KIBERA BLACK STARS

 

 

What a remarkable day it was, on Friday July 18 2014 when we were privileged to receive a group of young soccer players named the Kibera Black Stars. Their technical advisor had called previously and requested if his team would be allowed to visit our Centre and learn about what we do. Little did we know that there was more to the visit than that!

They really surprised us. Most visitors come to interact and play with our children and leave later in the day.

However in this case there was more to the visit than we expected!043

 

Just like in any normal setting, we started by an introduction which was led by the Chairman who introduced the Team Manager, the coach and the Captain of the team who took charge and introduced all the players. Following this the Mary Rice Centre Director with the help of the teacher introduced the staff and the children, and then explained to the team why Mary Rice exists and all the services we offer at the Centre to our children. After that the players sang songs for, and with the children and then closed the session with a prayer.

When we thought that we were finished they surprised us with yet some more gifts that they had bought for the children worth Kshs, 10,000. This surpassed our imagination after we saw all the things they presented to the children, they offered a bundle of maize flour and wheat flour, tissue papers, a bag of rice, juice, biscuits, sugars and fruits, all items we did not expect to see. The Centre and in particular the children were very happy for all they did that day, and the manner in which they interacted and played with our children and shared a great time together.

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We were very inspired by this little symbol of kindness we received from each young man who are dedicated to make a change in the society although they don’t earn or work. The parents were at the Centre on the day for a parents meeting and they felt challenged by this group of young men who came from the same slum as them but could afford to give back to the society the little they had. They learnt that regardless of where you come from or what you do, you can always find something to give. As the saying goes, “there is no one who is too poor to give, nor too rich to receive”.

A Ray of Hope

Meet Nicholas Muhanji, a ten-year-old boy from the mainstream school – St. Charles Lwanga Primary School where Mary Rice Centre is hosted. Nicholas had a Tran’s femoral amputation due to cancer when he was seven years old. Luckily enough the stump healed well and he was trained to walk using crutches.

Nicholas Muhanji

Nicholas faced numerous challenges physically, psychologically and socially. For instance walking from home to school was difficult and tiring because of the poor pathways along the Kibera slums not forgetting the distance. On the other hand his self-esteem was also affected because he felt bad not being able to walk with his both legs like other normal children of his age and play his favourite games like football.

However, in May this year as part of our outreach program in Mary Rice Centre we decided to include children from the mainstream school who had different forms of disabilities into our therapy sessions.

Through our networking we were able to get an above knee prosthesis for Nicholas from an organization called Jaipur for free. The prosthesis itself would have cost Ksh 150,000 which is unaffordable for Nicholas’s parents. We are currently training him on independent walking using the parallel bar, muscle strengthening activities and balance coordination.

Nicholas and Esther

So far he is doing well and he is very positive about it and he is walking using one clutch as we look forward for him to be able to walk independently. It has also made his movement at home and school easier and he is also able to play better and enjoy his childhood just like any other child.

 

A VISIT BY THE ST VIRGIL’S COLLEGE, HOBART, PRINCIPAL

What a great honor and privilege it was to have the Principal of St Virgil’s College, Hobart, Australia, Mr Damian Messer visit our school.  Through his presence and interaction with our students and staff we felt connected to our supporters from St Virgil’s College. We felt encouraged, supported and motivated to continue doing what we are doing because we know that we are in the hearts, minds and prayers of the entire family of St Virgil’s.

During his speech, Mr Messer highlighted how the students and the staff ‘go the extra mile’ to raise funds to support the Mary Rice Centre to ensure it can provide support and programs to students and parents. This highlights how  privileged we are at Mary Rice to be part of the St Virgil’s family who continually strive to make sure we are well taken care of and always in their prayers.

The presence of the Principal made us feel greatly appreciated, as he had taken time from his busy schedule to come and visit us personally.??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Our gratitude is beyond measure for his generosity and the great support he and St Virgil’s College have shown to all at Mary Rice. Words alone cannot fully explain the joy and impact he brought to the Centre just by his visit – we can only say thank you (assante sana) for all the things he and the College have done for us.

The children were very happy and could not stop talking about the toys and gift they received on the day he was at the Centre. Their faces shine with gratitude every time they hold and play with the animal toys they received from Mr Messer (a special thank you to Mrs Denniss for her wonderful gift). They were also thrilled to receive their lovely loom band bracelets, made by the students of St Virgil’s – these fitted  beautifully on their small and tender hands. It was amazing how they could not stop smiling from the warm hugs Mr Messer shared with them. These smiles are fixed on their faces at the mention of Principal Damian’s name. This made them feel more loved, cared for and valued as this doesn’t happen often in their lives.???????????????????????????????

The staff and the children also appreciated the art work that was done by Grade 9 and 10 children with the supervision of their teacher Mrs Bridget Jenkins and Ms Claire Graham – we return our love and gratitude to Hobart and especially to Oliver, Zac, Tomi, Josh, Carl, Brandon, Will, Tom, Patrick, Sean, Alex, Hobart, Will, Patrick, Chris, Jayde, Solomon, Jordan, Andrew, Ryan, Bridget and Claire, Toby, Tom, Liam, Josh and Zac who put their effort and dedication to make this wonderful art work.

 

 

 

OUR GUARDIAN ANGELS

This week we were honoured to have visitors come to the Centre as part of the annual Carrigg Karibu program, including the Principal of St Virgil’s College, Hobart, Australia.  It was such a privilege for us to have them take the time to travel from Australia to come to Kenya and visit our Centre.

We greatly admired the humility and kindness that they have shown each time they visit us at the Centre. It was indeed an exceptional moment to be visited by teachers from colleges who are responsible in encouraging and raising this young people who have made change to our community, in the process shaping the life of many individuals like us in becoming better people in the society and being better in what we do and become in the future.

Some of the teachers who visited us were Damian (St Virgil’s College), Paul (St Bernard’s College), Betty, Francesca and Johart. We were very happy for everything they shared with us especially visiting with Mary Rice staff to student’s homes  to get to know the environment that our children come from and meet with their parents. They also shared some class room activities with the children which was an opportunity to see and  experience how and what the children learn.

This was a very successful day at the Centre. The children were very cheerful with our visitors and were delighted to present gifts to our special visitors which were made by their parent at the micro finance project that is running at the Centre.