city of poverty near Nairobi).
Diana (her name has been changed) age 14 is from Samburu in Northern Kenya. She was orphaned at a very young age so she lived with her grandmother. They were very poor so they had little food and no money for school fees. As is the custom in Samburu, in order to secure a dowry of a few sheep and some sugar, Grandmother planned for Diana’s marriage. Her aunt intervened, said NO and arranged to bring Diana to St Clare. With great determination Diana continued “After my education at St Clare I want to be a nurse to help other girls BUT not in Samburu. I want to pick my own husband and not be told who to marry.” She concluded,” St Clare has saved my life”
Nine year old Nancy (not her real name) comes from Machakos, an area south east of Nairobi. Although Nancy has parents and 6 brothers with whom she lived in Machakos, her father brought her to St Clare when she was 7 years old. Nancy NEVER returns to her home area to visit. If she were to go ‘home’ for even a few days Nancy would be forced to beg on the streets for something to eat. Some girls take shelter at St Clare to escape extreme poverty, with Nancy being one of these children. She appears to be exceptionally bright so with the care and good resources of St Clare she now has a chance for a future.
During two years working in Kenya, one afternoon after another, I sat in my small make-shift office at The Children’s Village, listening to children talk of sleeping on stree verandas, foraging gutters looking for garbage, fighting animals for a crust of bread, and in desparation, eating cigarette butts to appease hunger pangs. I wondered if there could be any children lining as difficult an existence as these former street boys?
One year later I discovered the answer when a group of 140 war-torn children arrived at the village who witnessed their homes burned, their families lost of killed by machetes during the post-election violence of 2008. Clearly the children of Kenya continue to suffer. This past winter I returned to The Children’s Village. This time Father Riwa asked me to listen to the life stories of a few young girls recently rescued from the desert in northern Kenya, girls from the Samburu Tribe. (more…)