Christmas Message from Wangari: Thursday 25th Dec 2014.

Dear Friends,

On behalf of our Sacred Heart Primary School, I take the opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and successful Year in 2015. May God grant you all the graces you need in this year, especially the grace of good health and may He bless your families and your plans.

As I was trying to reflect about our union, I realised we are joined by a Spirit that is within us, the Spirit of giving hope and future to a desperate child in ruthless situation, empowering him to develop the skills through Education, “fighting poverty through Education”. Dear friends, you  didn’t remain in a state of just “feeling” but each one of you continues to act with a lot of self sacrifice and effort to give hope and future to this child. We really appreciate your effort. Please accept my sincere gratitude from the depth of my heart.

Thank you so much for the effort, self sacrifices and creativity in all your activities in fundraising. I got the message about the concert in the cathedral that was very successful. I am touched by your Spirit that keeps burning even in the middle of the darkness. Your Faithful Love continues to give life and hope to a child wailing and in shattered clothes, a child in the horizon of Africa, resting on the dust waiting hopelessly for a dawn to come. My dear friends it’s in this hopeless state that your help appears like rays of the sun on a mountain that a hungry , homeless and half naked child is gazing at, and his life is no longer the same. He finds a shelter, a home, and is clothed; these rays of rights are your  self-sacrifices, effort, and love which penetrate the heart of this child and she /he experiences healing, acceptance, new hope and new life. God bless you.

Dear friends of the poor, the above are examples of the children whose lives have changed after you met them. A family of 11 children and their mother has learning disability, Damaris, the big girl, is now going to class 5 in our school and is performing excellently. You have shed a spark of hope in that family. God bless you.

The boy Jospert  Mukubwa is an orphan, his parent died and left 6 children with a grandmother of over 80 yrs old. When you met Jospert he had lost hope in life, he had skin disease and had dropped out from school. Jospert joined us 3 years ago , the skin desease was cured, now he is our school Head Boy, he is a genius and a very intelligent boy. Jospert is now in class 7.

Dear friends, it's through your effort and support that we have transformed the life of Jospert. Thank you for picking up your phone to speak to a friend and create awareness without counting the cost, to create awareness of about Jospert's desperate situation. Thank you for the minute you offered Jospert, to fund raise, thank you for the petrol you used to go for the meeting and to fund raise. Thank you for not being shy to speak about Jospert, he hopes to be a surgeon. God bless your faithful Love.

Stephen Denis Maina, when he joined us 4 years ago, appeared mentally disoriented due to harassment from the guardian. He was the Head Boy before Josphert taking over. He did his Class 8 National exam, we are waiting for the result and we are hoping he will Join Starehe Boys School.

My dear friends, thank you so much for the great support you have given us. You have uplifted us several miles from where you found us. Those who couldn’t get enough food each day are now getting enough, through you support; these children are assured of clean water and good health, the food they eat, and a comfortable bed.

My dear Friends, Sacred Heart couldn’t be existing without you, you are the Heart of Sacred Heart School. I know it’s not easy, to get to where we are, I continue to say thank you, thank  you thank you....... for your effort and for sustaining us, though I know it’s costing you a lot.

I wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND SUCCESSIFUL NEW YEAR FULL OF JOY AND SERENITY.

God bless you all, my sincere gratitude.

Wangari
 

Karuri School Project Trust, Christmas Concert, Friday 12th Dec 2014.

The concert was held at Northampton Cathedral, and raised £610 with a further £100 from the sale of Gift Cards. All this goes towards our "Food for a Year" Campaign. Many thanks to everyone who attended, and of course to the Hunsbury Harmonettes Choir, who made the event possible!

 Getting Messy at Kingsley Park: December 2014

A good time was had by everyone at the Christmas Party, where £42 was donated towards the "Food for a Year Campaign". The money will help buy rice and grain in bulk before prices go up. Thank you to everyone who helped, your contribution will make a real difference.

 

Hebe's Music Night, 18th October 2014, Hebe's Name lives on.

This event raised an amazing total of £1550. A big thank you to the Hebe Holmes Memorial Fund, and particularly her family, for their great support for our recent Live Music Spectacular at the Cripps Centre, Northampton. Over 120 people joined us for a one-off music evening and the quality of the performers and the food made it a memorable and fantastic value occasion. From the Sileby Slappers African Drummers, the 3 DGs lively covers, the relaxed sound of North-east of Reason, the sensational jazz of Mel and Anita through to The Track's classy finale -it was variety all the way. Thanks to all who contributed food, presented food, bought raffle tickets or helped with the venue.

Follow that - acoustic night ? folk night ? Watch this space! In the meantime, start Christmas with us and the Hunsbury Harmonettes live at the Catholic Cathedral, Barrack Road on Friday 12th December.

 

Poster

 

 Our Summer Musical Evening with the Hunsbury Harmonettes, 21st June 2014.

On Saturday evening, the Hunsbury Harmonettes performed their third concert for us to help raise funds for our Karuri School Project. Sacred Heart Church was a great setting for the choir who looked lovely in very smart black outfits with huge colourful flowers on their shoulders. The variety and choice of music was excellent, starting and ending with John Rutter but full of beautiful songs in between, sung by the whole choir, vocal trios, solos, and a guest artist singing and playing the violin.

The committee had generously donated items for the raffle which was well supported. Refreshments were on sale during the interval and a range of our popular bags were available to purchase. Colourful display boards were on show and gave a good insight into the amazing progress that had been made by Wangari at the Sacred Heart School in Naivasha.

Chairman John Sleet thanked everyone who had helped to raise a very pleasing £620.00 which will go towards the upkeep of the school.

Many thanks to everyone who came to support us - The Karuri School Project Committee.

ZesCare, Northampton, 16th June 2014.

Our thanks go to ZesCare, the 'Zone that Empowers Skills' for their donation to the Karuri School Project. The ZES centre was formally opened on 16th June, and will provide health and social day care for adults with learning and physical disabilities, head injury, mental health problems and autism. Based at 123 Milton Street North, Northampton, ZES aims to help service users face their world by enhancing skills for a better quality of life - "123, the place to be".

Radio Northampton, 15 June, 2014.

Peter Holmes has given a very moving interview on the Martin Heath radio program this morning, describing how his daughter Hebe became involved with the Karuri School Project before she died of a rare form of liver cancer in 2012. You can download the interview here. The Hebe Holmes Memorial Fund is dedicated to the memory of Hebe, and has given tremendous support to the Karuri School Project, for which Hebe would be very proud. We are all very grateful for the support given to the project by Hebe's family.

 

Walk for a Cause, 3rd June 2014.

 We have just heard that our bid to 'Walk for a Cause' has been successful, and we've received a cheque this morning for £1000. This is fantastic news, coming just at the time we need the money to help with the ongoing water management project. Our thanks go to the 'Walk for Cause' committee for their continued support, and we hope that we can in turn support them by taking part in the Pitsford Reservoir walk on 25th July, see their website for more details.

 

Visit to Sacred Heart School, Dr Patricia Moore, February 2014.

 It was lovely to see Wangari again. I was working in Nairobi, so was able to visit just for a couple of days. I caught the bus to Naivasha and met Wangari at St Francis Xavier Church. The school is amazing. Wangari has achieved so much and everyone looks well and happy.

 

There are now 110 children attending Sacred Heart School, including 39 boarders. One headteacher and 8 teachers ensure that classes continue to be small, unlike government schools where it is not unusual to have 60 students in a class. A row of houses for the teachers were built using money from Hebe’s Fund. This means that teachers no longer have a long journey to school, and are available to help with evening classes. Some live there with their families, enabling their children to attend the school.

 

 

As well as providing housing for teachers, money from Hebe’s Fund has been used for recreational purposes, and the school now proudly possesses netball and goal posts, and a volley ball net. I was able to provide balls and other equipment, thanks to the generosity of parents, staff and pupils from Fairfields School, Northampton.

 

 

The latest project at the school is to fit a pump to the underground water storage tank. Manual pumping is hard, time-consuming and relentless. Whilst I was there, it was amazing to hear news of a £1000 donation from the sales of a CD, produced from a singing group affiliated to Northampton Cathedral. Perfect timing, and grateful thanks to everyone involved in this project. This will cover most of the expense of this latest initiative. A new platform for the water tank is needed and Karuri School project has sent money for this. We are hoping it will be completed shortly.

 

 

On a personal note, Wangari’s home is almost complete. She has funded this herself, and hopes to move in soon. She is looking forward to welcoming visitors from the UK.

 

Patricia Moore, February 2014

 

 

Message from Wangari, February 2014.

I thank all of you for your concern and for being friends who care. God bless you all, you are always in my heart. My house is almost completed; kitchen fittings, fridge and gas cooker, furniture and beds are still remaining. After living a life of a nomad I can’t wait to have a house, I am very excited. Thank you so much for all the support you have given me.

Fundraising and donations, February 2014.

A CD, ‘Endless Mercy’ has been produced by the Northampton Cathedral Folk Group. Copies are available from the Cathedral and St Gregory’s Church at a cost of £5. Already a generous £1000 has been donated to Karuri School Project. Our thanks go to everyone involved, including Catherine Kirby who initially contacted the Karuri School Project, David Donaghue for recording and arranging the production of the CD, and Frances Hooper who describes how she first met Wangari.

I remember first meeting Wangari in the car park at the Cathedral after a Holy Hour – probably around 10 years ago now – and she started to share with me the vision she had for the Karuri School. I was deeply struck by the strength of faith and conviction that she radiated, that God had put this intention in her heart, and that she knew it would happen some day, although at the time it was unclear how and when. Her example and the wonderful fruits of her faith and everyone's efforts, which have made it a reality, has been an ongoing inspiration.

Our music group which came together at the Cathedral first formed through a shared desire to deepen our own and others faith through music and the songs on the CD that we recorded speak particularly of God’s enduring love and mercy, which was so evident in the Karuri School Project. We were also very grateful for the generous sponsorship provided by Bernie and Eugene Mc Taggart which enabled all proceeds raised to go to our chosen charities.

 Friday night quiz, 28th February 2014.

The quiz at St. Gregory's School attracted 8 teams and about 40 people (there was a quiz on the same night at St Gregory's church) and the winning team was "The Thirsty Knights". Including the raffle the evening raised £294. Every team scored more than half marks so no-one was disgraced!

Thanks to everyone who supported us and St.Gregory's School for their continued help in providing the venue.

 The School Cat. February 2014.

The school has just gained a new resident. Some of the children found an abandoned kitten and brought him into school. He's very timid, very thin, and very hungry, and unfortunately he's blind as well. He's being well looked after by the children, and has been named "Smokey".

 

Dr Patricia Moore's Visit, February 2014.

Patricia is visiting friends in Nairobi just now, and has travelled up to Naivasha by matatu to see Wangari and the children. Using some gps wizardry she has managed to pinpoint the location of the school, and we can now show this aerial view taken last year. The long building with the red roof is the main school building, and you can also see some wooden classrooms, the latrines, and some of the teachers' accommodation. More details to come on this as we identify what each building is.

 

 

More on the Borehamwood Quilts, January 2014.

Here some pictures of the Quilts, Jill Wadsworth is currently arranging to ship them out to Wangari. Thanks again to the ladies, and to Jill for her work in getting the quilts to Kenya!

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Message from Wangari, January 2014

My greetings and gratitude for all you have been to me. I am recovering very well, and tomorrow I go back to the hospital for clinic. Still I cannot drive so I must get a driver to take me.
 
I went to school on Friday with a driver and all is going well, the children are doing well, and the number of orphan has gone a bit higher. I will give more details in due time when I am settled.
I went in the evening and I found them with the teachers being shown how to wash there clothes. It was very touching and I was thrilled that they appeared very happy. I had brought them mangoes as they are in season, and I try to make sure they eat fruits three times a week. We have also candidates for year 8, and out of 11 children 8 are orphans while 2 are from destitute families and only one is a paying student from a capable family.
Thank you for the £500 from my friend, I also went to the bank on Friday and paid the school fees for the girl she is supporting.
 
Please see how I used the Ksh 375,000 you sent me in December. Ksh 100,000 went to the teachers and workers as I offered something, a little extra to each for Christmas for the good work they did that year. Maize and beans I paid Ksh 100,000 and remained with a balance of Ksh 27,000. Beds, lockers and chairs I paid Ksh 100,000 and remained with a balance of Ksh 100,000. For text books for class 8 and a few other text books to other classes I paid Ksh 40,000. Then I bought a sack of maize flour, a sack of rice, a sack of sugar, tea bags, salt, kitchen utensils that were required, and teaching materials for Ksh 35,000.I bought a lorry of firewood, Ksh 40,000 which I did not pay, they agreed I pay the end of this month.  So I have a balance of Ksh 167,000 that I need to pay.
 
I spoke with the owner of the company, he is a vey good person and asked me to pay from March if I don't have the money. We have increased one teacher due to the new class 8. Please dear trustees the teachers and non teaching staff salary has increased to Ksh 107,000. I also increased the salary of the non teaching staff as it was low, and some teachers as have been requested. The board of advisers advised me to do this so not to lose them.
 
Thank you so much for your great support I really appreciate. God bless you. Wangari

New Sinks for Washing, January 2014.

Although Wangari has not been too well in recent weeks she has still managed to push forward with the latest work, a series of concrete sinks located outside one wall of the school buildings, to be used for washing, and for cleaning of clothes. There are about 20 sinks, but so far the floor is incomplete and rather rough, but more importantly there is no way to bring the necessary water to the sinks! This will be the next stage, but it is important to sort out the plumbing quickly because the sinks themselves may develop cracks if left to dry out too much in the heat. So as always money is needed to enable work to continue. Please contact us if you would like to contibute to this phase of the work!

All we need now...

...is WATER !

 Patchwork Quilts, January 2014.

Elaine Bloomfield and Valerie Jeffreys have written to tell us about some Patchwork Quilts made by a group of ladies in Hertfordshire. The quilts will be sent out to the school later in the year, and we hope to show some photos of children with them. They were made by 15 patchworking ladies called Studio Quilters based in Borehamwood. They used the group's stash and donated the fabrics to the school, where the children will love to see the bright colours. Thank you very much, Ladies.

The Studio Quilters, Borehamwood

 Additional Classroom, January 2014.

The latest classroom has now been completed, and some new children have started at the school. Wangari is now looking to furnish the classroom with desks and chairs, and has started to save for more lockers for the students.

One of the main considerations now is how to provide electricity to the whole school. This is a major undertaking and will probably take several months.

New Year 2014. First of all, we wish a Happy New Year to all our supporters and donors, with a big "thank you" once again for all the help and kindness given. We also wish a speedy recovery to those who have not been too well during the last few weeks.

The first news from Kenya in 2014 is that Wangari has almost finished building another classroom, and that more children are being admitted to the school. This will complete the Primary section for the time being at least. We'll publish more details as they become available.