Month: May 2017

Sustainability

A REPORT ON THE PROGRESS OF SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT AND OTHER ACTIVITIES

Students uprooting the weeds.

The students at St. Charles Lwanga children Centre and Secondary School are very happy to report on the progress of their agricultural project which they started a month ago. The students started the project with the aim of supplementing their feeding program at the school through the reuse of broken buckets and sacks. The project has made tremendous out come as the students have made several vegetables harvests from the project. This has greatly motivated the students that despite the limited space at the school they can still use their creativity and produce more vegetables for the school.

Academic clinic

This week has been a wonderful week at St. Charles Lwanga, for students and the school at large. The school management organized an academic clinic for the senior most classes, where the guardians of the students and the teachers would have a discussion on the students academic performance. The guardians expressed their happiness to the school Director Brother Kennedy and the teachers for the great work they are doing in education and giving moral formation to the students. The students too expressed their gratitude for the many benefits they receive at the school. They were grateful for the quality education, good feeding program, proper medical care, love and care among others they experience at the school. In addition, they expressed their happiness that despite the famine, hiking up the prices of food and the food shortages being experienced in the country, they still enjoy their three meals a day which most families are unable to provide. However, they also expressed some of the challenges such as insufficient desks to sit on and the urgent need for renovation of their classroom floor.

Regenerative agriculture

Sam , students from University of Nairobi, Thomas, Mr. Denis and students from St Charles Lwanga have a view of the school garden.

Last month was a very great month for the school as we received visitors from Vermont who shared their warm love with the students for one week. Words are not enough to express our gratitude to Mary Lynn, Marissa and Sam Hagen for the great impact they made in the lives of the students. They inspired the students greatly on how they can practice regeneration agriculture to increase the food production at the school. Sam Hagen held a workshop at the school which involved students from the University of Nairobi and other stakeholders who came up with a three year plan on how the school can increase on the food production.

 

Brother Kennedy also worked tirelessly with the visitors by organizing different meetings which aimed at increasing the food production at the school. First they held a meeting with Dr. Hillary from the University of Nairobi where they discussed at length how they would use a sustainable development model and education to increase  food production in Nairobi St Charles Lwanga and the Vianney school in Homabay-Rodi. (More information on this in a future post.) The model will mainly focus on community education, food systems and public health which are the majors areas that affect people in our societies.

Meeting with the minister for education Homabay County

Later in the week Brother Kennedy traveled with the visitors to Homabay, where they met with the Minister for Education Homabay County, Madam Eunice. They held a meeting discussing  the positive impact food production project would make at Rodi in the attainment of the new piece of land. She promised to help in the legal documents required for the implementation of the project.

Birthday surprise

The week was crowned by a birthday surprise for Brother Kennedy which was well organized by the visitors, at a nice Kenyan hotel, the Carnivore. Laughter took the best share of the visitors as they enjoyed humorous jokes and dinner together with Brother Kennedy. They all wished him a happy life in his Charity work and service to the children.

In conclusion ,we appreciate Brother Kennedy, Mary Lynn, Marissa, Sam Hagen, Inverness County Cares, Chalice Foundation, University of Nairobi students, friends and all the well wishers for their timely and continued support towards the school. Thank you for giving hope of a happy future to the students and the community at large. God Bless you.

Betty Jane’s visit to St Charles Lwanga School in Ruai.

The St Charles Lwanga Secondary (Lwanga) School situated in Ruai, on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya has a strong connection with Inverness County Cares of Nova Scotia, Canada. This bond and concern for the 280 children at the school has drawn Inverness County visitors to this little school with big dreams.

An adventurous spirit and desire to help others brought Betty Jane Cameron of Mabou, Nova Scotia, Canada, back to the Lwanga School for her second visit. In 2016 she spent a month with the children. This February and March she returned for six weeks, one of those weeks with Fr. Duncan Mac Isaac with whom all were impressed by his wisdom and caring. She taught music, health education and provided love and understanding for children desperately in need of a loving grandmother figure.

Betty Jane had the real Kenyan experience. She lived at the school, slept in a small dorm and ate what the students ate. She experienced firsthand the effects of the devastating famine in Kenya, South Sudan and Somalia. Food prices are escalating and the usual multitude of Kenyan food vendors were absent. The students survive on a very basic diet of beans, rice and cabbage and vegetables. Even tea, that necessary Cape Breton staple, was unavailable.

Betty Jane worked at the school as a member of the staff. She rejoiced in the successes of students and shared tears for their disappointments. She experienced the lack of teaching aids, scarcity of equipment, stifling heat in over crowded classrooms and difficulty in keeping good teachers when the budget doesn’t have the means to pay a competitive salary.

She travelled toward the western part of Kenya to Homabay where school director Br Kennedy Oronjo’s mother lives in their family home. She was proud to witness our Lwanga students act as student leaders and mentors for students of schools in other areas. They demonstrated strong leadership skills and were an inspiration to their peers.

Like our teens, these students have dreams and goals for their future studies and careers. They are very much aware that all this stops at graduation from Form 4 (Grade 12), unless sponsors and/or scholarships can be made available. Last year all of them graduated, and three earned university entrance scholarships. The rest of these young people are back in their communities or on the streets again, and most have not found employment. Inverness County Cares members are individually sponsoring several students, but some of us hope to start a scholarship fund to provide an ongoing source of sustainable money to help graduating students further their studies each year. There are so many needs: a new school with space for sports and recreation, a vocational school, and land for an agricultural program to help them become more sustainable and better fed. Currently, over 300 staff and students live, sleep and study on about 1/4 acre! Nevertheless, they are happy and grateful for everything. They know they are truly blessed to be part of the St Charles Lwanga family.

St Charles Lwanga classroom

 

Betty Jane at St Charles Lwanga School in Ruai, Kenya

St Charles Lwanga Students

Betty Jane with St Charles Lwanga Students

Betty Jane with St Charles Lwanga students

St Charles Lwanga students

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