The afternoon of Monday June 8 witnessed a beehive of activities to welcome the Australian High Commissioner to Kenya, His Excellency Mr John Feakes who made an informal visit with his family to the Mary Rice Centre.
Parents and members of staff together with the pupils, joined hands to welcome our special guests, showing their appreciation by singing songs of praise to God the Almighty.
The Area Chief also graced the occasion together with other visitors from the locality.
In his speech, His Excellency the High Commissioner expressed how humbled he was to witness the great work that Mary Rice staff are doing in serving the needy children. He thanked them for their generosity and commitment in their service of the children and their families for the warm welcome extended to him and his family.
His Excellency commented that the experience of visiting Mary Rice is an eye opener for him. The High Commissioner also visited some of the homes in Kibera slum from where some of the children at Mary Rice live. In a very moving testimony, a parent of a child of Mary Rice explained how his daughter who is handicapped and was not able to stand up on her own is now able to walk. He thanked the donors in Australia who have made this possible.
In his farewell, the High Commissioner promised to pay another visit to the Centre in the not too distant future.
As members of Mary Rice, we thank God for the wonderful gift of friends.
Last year, Mary Rice Centre purchased a nearby house to be used for programs which help parents of children with disabilities develop income-generating activities. It is named Virgilian House in recognition of the support of the St Virgil’s College community in Hobart.
For over a year, the Centre has been harassed by another agency over its right to use this house. This controversy reached serious dimension recently when some local youths demolished the wall of Virgilian House. The neighbour eventually put up a gate and locked it, blocking access to the house.
Br Gerald Mgalula, Director of Mary Rice Centre, has had countless visits to the various Government offices seeking help so that the parents of children of the Mary Rice Centre can continue uninterrupted with their income-generating activities.
His unrelenting efforts finally resulted in success. On Friday June 5, Nairobi County Chief of Staff George Wainaina, flanked by Joash Olum (Member of Parliament –Langata), Alex Otieno (Member of County Assembly), Richard Juma (Chief of Mugumoini Location) and about one hundred parents and friends of Mary Rice Centre, gathered at the site on which Virgilian House is situated to have the stand-off between the owner of the Good Heart Foundation and the Centre resolved.
The Chief of Staff, after inspecting the grounds, promised that on Monday June 8 the County Surveyor would come and divide the property into two and give occupancy licenses to the Good Heart Foundation and the Mary Rice Centre respectively.
This outcomes is a great relief to parents, staff, and all those who are interested in the wellbeing of the Mary Rice Centre. The leaders who visited were moved by the great ministry that Mary Rice is rendering to the disadvantaged children and expressed their disappointment with anyone who is blocking this service delivery to the underprivileged of our society.
L–‐R Joash Olum (MP Langata), George Wainaina (Chief of Staff Nairobi County, Alex Otieno (Member of County Assembly) with parents and friends of the Mary Rice community.