In June, 2009 we began a mission project with Kalama, Kenya. Kalama is the home town of Father Dominic Munini who has been in residence at St. Mary’s these last five years as we completed a Bachelor’s degree in biology from St. John Fisher College and now completes a Masters at SUNY Brockport.
Father Dominic outlined three critical needs in his village:
-access to education for high school and college aged- youth
-access to health care
Between September until the beginning of December, 2009, the faith community raised over $70,000 to fund:
-the drilling of a borehole well
-the funding of two students to attend high school and two to attend college
-the construction of a clinic
The project met with great success. The UPDATE below, printed in a recent bulletin will help to bring the story up to date.
n.b. This week I received an e mail from a supporter of our initial Kalama drive in fall, 2009. He was asking how the project was going. I decided to include my response to him as an update in the bulletin to the rest of the community as well. THANK YOU for making this such a successful project …Deacon Claude
“I ought to have been in better contact with you. So much has happened - all good, as a matter of fact, all VERY good... You know about the successful bore hole in summer, 2010. Unfortunately the man whose crew headed that project had a heart attack and a slow recuperation; so for nearly a year the well sat - capped. When it was realized that it was such a gusher, a 50 foot water tower was built for storage and use down the road for gravity-fed lines to other areas. The tower was completed. This very week the pipeline from the well/tower to where the clinic is being built (1.45 miles) should be completed (parishioners hand-dug the trench for the pipe). The clinic already has several courses of stone wall laid and will be done before the rainy season. So, we have not only dug a well, but been able to bring water directly to the clinic. Our initial goals have been surpassed. Since the clinic is adjacent to church property, we are turning a portion of the property into a grove of mango, papaya and oranges (for which we raised $800. at the Holidays). The young plants will be transplanted at the end of the rainy season and the people of the village have the responsibility to care for them (and because of the proximity of water, will be able to irrigate as needed). So we will improve the diet of the villagers and give them extra produce for sale at the markets in Kithimani and Nairobi.
AND, the people of the Holy Spirit parish (some 17 miles away where the pastor lives) and its seventeen mission stations have together raised the funds to build a convent in Kithimani for the women religious to live who will be working at the clinic (their religious order is located in Machakos (some 65 miles away). So care will be even more available readily and frequently available than the one or two days a week we had initially anticipated. This convent project was entirely their idea and contributes greatly to improving community life.
AND, we continue to sponsor students for their high school and college education. Mwenda, who is attending teacher college, is in her final year of training. Then she will be returning to Kalama. Kimeu Daniel is in his final year of nurse training, so after spring, 2012, he will be returning to Kalama as well. Patrick and Albanus are in their third year at high school and will complete the course of study before the end of 2013. We have just begun to sponsor another student, Raphael, in a high school program. AND Mbatha has just started a BA nursing degree in a top-ranked Kenyatta Unuiversity in Nairobi. Each of these students has been chosen, based on their performance on the Kenyan state exams. So we are helping not only these six capable, motivated young people from Kalama achieve their potential, but because of their commitment to their village, the long-term effects can only be imagined.
It has been such an honor and privilege to have been associated with this project. THANKS to you and many others, funds have always been available as needs have arisen. As the people in Kalama say, "God's goodness will not be outdone" so our small offering has already been able to accomplish so much. As you have other questions about the project, please feel free to contact me. There are pictorial displays around the St. Bridget’s and St. Mary’s Church buildings an d soon we will include photos on the parish website. In Christ, Deacon Claude”
Here's a good link: by the world health organization (WHO).
Type in Kenya. See how Kenya compares with other countries. Also, consider how
maternal health, female literacy and AIDS impacts on infant and child
This website will help people see the correlation between access to clean water and the resulting decrease in infant mortality rate (IMR) and child mortality rate as a result of decreased exposure to infectious disease.