Happy to be Back Home

We are happy to be back at school after a short holiday while our country was conducting the general elections. During that time were living with our guardians and families of good will who agreed to offer us some shelter. Happiness is all over our faces as we are back to school and as we received a warm welcome from Brother Kennedy and the staff members who issued us with books, pens, toiletries and other personal items in preparation to learn. There was a sign of relief on the faces of most of us as were not sure about coming back to school due to the tension in the slum areas of Kibera and Mathare. There were post-election protests and the only sounds we could hear were those of gunshots. We are happy that our country is now calm and most people are back to their normal duties.

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My name is James Ndungu (photo above). I am 14 years old, a student in the form one class and very excited to be back to school after the tense elections. I am the third born in a family of five siblings where my mother is the sole breadwinner of the family. My mother always struggles to provide for our basic needs as she has no permanent job. I have one leg which is impaired and this makes me feel neglected and left out as other children play. I am happy at St. Charles Lwanga School as the children here accept me the way I am and I am able to play and share with the other children. I am also grateful to Brother Kennedy and all the school benefactors for giving me a chance to study, have access to food, shelter and medical care which my family can hardly afford. I aspire to be a doctor to reach out all children with special needs and disability like me and provide medical assistance to them. I have learnt to be grateful in all things and in all situations, God bless St. Charles Lwanga, Inverness County and Chalice Foundation for supporting us. Thanks

Alice Kwamboka (photo above)  is a sixteen-year-old girl schooling at St. Charles Lwanga Children Centre Secondary School in form two (grade 10). She is a well-behaved, disciplined girl who is an average student and suffers from rheumatic heart disease, which affects her studies and she help to undergo surgery. This condition has really affected her studies and her health for a very long time since the year 2013. When she was still in primary school this caused her to stay at home instead of being in school. When her symptoms are extreme it happens that her body swells making her unable to move, she experiences back pains and severe chest pains, which are unbearable. Alice has one parent called Jackline Mokeira who is a single mother and has a spinal cord problem, which makes it hard for her to work and sustain the family. Alice is a second born child in a family of four. The eldest sibling is 19 years old, the third born are twins aged 14 years both in class 8. Alice lives with her elderly grandmother in a single roomed house in Ruai area. She is working hard to achieve her dream of being a surgeon to help treat people with similar conditions as her. She is urging all well wishers to help her undergo an operation to correct the situation so that she can proceed well with her studies and help the family in future. For a more detailed report on her situation

contact Br Kennedy kennedyoronjo@yahoo.com

or Inverness County Cares  colmac27@gmail.com.

We are grateful to Brother Kennedy, Inverness County Cares and the Chalice Foundation for their continued and timely support towards our school.

Important Fundraising Event for St Charles Lwanga School

Sunday August 6th, (10AM until 9 PM) Inverness County Cares (ICC) hosted their 4th annual pizza sale at 209, Main Street, Port Hood, in aid of the St Charles Lwanga Secondary School in Nairobi, Kenya.

A sincere thank you, to Ted and Hermina Van Zutphen who opened their beautiful home to Inverness County Cares for our pizza sale. Both Ted and Hermina have worked tirelessly to make this happen. Ted stood at the pizza oven for hours in the rain and had to change his clothes 3 times. Hermina worked many hours organizing the purchase of supplies and set up of the working area and workers. A very special thank you to Ted and Hermina who also donate all the supplies needed for the pizzas….for four years.

Thank you to our regular ICC members and our auxiliary members who show up when we need a powerful workforce. Approximately 40 people came out to help despite the fact August 6 was part of the Port Hood Chestico Days festival. All ages gladly participated and gave their time to ensure St Charles Lwanga Secondary School children have access to food, shelter and education.

A big thank you to the Bank of Nova Scotia for their sponsorship. We certainly appreciate the donation. Thank you to the Hawk Radio and our newspapers The Inverness Oran, The Port Hawkesbury Reporter and the Cape Breton Post who so generously share our story and provided publicity. Thank you to the Clove Hitch Restaurant and Bistro for their support during crust making which was so crucial and made the process much more efficient.

Thank you to our local people…and those far away, who bought pizzas and donated money to our cause. We appreciate your support so very much.

This event has proven to be a major fundraiser in the campaign to support the school. Despite the heavy rain, cancellation of the boat parade and fireworks (events which bring people in) the sale was very successful. ICC members and supporters are breathing a sigh of relief but are experiencing a high thinking of all that was accomplished.

Preparation for this event began about a month in advance. The process involved the recruiting of workers, calculating and ordering of ingredients, preparing schedules and reviewing notes and information on last year’s event. The crusts were prepared in advance, by a crew of a dozen workers. For the three previous years Hermina and Ted Van Zutphen’s kitchen was taken over by workers mixing, weighing, rolling, shaping and pre-cooking the crusts. This year the Clove Hitch Restaurant offered use of their kitchen, so from 5:30 AM to 11:30AM the restaurant kitchen was taken over by ICC workers. The two restaurant ovens and a great working space enabled ICC workers to produce 337 crusts. On Pizza day a multitude of volunteers descended on the spacious kitchen of Ted and Hermina Van Zutphen. Producing over 300 pizzas in a day takes many hands. Early morning the choppers and graters prepared the cheese and toppings. By 9:30 the large dining room table was transformed into a production line where prepared ingredients were applied to the crusts according to recipe. Central to all the activity was the large outdoor wood-fired brick pizza oven built by Alan MacIsaac. It can reach temperatures of 800C and quickly cooked the four varieties of pizza.

When the flour dust settled in the late evening of Pizza day, a very tired group of happy workers celebrated their relationship with this very basic school, while they think about three hundred hopeful children who are provided with an education, their only way to break the cycle of poverty. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

lwangachildren.com

invernesscountycares.com

1- Bonnie Boulton, Susan Campbell, Leeanne, Kevin, Flo Campbell. chopping veggies for pizza

2-Cooking in the rain- Ted Van Zutphen, Jonathan, Mira Campbell, Sam Moran

3-Elaine Rankin, Sara Campbell, Eileen Smith, Winnie Rankin.

4-Irene Dacey, Kati Van Zutphen, Susan Campbell, Susan Moran.

5- Happy customer, Phyllis MacDonald

6-Susan Moran, Irene Dacey, Karen Wager, Kati Van Zutphen.

Inverness County Cares Pizza Sale

Inverness County Cares is doing it again! We will be selling delicious pizza, cooked in an outside wood fired oven. Sunday August 6th.
Pre-sale by E-transfer. colmac27@gmail.com
State the kind: veg, meat-lovers, pep and cheese or works. Also state time you would like to pick up. We will also be pre-selling at locations which  will be posted later. This is Inverness County Cares’ main fundraiser to support the St Charles Lwanga Secondary School in Nairobi, Kenya.

First University Graduate for St Charles Lwanga

Brother Kennedy’s son, Mr. Emmanuel’s graduation ceremony

Point of clarification: Emmanuel is not Br Kennedy’s biological son, for in Kenya anyone may refer to somebody as a son or a daughter especially if you are a guardian to the person, in fact all the children refer to Br. Kennedy as their father. Brother Kennedy has journeyed with Mr Emmanuel all his life as he has being living right at the centre.  He came to ST Charles Lwanga  four year ago as a needy child after completing his form four education and could not proceed to college, due to lack of fee as he comes from a poor family that could not afford to pay for his college. Brother Kennedy helped him to join the University for his degree education where he has completed and graduated with a second class honors and qualifies for masters. While at St Charles Lwanga he has being teaching part time and also helping in the boarding section. He is the first student to graduate with a university degree, the others have been doing certificates and diplomas. Emmanuel has passed highly and he qualifies for masters degree. 

This was a very great moment to the whole school as they celebrated the victory of one of their own. St. Charles Lwanga children Centre is a home where dreams become a reality and the students can rise to any level of the education.

This week has being a very inspiring week to Brother Kennedy, staff members and the students as they celebrated the victory of one of the teachers Mr. Emmanuel who celebrated his graduation ceremony at the Centre. This was a very encouraging moment to the students as they shared their aspiration and how much they aspired to one-day graduate in different courses. Brother Kennedy was proud and much encouraged by his son, Mr. Emmanuel for his hard work and commitment to his studies. Tears of joy rolled out Brother Kennedy as he celebrated the victory of his son. He has educated Mr. Emmanuel and other children through great sacrifice of his pocket money and promised to support him in his masters level. May God bless Brother Kennedy for his selfless heart to help the needy.

Brother Kennedy congratulating one of his sons Mr. Emmanuel for his hard work at school.

Teachers and students also congratulated their college and teacher for his hard work at school.

The students shared a meal with the grandaunt.

Academic clinic day

On Saturday the school held an academic clinic day for the form ones and two where the guardians had a one on one conversation with the teachers on the progress of the students. The guardians were very happy on the remarkable academic improvement amongst the students. They were very grateful to Brother Kennedy, school administration and the teachers for the good work they are doing in ensuring that the students get education, food and medical care in fact they affiliated the good academic performance to good feeding program.

St Charles Lwanga Secondary School Choir

The school has a very strong and inspiring choir which is well guided and directed by Brother Kennedy. We also have a well acquainted pianist Mr Moreli who works hand in hand with Geoffrey Ambaisi in  training  the students  new music and  how to play the piano. We also thank Betty Jane Cameron of Inverness County Cares, Mabou, NS, Canada for her help and encouragement and help with our music program.
The school choir has greatly transformed the lives of the students in so many ways such as talent development where students are taught how to play different musical instruments. It has also helped the students in their spiritual growth, inspiring the Christians especially at the church as they sing very well during the Holy Mass celebration. It acts a source of unity where students come together and this keeps them away from engaging in bad behavior such use of drugs and substance abuse.

By Florence Wairimu Maina

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