Author: lwanga (Page 1 of 65)

June 2017

This week has been a wonderful and quite a busy week, as the students were engaged much in their class work and in preparing for their cultural day celebrations. The students woke up very joyful as they welcomed the long awaited day, each student was eager to share their traditions and cultural practices. There were a number of items that the students had prepared for their cultural day such as traditional dances, poems and drama all aiming at educating the young people on the forgotten cultural practices.

It was quite a competitive competition for Mr. and Miss culture as each student had his/her unique cultural practice.

This was a traditional dance from the students.

The day was later crowned by the competition for Mr. and Miss St. Charles Lwanga where the judges had quite a hard decision in determining the winner. All the students were the best because they have done their best.

Thomas PRI-Training

The SCL fraternity wishes to pass their most sincere gratitude to friends from Vermont and the University of Vermont -Mary Lynn Riggs, Sam Hagen and Marrissa, for their kind and generous support towards the sponsorship of Thomas training at the PRI-Kenya institute and the agricultural project at the school. This has been a transformative moment for Thomas and the school at large as he has learnt so much on agriculture which he is able to share with the students. The students are so much encouraged and they are so happy to work with Thomas in his new agricultural project.

Thomas at the training where he learned different ways of improving the soil fertility.

Brother Kennedys 10yrs Anniversary

We are happy to invite friends and our benefactors to Brother Kennedy’s 10 years anniversary, which will be held at his home in Homabay on 17th June 2017. He will be celebrating 10 years in brotherhood where he has made tremendous impact in transforming lives and giving hope to the poor especially the young generation. During the period of his religious life, he has spent most of his time working for the poor and street children in his village and Nairobi city by providing education, food, shelter, medical care and advocating for the children rights. He has also brought hope to so many families through empowering the young women who can now gladly take care of their families happily.

Due to his outstanding leadership qualities, good will to the community, selfless heart to help the needy, honesty, diligence, patience among others, Brother Kennedy will be hosting over 500 visitors among them students and staff from SCL who will be more than happy to celebrate the victory of one of our own.

Come all, let’s support him by giving him hope, financial and moral support gifts and cards to encourage him in his noble task of charity and mission to help the needy.

Brother Kennedy with some of the beneficially students.

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

Fr. Duncan’s Visit to Charles Lwanga School

At about 7am in the morning on Thursday February 16th, 2017 in Ruai, Kenya, 280 plus students were on parade to pray, sing and give words of welcome to Fr. Duncan MacIsaac of Stella Maris Parish, Inverness, NS and St Margaret’s Parish, Broad Cove, NS, Canada. He was representing Inverness County Cares (ICC) in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  He came to St Charles Lwanga Secondary School because he cares and wanted to meet the students and staff at St Charles Lwanga School.
Shortly after arrival Fr. Duncan sat down with about 18 students from Form 4 (grade12) and staff in their newly constructed Chapel. He listened to each student tell of their dreams for their future and how they will build up and enrich society. They spoke of what they learned at St Charles Lwanga Secondary School beyond the academics, of how they learned to share and look out for each other. They spoke of how they grew as persons by taking on leadership roles and carrying out their responsibilities in a faithful manner. It was encouraging and uplifting to hear these young men and women speaking from their heart and in such an eloquent way.
ICC was also represented by Betty Jane Cameron of Mabou and she and Fr. Duncan met with Br Kennedy and staff along with representatives of Chalice of Bedford, NS. The Chalice delegation included Mary Anne MacKinnon, the International Director of Chalice whose ancestral roots are from Inverness County, along with Ann Josiah a Native Kenyan who is a Regional Director for Chalice in Kenya. A wide ranging discussion ensued that examined both challenges and opportunities of how St Charles Lwanga Secondary school can continue to move forward in the future in the best interests of the students and their education. The obvious improvements in classes, structures, formation, and financial accountability were noted and affirmed.
St Charles Lwanga School’s vision is clearly stated for all to see upon entering the school grounds. It reads: ” A society in which children irrespective of their background are equipped with knowledge and skills to play their role in life as citizens of the world”. These values are reinforced on a daily basis in the hearts and minds of the children.

The students themselves are engaging and fiercely determined to do their best in this school setting, despite its limitations of space and available material resources. Those who succeed will be exemplary citizens and leaders in their communities, in their country and in the world as a whole. ICC and Chalice through shared funding of $60,000 each, over a 3 year period have enhanced and made real the possibility of the dreams and their fulfillment for these children. It is no small achievement.

Sustainable Agriculture

This week has been great at St. Charles Lwanga Children Centre, the students have been actively involved in different activities at the school. The youth members especially, have been involved in creative thinking where they are practicing sustainable agriculture by reusing the broken buckets, boxes and sacks around the school since there is not enough space at the school and the school garden is currently been used by the agriculture students for their practical’s. The youth project aims at controlling and managing the non-biodegradable waste around the school compound and also for farming where the vegetables will be used for feeding the students. The students have carried out this process in different stages as follows.

The students collected the broken buckets, boxes, sacks and bottles. The girls cut the bottles into shapes that could hold the soil in place. They later filled the buckets and the boxes with soil and set them ready for planting.

The students filled the buckets with soil ready for planting.

Other activities in which the students were involved in are, clearing the drainage system to avoid stagnant water, which can lead to breeding of mosquitoes and later to malaria infection.

The students were involved in fencing, watering and planting the vegetables.

To sum it all, we appreciate all our benefactors, friends and Brother Kennedy for their continued support and good will towards our school.

Thank you and God Bless you.

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