Mission Statement: To empower the children from poor backgrounds through education, training, mentor-ship and role modelling to be self reliant and easily integrated into community.
The school compound is outlined in blue. The school is located in Ruai, Nairobi.
The St Charles Lwanga School is located on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. It is on a road turning off from the Western Bypass. The street is dusty and dry in fine weather and slippery, muddy almost impassable in the wet season. The whole compound is approximately .25 acres and is composed of classrooms, a multi purpose hall, latrines, kitchen and dormitories. Some buildings are of a sturdy stone or metal construction while others are hastily put up shelters of mubati corrugated metal. There are now 6 latrines, with 12 seats in total. In 2013, Living Water Africa and The Kisoboka Trust installed a water collection system. This eliminated the need to walk, sometimes 6 km to obtain water to drink and wash.
There is a green area (in the wet season) where the agriculture students plant crops, which add vegetable to the school diet. During the dry season this area is rock hard and impossible for any plants to grow.
Food is prepared in the Martha’s Kitchen, generously donated by the Sister’s of St Martha of Bethany, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada and cooked in stoves donated by the students of Dalbrae Academy, Nova Scotia, Canada. The kitchen is a cement building housing the stoves (with a venting chimney) and a counter for food chopping and preparation. Meals are taken outside or in classrooms when weather in inclement. Each student has their own dishes and cutlery, (a plastic container and spoon), which they wash and store.
The metal roof classrooms in summer are extremely hot and airless. The students sit attentively taking notes to memorize later, sitting three to a desk in a in a crowded classroom. The School supplies are scarce, so pens, pencils and paper are coveted items. Instructional aids are beyond basic…. a blackboard, chalk, a textbook and a few bits of lab equipment.
The atmosphere of the school compound is very orderly despite that 280 teenagers live and study there. They rise at 4:30 AM to do chores to keep the school running efficiently. Each day is well organized and students are kept busy with tasks, study, sports and after-hours clubs such as drama and debating.
Sleeping accommodations have dramatically improved with a new dormitory provided by friends from Boornbergum, Netherlands. http://boornbergumvoorkenia.nl/ Previously the students slept 3-4 to a small single (bunk size) bed.
Each child brings with them their individual story of loneliness and heartbreak. Most of these children have been without a stable guardian since their early lives and have been the target of exploitation and abuse. Despite this, they realize the way toward success is through education and they give it their best. Because they have had nothing they appreciate even the little things, such as a bed with a sheet and a blanket. It is an inconceivable fact for most Canadian women, but these girls do not always have access to (expensive for them) feminine napkins. They often have to miss class that time of month. Some girls have been given ‘Days For Girls’ (http://www.daysforgirls.org/) reusable pads, which enable them to attend class.
Students wear a blue school uniform during class time and wear the few bits of personal clothing they own after school. They usually have school shoes and a tattered personal pair for after class. They students have very few personal belongings if any. These they store in a metal trunk, which they share with some other students.
Br Kennedy is a tireless advocate for the welfare and advancement of the school and is continually seeking out way to gather support for the school. The school welcomes many visitors from many places especially, Holland, Canada, Puerto Rico, The UK and the USA.