St. Vincent de Paul Community Development Organization

The mission of the organization is to build a society where all children are provided the necessary love and care essential for growth. The organization is run by a small group of local volunteers, dedicated to improving the lives of poor and marginalized children in Kibera, Kenya by promoting their social integration into the community.
Nov 4, 2013

I've Been to Paris in My Dreams

Maureen
Maureen

In September, St. Vincent's sent four aspiring vulnerable girls to college - an extremely rare opportunity in Kibera where just 42% of girls even reach high school. One of these deserving girls was our very own, Maureen, who has called St. Vincent’s Rescue Center her home for the past five years.

Orphaned at age 7, Maureen has been with St. Vincent’s since she attended our nursery school as a young child. This year, we are so proud that her hard work and dedication to her studies has paid off as Maureen has been accepted to the United States International University where she is studying International Relations.

A compassionate and reliable ‘big sister’ to all of the children in our rescue center, Maureen plans to pursue a career with the United Nations where she can marry her passions of working with women and children, and her dreams of one day being able to travel the world.  Eventually, Maureen has her eyes set on an international diplomacy position with the government of Kenya. In addition to her studies, Maureen loves to salsa dance, read, listen to music and meet new people.  

Ask Maureen about her plans for the future, her eyes immediately light up and she tells you, ‘I have been to Paris many times before in my dreams. One day I want to go for real.’  

St. Vincent's has created a new microproject to help cover the tuition of Maureen and the three other girls we are supporting. Please check out the project here: https://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/educate-and-feed-85-at-risk-kids-in-kibera-kenya/

Jul 29, 2013

Children Participate in St. Vincent's Sports Day

Sports Day
Sports Day

In high-density Kibera, open space is rare. For children attending school within Kibera, classrooms are compact and recess time confined to small, enclosed spaces where children typically play with tires and other homemade toys. Throughout the year, St. Vincent's hosts Sports Days to give our nursery school and rescue center children the chance to be active and play unconfined. These days are much anticipated by our children. 

On a sunny July morning, students were bussed to a local park along with teachers, older children from the rescue center, and many volunteers. Handmade balls wound with twine and tape, wooden blocks, and ropes filled both the free play time and were used for planned activities. Each child appeared enamored and occupied with the expanse of green grass, opportunity to freely chase and cartwheel, and the chance to win stickers, given out by Teacher Alice for small field day victories. Milk, biscuits, and oranges were handed out, as children waited patiently for their turn after rinsing their hands in water retrieved by volunteers. We wrapped up the day cleaning the green space, children picking up much more waste than belonged to them. The day ultimately left both children and park better than before. 

Sports Day Games
Sports Day Games
Sports Day - Open Space
Sports Day - Open Space
Sports Day - Children Drinking Milk
Sports Day - Children Drinking Milk

Links:

Jul 29, 2013

Girls Escape Violence at the Rescue Center

Rescue Center Girls Say Cheese for the Camera
Rescue Center Girls Say Cheese for the Camera

Jayne* is a 10 year old girl from Kibera. She has been living in our Rescue Center for the past month - finally safe from the sexual violence that has become epidemic in Kibera. A recent study on violence against children in Kenya found that an overwhelming 32% of girls have experienced sexual violence. 

Jayne has been the victim of multiple counts of rape. Most recently she was raped on her way to school and bravely reported the incident to a teacher, who was finally able to get her the help she needs. Sadly, Jayne experienced three previous incidents of rape inflicted by her own relatives, all of which went unreported. 

We came across Jayne on a Monday afternoon in June after she was taken to a neighboring health clinic that treats sexual violence survivors. Known for the emergency care that we provide to children who have experienced rape and other abuse, the clinic called upon St. Vincent's to provide Jayne with immediate shelter. Our staff spent the day working with the child, the clinic and local government authorities and by evening, Jayne was placed under our care where she remains today. 

Jayne is an incredibly sweet girl who manages to pull off a smile when she greets you. She loves coloring and playing with games and puzzles and she has already started to bond with the other children in our home. The trauma that Jayne has experienced will not soon dissipate, but for now, we can promise her a refuge where she receives ample food, shelter and care and most importantly, a place in which she can close her eyes each night knowing that she is safe.  

 

*The name of the child in this report has been changed to protect her identity. 

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