Month: June 2013

New Pictures

New pictures have just been posted on the gallery page. They were taken on The St Charles Lwanga Feast Day celebrations.

A Vehicle for St Charles Lwanga

St Charles Lwanga Children’s Centre and Secondary School is pleased to announce the acquisition of a vehicle for the school.  Many thanks to the Sisters of St Martha, Bethany, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada and Fr Alan MacMillan Judique, NS, Canada. A vehicle will be a huge help in transportation of goods, water and many other uses.

St Charles Lwanga Children’s Centre and Secondary School Birthday Celebrations

We were blessed to have a visit from Linda and Tom who came to see the school and want to finance the construction of a library that is intended to provide a reading environment for not just to the school students but to the society of Ruai as there is no other public library around. The students were rather fascinated by her visit and welcomed her warmly. She assessed the place she would love to build a library then spoke words of encouragement to the students.
Ms Linda and
She has promised to provide computers to the students. We expect her to come again on the 1st of Aug with 12 others to play with the children. Bro. John Kennedy thanks her abundantly.
Thank You Linda and Global Alliance of Africa!!
St. Charles Lwanga day was a colorful day filled with fun and laughter. The decorations were made to suit the day perfectly. Students, teachers together with the non-teaching staff had worked hard to ensure a day of excellence. The program set and ready to take off began with Mass and then the speeches given by the head-girl and the director Bro. John Oronjo. The function was graced by the presence of various schools and visitors together with the parents. The entertainment was of great zeal and everyone afforded a smile.
St. Joseph Primary and Gibs Girls secondary School that attended the function.
Compassionate hand Children’s Home could not miss out on such a lovely occasion. They came in lovely T-shirts that reminded us that disability is not really the end of the world. This home is also supported by Bro. John Kennedy.
The food drinks and entertainment was breathtaking…
Joseph conducted the school choir singing Rock of Ages..
The cake was beautiful and was served to the audience by Mr. and Miss St. Charles Lwanga.
Miss Cecilia brought a gift of 2 boxes of sanitary pads that she gave to the children who were represented by the head girl. The director highly appreciated the presents.

Director, Mr. Oronjo John gave a speech thanking and appreciating everyone for their various participation in the making of St. Charles Lwanga day below is his speech.

Director’s speech

The challenge of Education

Brothers of St. Charles Lwanga is a catholic religious men congregation founded in 1927 by Henry Streicher to Masaka Uganda to work with the poor and the marginalized youths in the society. We try to be the voice of the voiceless and bring that voice to different forums that it would otherwise not be heard. On this occasion, I wish to turn to your thoughts to our children but specifically, the poor children; those who do not perform well, those who do not conform to the expected standards of behavior, those who are not able to stay in school for lack of finances. These are the sheep who get lost on the way; those we wish were not part of our school system.

I turn your thoughts to this pupil who could be very happy in class seven. Unfortunately, his school had to set a pass mark for progressing to class seven to 250 marks. He got 218 marks missing the pass mark by 32 marks. He could not live with it. When it became clear that he had to repeat class six, he went home and hanged himself. He was not alone, another girl also got 145 marks in KCPE she hanged herself after she told her mother that she could not live with her results.  She was brought to believe without academic success, she had no future.

The list of these tragedies where lives and futures are being lost in the name of education is growing, Pupils and students taking the rope and killing themselves, parents taking objects and clobbering teachers to death. What do these events say of an education system that has become a death warrant not only for our children but also for the community?

Allow me elaborate a few of reflections:

1.     Competition

A mother reflects on the experience of a friend whose son got a B- in KCSE. He was keen on joining a parallel degree program as he had not made it to a public university. His mother, a single parent insisted that she could not afford it. The boy could understand why his mother could not sell the only piece of land they had so that he could go to school. He said and I quote, “I have no degree, I have nothing left.” One day as they were having an argument, he went out of his mind, hit his mother with a hammer and killed her. The neighbors also revenged by killing the boy.

Through the eyes of the mother, questions are raised about the lessons that are being passed on the children, children who are taught about the call to power but not about their call to serve, Children who are taught about using their own communities for their own good instead of using their gifts for the good of the community. They are taught to desire what they do not have instead of contentment, the gift of being happy with what they have. They are taught to make rivals instead of friends, competitors instead of collaborators and turns them into people who never peak of ‘we’ but ‘me’.

When children are made to compete in this unfair battle where their God-given capacities are so diverse, the result is that they are no winner and no losers, only victims.

2.     Schools… a market for students

A child who has been sent away from his school for performing poorly, his grandfather likens his situation to a hospital that sends away patients that are critically ill and keeps only those with minor illnesses. This is done to maintain high standards and achieve high average performance. At the end of the year, this hospital celebrates with pomp while outside the gates lie the corpses of those who were thrown out to die. The stench of the corpses is in their nostrils as they sing and dance.

In our schools, the children who are weak academically, whop find it difficult to fit in, those who come from poor backgrounds and so on are the ones who are in the dire need of the school. But they are the ones we send away to die in the villages and on the streets as paupers, drug users and criminals.

3.     Self Acceptance

The voice is of father in prison telling his daughter of his life’s journey and how he ended up in prison, he tells of his need to be the best and of his efforts to remain at the top which is how he ends up in jail. One gets the feeling that his prison is comparable to the situation his daughter has entered. One in which she will never experience the freedom of becoming her full self but will always live in the strangling limits of the expectations of her teachers and society, to maintain that top position.

He has some words of advice for his daughter and he says, “…don’t worry about being the best;  just learn to live simply as yourself. If you learn how to welcome yourself as you are with your strengths and weaknesses, no matter where you are on the ladder then you not only be happy, you’ll be free.”  Again he says, “ … to be happy is better than to be first, to have friends is better than to have rivals, to encourage the weak in your class is better than to despise them. For true success is not conquest. It’s not triumph over others. True success is the joy that comes from knowing that you did your best”

4.     Schooling verses Educating

The tendencies of our institutions of learning to instill fear in students through force and intimidation, it looks at the role that fear plays in propagating hatred, resentment and desire for revenge. It asks of teachers to respect their students rather than instill fear in them because, “… a child who is intimidated by his teacher goes home full of contempt while a child who is respected goes home full of gratitude. On paper they might have the same marks, but in life, one is soaring above the other.

Of education, ‘Education is not about information but rather about transformation, about bringing out the best in everyone and making him more humane than the generations before him.’

5.     Conclusion

Blessed John Paul II said that a society that has no place for its weak members is not worthy of its salt. With the same words I say that a school that has no place for its weak pupils is not worthy of its salt. The brilliant pupil can only be your pupil, but the weak pupil can be your teacher, teaching you patience, tolerance and contentment. The shepherd who walks at the pace of the strong sheep cannot be a good shepherd because he will lose the weak ones along the way. The good shepherd is the one who walks behind the flock at the pace of the weak, carrying the weakest in his arms. He will bring the whole flock home. Teaching the brilliant pupil is a profession, it only produces academic scholars; but teaching the weak ones is much more; it is a vocation. Its products are the great men and women who have influenced history but were not brilliant at school, the likes of Mother Teresa who never attended school but has been a great teacher and example in showing us how to love the poor.     

Appreciations Thank you Mr. Ramon for the 500$ that helped in the funding of the day’s events. Thank you our sister school from Puerto Rico for the $300 and for your continued support… the local contribution of the parents like Jackline, Mama Kevin, Mama Judy and all the others, we really feel the love and care you have showered on us.. Thank You

Director

Brother Oronjo John




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Ms Linda and students

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St. Joseph Primary and Gibs Girls secondary School that attended the function.

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