St. Aloysius School – Kenya
St. Al’s History began with the founding of Christian Life Community (CLC) in Kenya in 1989. CLC is a world-wide, Catholic lay movement that follows Ignatian Spirituality. When Fr. Terry Charlton, SJ, a Jesuit from the Chicago Province in the United States, was assigned to teach theology at Hekima College Jesuit School of Theology in Nairobi in 1990, he also became the chaplain of Christian Life Community, which had been created to provide its members with an opportunity to live reflective Christian lives in the service of others.
In the late 1990s, as the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa worsened, CLC looked for ways to respond. In 2002, CLC members, together with others, formed to provide ministry to those affected by HIV/AIDS in Kibera, a Nairobi slum that is home to nearly 1 million people. By 2003, CLC had raised enough money to send 12 HIV/AIDS orphans from Kibera to private high schools to begin their first year of secondary education.
CLC members were frustrated as they saw that some of the students they had sponsored struggled in the schools they attended. Their attempts to provide additional service to the students were sometimes stymied by the schools. Further, they learned that there would be a nearly four-fold tuition increase at the school which most of the students were attending.
In December, 2003, Fr. Terry prepared to open the school to allow us to quickly respond to the needs of HIV/AIDS affected students in Kibera. This was the best possible course of action.
The next month was a whirlwind of activity as a temporary site for their school was sought, and Fr. Charlton approached the Chicago Province, now the Chicago-Detroit Province with requests for start up funding. The school was overwhelmed with applications as soon as it announced it would open. The school, somewhat miraculously, opened its doors on January 19, 2004, in space rented from a local grade school. We ended up beginning with 21 second-year students and 35 first-year students.
In May, 2009, St. Al’s began construction of a new school campus that will serve over 420 students. On June 20, 2010 we dedicated the new school campus.