Monday, June 19, 2006

St. Francis Integrated School

I couldnt resist this you know but the picture has nothing to do with this post.

Their neighbours read as “who is who” in the affluent leafy suburb of Karen where this unfortunate school/home is located. Driving on the narrow road in the estate tells you that the public transport is not a considered mode of transport.

The stark reality of the poverty that this children live in is evident from the gate. Never mind their immediate neighbour call themselves the Great commission school. What one wonders is if Jesus taught the principle of neighbourhood, then the Karen residents have chosen not to practise good neighbourhood.

I have been to some children’s home and the number of masses that flocks over the weekends is amazing.

Let me get to the point.

I met Kibet and Cowi of virtual Insanity in town and we headed to the place. What first met our eyes were children playing in soil not grass. So we go chat with the mama and she cracks quite some jokes. She tells us she started the school in 2000 and the school currently enrols 400 students.

We take a tour of the school and the shocks of shock begin. The dormitories/classes are in a bad state. The floor is in a mess, it probably not seen cement in many years. They have no beds to sleep on and no the mattresses are not any better. They have seen many days and with bedwetting children you can only imagine.

The children are playing outside obviously oblivious of the disgust of those visiting. They probably have seen worse, slept hungry for days, and after being orphaned where else would they have gone.

Some people are drawing maps outside, reminds me of my days when I could not draw the map of Kenya to save my life.

The kitchen is the bare minimal. Surprise surprise,. There are people using firewood to cook in Nairobi. The children are busy making chapattis after a good neighbour brought them some ungas for making chappos. Only God knows how to satisfy 400 children.

What I admired most of the mama is that she has a very good command of English. She has sacrificed her life after retirement. She also lives in poverty and she tells us she is just like the children.

Only a visit can put the clear what goes on here.One of the children i hear called Njoroge has scabies and so it has been spreading over to other children. Obviously if a disease like cholera broke out you can guess what would happen.

Getting sleep was hard last night I must admit.

I can offer the schools neighbours this prayer since I must guess the school is renamed after this Saint;

The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


  1. That is a nice prayer.

    St. Francis of Assisi always had the animals on his side. If I remember correctly, he could talk to them. I always liked that about the guy.

  2. Shi,
    Hey. Bringing tears to my eyes.

    Will holla you and we see what we can do to help as soon as I am definite about my timings.

    had this chat with Nick, sometime back, so I'mma holla him as well....

    Sigh. Thanks you for highlighting this hun.

  3. @Peter, i loved that prayer;taught to me in Primary school.

    @KM, i hardly cry but trust me i dropped one or two.

    Definitely i will keep in touch; we have to do this and urgently.

  4. The world definitely needs more people like you.

  5. Hey gal thanks soo much for enlightning the KBW community about the home.

    My fellow blogger I think we can make a difference and lift the kids.
    Tell me we can..

  6. Girl, whatever you decide to do, count me in ok? You have my number.

    Now that picture na wewe!! Haiya!

  7. Hey gal!Good to read the update.Yes it is sad that some people live like that because I am sure the neighbours think that it is the government's job to fund that home and not them as they think their taxes are enough.
    Thing is that these same children they refuse to help will be the same ones car jacking them in a few years time.
    Anyway like I said there is not much I can do now until August when the rest of the school gets here esp the Christian clubs whom I am sure will be more then willing to help.
    As for that prayer, there is no way you can go to a Catholic school like I did and not know it off head.It is a beautiful prayer.

  8. @Wangu, can i count you to be the one more person

    @nakeel, it was an eye opener

    @Missy, thank you for the commitment. The picture is hilarious

    @acolyte,Thing is that these same children they refuse to help will be the same ones car jacking them in a few years time.
    If we ignore the poor in society they will always come to haunt us
    Would be pleased to hear more when they come back

  9. i have a copy of that prayer in my wallet ... its just beautiful.

    i'm too far away to be of any immediate help but let me (and the rest of us who are out here) know if there is anything we can do to help.

    as for that piggy back ride, hmm! as long as it is understood that we shall be eating the goat ofter all the fun is over then it's all good!

  10. You my dear have just been tagged....mwahhahaahaaa (evil laughter!!)...apart from that, I love that prayer. It was the saints school prayer. It's beautiful.

  11. what can one say?
    our leaders are simly shit.
    you really wonder if CDF ever gets to such needy situations. The area mp is either a dumbass (they all are anyway!)
    or blind! afraid but
    prayers will do no good if no human intervention is forthcoming.
    just how do those rich neighbours in karen live?.
    this situation is replicated all over kenya. sadly our leaders are too busy awarding themselves hefty transport allowances..

    why dont you panga a KBW meetup/harambee so that guys can translate their reactions into tangible goods and cash?

  12. It is now accepted that the mites that cause scabies can spread when a non-infected person stands too close to an infected person. Mites are 0.1mm in diameter.
    The most important thing though is that treatment is easy and the creams available at your local pharmacy. The problem though is that St Francis might not be able to afford them.
    Because Scabies can cause chronic skin infections and is highly contagious, there is an urgent need to find ways to avail the drugs to the school.
    This is a great awareness post you did here!

  13. Count me in too. A sad situation indeed. Someone raised a valid point on CDF, isn't that one of its uses?

  14. @Spicey,the piggy ride yeah just a bit funny,
    Will tell you when we have something tangible to work on..

    @Kipepeo, i have been tagged twice now. Ooh My. Anyway prayer is beautiful no doubt.

    @kritik, don't you have aging lines on your face over our leaders.
    Lets say our kaharambee might work . Thanks for the commitment

    @Potash, i hadn't thought that but the kids need that cream as fast to avoid spreading. Thanks. I know very little about scabies imagine

  15. @Prousette,pole i had not seen your comment. I do know for sure there is a fund known as CDF i guess they would have to approach the same when they are not building their elite schools for development. Thanks for the commitment.