Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Letter from Malcom Dyer

Dear Martin and Niamh,

We are in the process of putting up a single-storey building and we are in the thick of digging foundations and starting to set the conrete bases for the pillars. We hope that one day we shall add a second storey so that is why we are making the foundations deep and strong.

We have about twenty young men from the parish doing this work so it is benefitting many families and the young men themselves. We have a very good foreman and an assistant one who are very capable and experience in the building trade.

The children started back yesterday and because of the building works we have had to squeeze one of the classes that we next to the nursery into the hall. Also we have to cut the nursery school building in half so the nursery school is also a bit squeezed.

We have two committees for fund-raising one in Thika and one in Nairobi. We are trying to have a big fund-raising event maybe on 28th June and a preliminary one in April- a fundraising dinner.

Our head-teacher, Nayambura, has got a diploma in Special Needs Education and another teacher will soon get hers.

We have been given 46 mattresses and pillows for the children for use at their homes as many do not have comfortable beds. We are in the process of distributing the.

The Vatican - Holy Childhood Fund has given us some money to provide porridge for the children.

That's all for now.

Thanks and God bless,
Fr. Malcom Dyer

Students of St. Clare's, Manorhamilton get behind the project.

Niamh is an R.E. and Music teacher in Manorhamilton and has had the benifit of the enthusiasm of her students who have adopted the project as part of their humanitarian work in the school. Last year, a teacher, Mr. Cassells, shaved off his beard and hair, encouraged by the Principal and other male teachers who had their legs waxed for the cause. This was a whole school event and raised €8,000 which went a long way towards acquiring the bus for the Don Orione Centre. Those teachers were such good sports and were a great example to the youth that aid is not all dreary but can be a bit of fun if supported by others.

Church Gate Collection Castlerea, Trien and Cloonbonniffe

Niamh and Martin Kelly held a Church Gate collection during the August bank holiday weekend which raised €1, 458.04. Both Niamh and Martin, and the people from Kenya would like to express their sincere thanks to the people of Castlerea, Trien and Cloonbonniffe, who as always were so generous to the cause. To date Niamh and Martin have raised over €32,000 with the help of the students in the school where Niamh teaches in Manorhamilton and the people of Castlerea. Last year the centre in Kenya was able to purchase a bus thanks to the money raised, and now all the children with special needs in the wider area can attend the school and be educated, where there was no hope for them before. Martin and Niamh intend to return to Kenya next summer to work with the children and oversee the project.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Parish Centre

The Little Missionary Sister of Charity came to Kenya in 1979, having the same founder as the Sons of Divine Providence although independent of each other. The Fathers from the English Delegation would visit the sisters to give them retreats. This is where the interest in Kenya began for the Sons of Divine Providence. They realised that there were some possible vocations, the first namely Peter Wambulwa who looks forward to his ordination on November 19th 2005, being the first Kenyan priest within the congregation.

The parish of Kaburugi began in the late 90’s and the Father-in-charge is a priest from Poland called Fr. Marek Krakus. He is assisted by a priest from England called Fr. Malcom Dyer. When they came to Kaburugi, they looked long and hard at the situation and discovered that the greatest need lay among children with disability. Having already built up two Nursery Schools, they began to focus their attentions on the area of Special needs education. As a result the Don Orione Centre began in February of 2005 with many students seeking assessment, but unfortunately only a mere 15 being able to reach the centre on foot or on their mother’s backs. When we reached Kaburugi the Fathers were concentrating on raising funds to buy a bus and would assist a further 35 Special needs kids to reach the centre. While we were there, thankfully it seems as though the funds for the bus has been raised and now the Fathers can concentrate on the grand plan of building a new centre that will contain dormitories and provide proper facilities for the children, enabling various other projects also like counselling and community development.

Some Photos from the Kenya Projects

Kaburugi Community

Kaburugi is a village situated North West of the town of Thika. The majority of the people who live there belong to the Kikuyu tribe and take great pride in cultivating the land.

The population of Kaburugi is 20,000 approx, c. 5,000 of whom belong to the Catholic Church. Many denominations exist in Kenya, so the majority of the 20,000 inhabitants of Kaburugi claim to be Christian.

The people of Kaburugi are extremely friendly and always have a warm welcoming smile for you. The little that they have they generously share with you when you visit their homes. Within the parish there are many centres containing eight Catholic Churches, two Nursery Schools with the intention of an additional couple of Nursery Schools. The names of the centres within the parish are as follows: Kaburugi, Kawendo, Kiranga, Mahuti, Makindi, Maruka N’gararia and Rukira.