November 1st 2016

The latest newsletter is now available to download, you can get it from here.

Sept 20 2016 Fundraising and donations.

We were delighted to receive a cheque for £1000 from Walk for a Cause, towards the minibus fund. This Northampton based group has been amongst our most loyal supporters and once again we give them our grateful thanks.

September 2016 Parcel Time.

Another set of parcels are being boxed up carefully to send to Wangari  in Naivasha for the schoolchildren. As usual the WI ladies have been busy knitting red v-necked sweaters and hats which they give to me when I go to sell the Karuri bags at their  meetings.

Our Cambridge quilters group have sent more patchwork quilts and knitted bedcovers.  An unusual extra  gift this time will be 60 small knitted teddies each wearing a scarf and kept in their own homemade bag, often decorated with teddy bear pictures. There are some special wallhangings  with a bright yellow hand-stitched intricate pattern and an amazing decorated Christmas Tree, made up of small folded squares, complete with tiny golden ornaments stitched on to look like Christmas lights and presents.

I am also sending a homemade book of stories written by the children of Abbots Ripton School in Cambridge for the  Sacred Heart School pupils.
My thanks to Josphat Njuki for all his help sending the parcels and ensuring they are collected safely in Kenya.

Jill Wadsworth

September 2016 Charity tea dance

During September, friends of the project set up a new fund-raising initiative. A team of three, who run tea dances at St Alban’s kindly offered to organise an extra charity event for us. They and their regular dancers made this a very special occasion with African music, lights in the hall, a raffle and incidental music by Bob (Myra’s husband). The Karuri Committee provided Afternoon Tea and a “dream team” of helpers set out and cleared everything away. We spent several happy hours dancing, partying and getting to know everyone - a most welcoming and generous group of people. Thank you to all who made it happen - especially Carol, Pat and Jean. We made £310 which went straight to Wangari in Kenya.

Sheila and Myra

August 20th 2016

A great coffee morning at Kingsley Park Methodist Church, raising £106.50 for Karuri School Project. Thanks to the Crazy Gang - Michael, Margaret, Chris, Spencer and Kate for their donations and help with raffle, drinks and bacon sandwiches. Thanks Linda for your donation and delicious cakes.

June 25th 2016

Our Summer Concert was held on 25th June at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church when once again concert goers were treated to an eclectic range of music from our great supporters the Hunsbury Harmonettes. This concert marked the final one under the musical direction of Helen Thorman so a big thank you to her for all her inspiration, hard work and creativity. Oh yes and we raised £545 on the night so well done to all those who helped, especially our hardworking canappettes!

June 23rd 2016

Grateful thanks to the clients, families and staff at SunCare Ltd for their kind donation of £225 to help poor and vulnerable children at Sacred Heart School, Kahuru Village, Naivasha, Kenya. So many sad things are happening in the world, it's heartening to hear of one group of young people showing care and compassion to another group of disadvantaged children, six and half thousand miles away.  Our minibus fund is growing!


June 2016

Marina Barreau has an amazing £1450 currently from her ‘Coppers for Karuri’ collection. It was agreed that this should go to the minibus fund.

Jill Wadsworth has gathered around 40 knitted teddies in their own bags; it is planned to also send more quilts, sweaters and hats from WI members to Sacred Heart School.  We are very grateful for Jill’s efforts and all the wonderful support from the WI.

June 1st 2016. Suncare Ltd.

Staff, Clients, Families and Friends of SunCare Ltd held a sponsored "Walk to Work" day followed by a barbeque in the rain at their premises in Milton Street North, Northampton. We'll let you the total when all the money is in. The wind and rain didn't spoil the morning, but it did mean we enjoyed the veggie burgers and hot sausages even more!

May 27th 2016. St Gregory's Primary School

Grateful thanks to the pupils and staff of St Gregory's Catholic Primary School, Northampton, for the donation of £708.50 towards the minibus fund. The children made rosaries which were sold to families and friends, and the cheque was presented to Patricia Moore by Mr Jon Davis and Gillian Brockway at morning assembly.

April 2016. Huntingdonshire WI

David Whitely and Amelia Reynolds from Look East visited the WI recently and Amelia has kindly made a donation to Karuri School Project. Almost £700 has been banked from bag sales and donations, including £54 in coppers.

April 29th 2016. Karuri Quiz

The quiz night was well attended and raised almost £400. Congratulations to the Thirsty Knights who retained their title as winners and thanks to St.Gregory's School for providing the venue and to all those who helped out on the night.

April 2016. Premier League

The Premier League have a scheme whereby their employees can nominate a charity at Christmas in lieu of cards. Karuri was one of the chosen charities this year and we received a generous £500.

March 31st 2016. Drilling for water. 

We have the first photos of the drilling process and we'll show further updates as we receive them. Wangari says that the school has been experiencing water problems in the dry seasons as they depend upon rainwater. An Italian priest has sponsored the drilling at a cost of several thousand pounds; this was possible because there was already adequate storage both underground and in the large plastic tanks above ground. The water from the borehole will be pumped to the tanks and flow to where needed. This is a major step forward for the school, and should make life much easier for everyone. Preliminary tests indicate that the water quality is good. It is planned that the water may be shared with the village.

March 29th 2016.  Birthday bash. 

Bob Foster's 60th birthday bash at the weekend raised £320 for the Project as he kindly asked friends and family to donate rather than buy presents. A big thank you to Bob and his family for the gesture and for a great night.

March 23rd 2016.  Underground water. 

Wangari has told us that work has started on a new project, searching for and testing the aquifer that may lie some distance below the school grounds. Drilling has started in a project funded by an Italian priest. We have some low resolution photos, but are waiting for Wangari to send more information and better pictures. When we have them we'll include them here. If clean groundwater can be pumped up to the surface it will be added to the collected rainwater which currently supplies most of the school's needs. If the water quality is not good then it can still be used for irrigation in the school gardens and for flushing the toilets.

March 22nd 2016.   Children's Letters. 

Wangari has passed the letters from St Gregory's pupils to her own schoolchildren, and we were excited today to receive the first batch of letters written by the children of Sacred Heart School in Kenya back to the children of St Gregory's Catholic Primary School in Northampton. These letters will be passed on to St. Gregory's after Easter, but in the meantime we thank the following Kenyan students for their letters:

Robert, Cathrine, Grace, Hannah, Peter, Maureen, Bianca, Earnest, Elijah, Kennedy, Allan, Levina, Zakaya, John, Joel, Antony Paul, Felister, Eric, Margaret, and Josphat.

To these children we would say: please be patient, you will receive replies as soon as we are able to arrange it. In the meantime, celebrate Easter with us, knowing that we are thinking about you and all your friends, families, and teachers.

February 4th 2016.  Wangari's visit to Rome. 

In The Vatican, the month of January saw the conclusion of the Year of Consecrated Life. Celebrations were held in Rome between January 28th and February 2nd, and the conferences were attended by more than 4000 people from all over the world. The initiative, which was called for and led by Pope Francis, aimed to be an occasion of renewal for men and women in consecrated life, of thanksgiving among the faithful for the service of sisters, brothers, priests, and nuns, and an invitation to young Catholics to consider a religious vocation. Wangari and one other person from Kenya were invited to attend, effectively representing their country, and Wangari was the only person from the whole of Africa invited to give a presentation on their work. Her speech was well received, and we are told that the other delegates found it "heartfelt and moving". Wangari herself was excited to see the Pope in St Peter's Basilica during the conference.

The common foundation on these days was meetings, prayer vigils, times for regrouping, and examining in greater depth the specifics of each activity, looking prophetically towards the future. On 30th and 31st January, in five locations in Rome, representatives of each form of consecrated life met to explore in greater depth the various specific aspects of their vocation. They subsequently met in the Paul VI Hall again on 1 February, for an audience with the Pope and the Oratory "On the trail of beauty", directed by Msgr. Marco Frisina. The events ended on 2nd February with the morning Jubilee pilgrimage and the Eucharistic celebration for the twentieth World Day of Consecrated Life, celebrated by Pope Francis. During his homily the Pope described the recently ended Year of Consecrated Life as "a river", saying "it now flows into the sea of mercy, into the immense mystery of love that we are experiencing through the Extraordinary Jubilee".

We are so proud that Wangari was able to promote the presence of the school in such a prodigious environment, and the hope is that the reputation of the school in Kenya will be enhanced in such a way that more parents will hear about it and want to send their children there.

After the conference had ended, Patricia and Alan Moore were able to meet with Wangari and take some time to explore the ancient city of Rome. The Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Fontana di Trevi, and the Spanish Steps were all on the agenda for visits. Wangari had never been able to see such places, and these few days provided a welcome opportunity to combine some formal school business with sightseeing in the city.

 January 27th 2016

We have just heard that Wangari has arrived safely in Italy. Her phone isn't working at the moment, so we've spoken to the Headteacher, Mr Julius, at the school on her behalf so that the children can be told, as well as Wangari's family. The children are great, but it's raining heavily at present (so the UK isn't the only place to be very wet). There's a possibility that she may be able to come to Northampton during the next month or so, but if not then we hope that one or two of her friends here may be able to visit Rome and meet up with her. Another visit is being planned as well, this time a group of staff from Thomas Beckett School in Northampton hope to spend some time in Navaisha later in the year, more on this later!

January 18th 2016

Our thanks go to everyone who donated to the school over Christmas and the New Year. We don't usually mention donors by name, but be assured that we appreciate you all. Many donors prefer to remain anonymous anyway, and a big THANK YOU goes to every single person who has helped to make the Karuri School Project such a success.