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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 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.

BEAUTY OF INTEGRATION

 

As we are all social beings, socializing is a gift from God to  help us to interact and communicate well with others, This gift also enables us to turn impossibilities to possibility. This is shown each day by the example of the adorable young people at Mary Rice and is found in even the little things such as the effort and care of staff  and family who love the children unconditionally despite of their disability.  The students respond by showing a lot of determination and dedication to wanting to know more and learn more.

What makes it more encouraging and rewarding is that the children keep on trying their best to  improve just like any other children of their age in learning  new skills. Through this integration they have learned how to interact and communicate well with others, a skill they must acquire  to face the challenges of the real world.

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This week was an interesting and challenging one for students, as it entailed different learning activities from what they are used to. This included the children from St Charles Lwanga and Mary Rice Centre – this was exciting to the children and the teacher because the children were really exciting in interacting and learning with other children. For the teachers it highlighted that teaching is a calling they were to answer to and respond to whenever called, especially during integration when they share different knowledge and skill to the children.

This Wednesday the children learned different skills, including sign language from the special teacher known as Tr. Naomi from Mary Rice Centre. The children of Mary Rice also got a chance to study what other children at mainstream schools study. The children really enjoyed the study and the interaction they hard with each other. This boosted our children’s self-esteem and we were very grateful that the children from St Charles Lwanga  accepted the opportunity to learn with us. 

 

 

 

SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT BY TREE PLANTING IN MARY RICE

Today the children of Mary Rice Centre woke up to an exciting activity; they were engaged in tree planting for the whole morning. We were joined by a few parents who helped our children to learn about the secrets of planting. As we don’t own the land we decided to use plant pots to beautify the place.

This was a good example for the community to see our children taking part in efforts to save the environment, whilst also teaching our children to be  responsible because they will have to water the plants every day and take care of the plants that they have planted.

Their efforts will help to conserve the environment around the Mary Rice Centre and provide  a fresh, green and healthy atmosphere. Most significantly the trees make the environment look more beautiful and attractive and we are happy that our community of students, parents and teachers took part in this beautiful activity.

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We are very grateful to the CLT who have made it possible for us through their donation, to have a new face for the Mary Rice Centre with our beautiful plant pots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A NEW HOME FOR OUR NEW STUDENTS

It was indeed a good week in the life of the Mary Rice Centre! We welcomed back another term, our children were very happy to come back to school after a long holiday. They had all enjoyed so much time at home and now they were again ready to come back to school and continue with their daily activity and routines.

The term started well on May 5, 2014, as the staff came early to prepare for the environment so as to make a safe and secure center and conducive learning environment. This entails mopping the two classrooms, offices, kitchen, latrines and the pavements. Taking the lead during the cleaning of the premise was the staff of Mary Rice and the two young, energetic and passionate volunteers attached to the Centre for their six months volunteer community service.

We were delighted to have five new children join the Centre; Trizah, Sheila, Purity, Omar and Caroline. The Centre in total has 25 children which is the maximum number that the Centre can accommodate at the moment. The list of applicants was long but the Centre can only take this number due to the limited space at the Centre.Image

During the week, Mary Rice Centre hosted the Puppet Ministry with the collaboration   of a young and fresh graduate from the St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School, which is managed by Christian Life Community. The Puppet Ministry’s main aim is to educate the children on issues to do with personal hygiene, good eating habits and caring for others during the class time. The Ministry also created a platform for developing and nurturing the talents by providing an opportunity to the children to express themselves as a way of enhancing self –esteem. Through this activity, the children had time to dance to different tunes of local music played by the puppet ministry.

 

THE PARENTS’ TRAINING

It was such a wonderful day for the Mary Rice Centre parents because they got a chance to learn different things and skills that they can use to make more beautiful products from different materials. The aim of the three day training session was to equip parents with skills on how to make different product from beads, including how to make beaded bags, beaded table mats and necklaces and bracelets from beads.

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This was a very successful training session with most of the parents very interested and learning a great deal in a very short time. Presently we have a number of parents who can make perfect table mats and bags made out of beads. It is very fulfilling to see how much excitement this training has brought to the parent that now they can have started experiment on different patterns that they can make to make the products that they create more beautiful.

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This training is definitely going to improve the skills of parents on bead work. The training was completed by almost all the parents at the Mary Rice Centre and is of great benefit as they all will continue to work together in sharing the knowledge they acquired.  These skills have made production much easier and smoother and will allow parents to make more distinguished and diverse products that can be more readily sold through the Centre’s contacts and outlets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A TOUCH OF BEAUTY IN MARY RICE CENTRE

A TOUCH OF BEAUTY TO MARY RICE

At Mary Rice Centre we are very happy and grateful to our sponsor for they have made it possible for us to have a more distinguished floor, the previous floor that was put in place was worn out and had holes in it and also the drainage system was poor since when it rained the water used to floor in the classrooms. This was a big challenge to the children since at those times they could not use the floor to play so most of the time they used to spend their day in class; it was also a challenge to the staff since we had to forgo our duties so as to clean up the water that had entered in the classroom.IMG_7360

But now that the new floor is in place the children are very happy so are the parents for this new adjustment, the tile are very beautiful and they make the Centre look more attractive and beautiful from a distance. The floor is also easy to manage and clean due to its smooth nature that does not need a lot of energy to clean. The children can also move freely and play happily as they enjoy themselves, they can also have a humble time to learn when it is raining without worrying about the damage the rain will cause to their peaceful day.

IMG_2475We extend our greatest gratitude to the people who are supporting Mary Rice because this will have not been possible without their help, this journey of making Mary Rice Centre a better place has been turned into reality by being supported by people of strong will to humanity and a big heart that they have extended to us, as they walk with us in each step we take to offer the best to the children of Mary Rice Centre

A TRIP TO MAMBA VILLAGE

A TRIP TO MAMBA VILLAGE

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Excursion for the children was like a good coffee after a very tired day, it was such an amazing experience for the children at the Mamba village. This is one of the adventures that the children have an opportunity to do every term. The children really enjoyed the day, you could tell just from the smiles on their faces and the excitement they had whenever they saw something that they were unfamiliar with. It was incredible to see most of the children touching and holding the crocodile and the tortoise. This was one in a million amongst the best moment we have shared with the children and you could see how fulfilling it was to see them all happy and overjoyed with what they were doing.

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This experience helped the staff of Mary Rice also discover some of the strengths and weakness of different children and how they could use them to help them improve on different levels of their lives. The most amazing thing about this trip is that it had all different kind of activities all together. The children got a chance to have the best involvement with all the activities in Mamba village, it’s like this place was designed and made for children because it had all the things that children were fond of.

 

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Some of the activities in the area that the children enjoyed were, boat riding, face painting, horse riding, camel riding and playing in the electric swings, apart from that that the children enjoyed feeding the ostrich. The day was successful as it was supposedly to be.

A TRIP TO MAMBA VILLAGE

Excursion for the children was like a good coffee after a very tired day, it was such an amazing experience for the children at the Mamba village. This is one of the adventures that the children have an opportunity to do every term. The children really enjoyed the day, you could tell just from the smiles on their faces and the excitement they had whenever they saw something that they were unfamiliar with. It was incredible to see most of the children touching and holding the crocodile and the tortoise. This was one in a million amongst the best moment we have shared with the children and you could see how fulfilling it was to see them all happy and overjoyed with what they were doing

This experience helped the staff of Mary Rice also discover some of the strengths and weakness of different children and how they could use them to help them improve on different levels of their lives. The most amazing thing about this trip is that it had all different kind of activities all together. The children got a chance to have the best involvement with all the activities in Mamba village, it’s like this place was designed and made for children because it had all the things that children were fond of.

Some of the activities in the area that the children enjoyed were, boat riding, face painting, horse riding, camel riding and playing in the electric swings, apart from that that the children enjoyed feeding the ostrich. The day was successful as it was supposedly to be.