Feb 18, 2014

Fighting Hunger in Kibera

Families receive staple foods over summer break
Families receive staple foods over summer break

In December 2013, 63 families eagerly convened in the courtyard of St. Vincent’s Nursery School in Kibera to participate in our second annual holiday food basket distribution. The purpose of the food basket initiative is to ensure that St. Vincent's nursery school families have available nutritious food supplies during the school summer break. 

Weekly home visits conducted throughout the year by our Head Teacher, Alice, indicate that the majority of nursery school children are highly dependent on the two daily meals provided by St. Vincent’s Nursery School. Many of our children experience hunger during the weekends and holidays when school is not in session. With the price of food supplies continuing to soar in Kibera, the 6-week summer holiday in December and January is particularly challenging for families and leave many unable to provide food for their children.

All nursery school families were invited to participate in the day’s events. Participants received a hot meal prepared by St. Vincent’s cook, Dorcas, as well as a package of food that included maize flour, porridge flour, cooking oil, wheat flour, rice and sugar.  Parents expressed their relief and appreciation through a song and dance. 

The day’s event was organized by St. Vincent’s through the support of a generous private donor, as well as with the support of Kenya Commercial Bank.

Baskets include flour, sugar, oil, rice & porridge
Baskets include flour, sugar, oil, rice & porridge
63 families benefit from food basket distribution
63 families benefit from food basket distribution
Families receive hot lunch during distribution
Families receive hot lunch during distribution
Families receive hot lunch during distribution
Families receive hot lunch during distribution
Jan 23, 2014

We Reached Our Goal!

Violet and Maureen
Violet and Maureen

In October 2013, we set out to raise $10,000 to support a new initiative of St. Vincent's: girls' college education. In three short months, with the help of generous donors like you, we surpassed our goal, raising $10,040 to support Maureen, Violet, Angela and Melissa to pursue their dreams of attending college.

With these funds, St. Vincent can cover the girls' tuition and other school fees for an entire year. This is an amazing step for these special girls, who live in a community where less than half make it through high school.

We thought the best way to thank you would be to have the girls do it directly. Maureen is one of the scholarship beneficiaries and also lives at St. Vincent's Rescue Center in Kibera. Maureen is 19 and was born in Kibera, Kenya. She came to St. Vincent's as a student at our nursery school -- a pioneer of the program. In 2002, just as she was finishing the nursery school program at age 7, Maureen’s mother passed away. Maureen went to live with a woman in Nairobi until the age of 13, when she was brought to live at our rescue center. A bright and passionate young woman, Maureen skillfully balances her new role as a college student, with her ongoing household responsibilities, with an impressive sense of vigor and dedication.

Here's what Maureen had to say about her experience: 

I am Maureen, a beneficiary of Saint Vincent De Paul. Am currently staying at the Rescue House in Nairobi Kenya. I stay there with 20 more children all of whom are supported by the organization. I started staying there in 2008. Thanks to the support of Saint Vincent I am now in the United States International University in my first year. There Is no permanent donor for the society but thanks to the well wishers and donors I am where I am now.

 In the university I am currently taking International Relations. I enjoy my studies a lot there. My favorite class is Spanish class. I plan to take it as my minor. I will be going for my second semester come January. When I complete the three years I would like to be a diplomat to any Spanish speaking country in particular or work with the United Nations in International Community Development in different countries. I really enjoy being in school and I thank God for Saint Vincent and the benefactors and generous donors. I hope I will be able to complete my three years successfully in USIU.

On behalf of Maureen, Violet, Melissa and Angela, we would like to thank you for your support of this unique and importand inititative.

Nov 4, 2013

What Happens After Nursery School?

Building strong foundations for children
Building strong foundations for children

For 13 years, St. Vincent's Nursery School has provided approximately 85 young children each year with a healthy start through its education, feeding and support program. But many ask, what happens to these children after they leave our care? 

St. Vincent's support doesn't end with our nursery school -- that's merely the beginning of our engagement with needy families. After children graduate from the nursery school, we continue to be a resource to families and follow how children are doing. We do what we can with the little resources we have available to help families access the services they need for their children, making sure that the work we have done to give children a strong start is not lost. 

As part of this effort, we identify the most vulnerable children and families and help them to pay for school fees and supplies so that their children can be enrolled and stay in school after they leave our nursery school. In 2013, St. Vincent's is pleased to report that we have supported 24 children from primary to college level with scholarships that cover school fees and other associated costs. This support is a huge assistance to families; it helps keep children in the family while also ensuring continued access to education.  

As always, thank you for your continued support of our work in Kibera!

 
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