Month: December 2014

Lwanga Update as posted on the ‘Inverness Oran’ Newspaper

The growth and expansion of St Charles Lwanga School (SCLS) is an illustration of international cooperation and good will. Br Kennedy Oronjo, a native Kenyan brother of the St Charles Lwanga congregation and a 2012 graduate of the Coady International Institute, Antigonish, NS, founded the school in 2010. The school graduated its first Form Four (Grade 12) class in the fall of 2013. The present enrollment is approximately 240 boys and girls, increasing to 250-60 next term. These students are mainly children, who were abandoned or left homeless because of tribal violence, breakup of their family unit by AIDS or because of their parents’ inability to care for their family unit as a result of severe poverty. Some of the students have been rescued from the Dandora Dump and the Kibera Slum, places with squalid conditions and personally dangerous areas in which to live.

The SCLS has made remarkable progress in its mission of providing a safe home, an education and nourishment for the bodies and souls of these distressed children. This has all occurred because of the organizational abilities of Br Kennedy, supporters at home in Kenya and many international supporters from, Holland, UK, Puerto Rico, Vermont, USA and Nova Scotia, Canada.

Recently the SCLS has undergone several major improvements. This month a rainwater collection system and cistern has been completed. This project, funded by the ‘Living Water Africa’ (http://www.livingwaterafrica.org.uk/) foundation based in Southampton, UK, was constructed in cooperation with the Kisoboka Trust of Southampton, UK (http://www.kisoboka.org.uk/) and the Kenya Rainwater Association of Kenya. This project built a 50,000 liter cistern into which rainwater will flow, collected by gutters installed on the roofs of the SCLS buildings. This will provide water for irrigation and personal use and give the school the opportunity to raise hens and rabbits for meat and eggs. The residents of Boornbergum, Holland are currently preparing to ship a container filled with pre fab components of a 64 person dormitory for the Kenyan students. This project will provide comfortable and safe sleeping arrangements for 64 students, sleeping one to each bed, as opposed to the present cramped conditions of 3 students per single bed.

Inverness County Cares (ICC) has provided the school with a multi purpose hall. This structure will serve as classroom, cafeteria, assembly area, and examination hall. The building is in use but needs windows, doors and a cement floor to complete the structure. ICC hopes to have this work complete by the beginning of the new term in January.

The Sisters of St Martha of Bethany, Antigonish, NS have provided the school with a safe and efficient kitchen where the staff prepare and cook meals on the two energy efficient stoves provided by local Dalbrae Academy students. It is a welcome change from pots on an open fire method, formerly used to prepare meals for the student population.

SCLS has recently come to the attention of individuals, schools and organizations in the Burlington Vermont area. School children are planning fund raising projects, and individuals are in the planning stages of further improvements for the SCLS. Ted and Hermina van Zutphen and Colleen MacLeod of ICC recently traveled to Vermont (expenses paid personally) for a Green Across The Pacific (GATP) conference and 7 Dalbrae students participated as well (virtually). Dalbrae is in the beginning stages of a cultural/environmental exchange relationship with the Vermont GATP organization.

ICC continues to advocate for the SCLS and our local food bank. Presently we have a horse trailer parked at the end of Ted and Hermina van Zutphen’s lane. We are now accepting recyclables for the local food bank. When this is filled we will begin to accept recyclables for the SCLS in Kenya.

These students often come to SCLS with mostly just the clothes on their back. Their most urgent need is of course, food. ICC is proud to be able to supply the students with food each month. Our monthly $800 donation provides the basics of their food needs. That would be $3.33 per student per month. This provides basic foods, beans, maize, rice, tomatoes, kale and other vegetables. Their menu is the same everyday except on Sunday, some meat is added for flavor.

Each child has a school uniform and a set of work clothes. They all have very little personal belongings or personal hygiene items. There is the risk of Malaria in their area, but the school cannot afford sleeping bed nets, which offer protection, from the mosquitoes carrying malaria. 

The school has three pit latrines, each with 2 compartments, this provides service for the 240 students plus 15 teachers and administration. Wash up areas are a space enclosed by corrugated metal sheets where each student does their morning wash-up from a bucket, standing on rocky or muddy ground each day. You can see hygiene and sanitation are a critical area of concern.

The needs of the SCLS and whole geographic area are so great it is mindboggling. Keeping in mind this quote, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”, all the supporters of SCLS feel confident the children are being prepared to be productive members of society. They are given the ‘fish’ each day but are also being ‘taught to fish’. Education is their key to success. 


Packing Friesland Container for Kenya

WE Day

The Strait Regional School Board in Nova Scotia, Canada mentions the role played by Dalbrae students a in WE Day. See Below
http://srsb.ca/node/6754
Dalbrae Academy’s
Students Helping Our World (SHOW) Committee is working on several initiatives this year in conjunction with their We Day efforts including:
– They have teamed up, once again, with the Inverness County Cares organization and are planning their 3rd Annual “Songs for Lwanga” concert to raise funds for the St. Charles Lwanga School in Nairobi, Kenya.  Their goal is to surpass last year’s amount of $1,500.
-They are working with the Inverness Consolidated Memorial Hospital’s Cancer Treatment/Chemotherapy section to raise funds to purchase gas cards, wigs and an iPad for cancer patients.  There are two tea and bake sales planned for early December.
-They are hoping to work with Doctors Without Borders to donate a student’s artificial limbs to needy children in developing nations.
In addition, six SHOW Committee students took part in a virtual, online discussion during the “Green Across the Pacific” Conference held in Vermont.  Students are beginning to network with other students from around the world. In particular, students have made a valuable connection with Br. Kennedy Oronjo from the St Charles Lwanga School in which they see the fruits of their labor and experience a first-hand connection with the school and students they continue to support.  Green Across the Pacific (http://gatp.org) is an organization dedicated to the 21st Century teaching and learning that engages students from various cultures. The organization’s objective is to bring students together both virtually and face-to-face with a focus on solving real world environmental and futuristic problems. Green Across the Pacific’s vision is to develop an international network of middle and high schools dedicated to virtual Youth Cultural, Environmental Leadership and Academic Exchange.
A member of the Dalbrae Academy SHOW Committee can be seen on the screen taking part virtually during the Green Across the Pacific Conference.



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