Board member came visiting
The school was also privileged to receive one of the board members of School of Hope Foundation, Mr. Ken Kobe and his daughter. While around, the visitors had a chance to visit the old school in the heart of Kibera slums. This visit served to tell the story of St. Aloysius, its humble beginnings and the kind of students served by the school. True to its call, it was evident that the school serves students from extremely vulnerable and needy backgrounds by giving hope where desperation rules. Coming on the heels of visiting the school, the board member also was accorded a valuable chance to visit one of the current beneficiaries of the in the heart of the slums. For someone who’s outside Kibera, navigating their ways to reach the home of the student was a daunting task. It lived to tell the story our students go through on a daily basis in their quest to their destiny – and St. Aloysius is always there as a bridge to make this dream for them become a reality! Thanks to the expertise of the school social worker and beneficiary, we were able to find ourselves home and we were warmly received by an ailing mother of four. The smile on face upon receiving us contrasted and betrayed her pathetic and deplorable living conditions. Her message during the visit was very simple – her son should work hard so that he may not live like her. Her wish for her son is to have a better and dignified life full of opportunities and prosperity. The poor widow was very grateful to St. Al’s and by extension School of Hope for living true to the nature – being beacon of hope. The visit was characterized by mixed feelings of pity and hope especially for the ailing widow and belief that dawn will bring with new prospects especially for the sixteen year old boy who’s dreaming to become an engineer.
Having lived the experiences of our students in Kibera, the board member also visited the proposed dormitory site for the school. Plans are underway to bring students closer to the school and away from all distractions in the slums. Construction works had begun on site but were halted due to technicalities with the construction permits and the authorities. It is however, hoped that work will resume once all is cleared out. The visitors were able to appreciate the need for permanent residents for our students. Just like the very humble beginnings of the school, the belief is there and the dream of permanent residence for our students will be a reality. Apart from meeting with the school leadership and administration to receive updates on the progress of the school, the visitors also met and had a talk with the entire students’ body. The board member particularly recounted his experience having worked in Kenya in the past and how the landscape had changed and keeps on changing. He also encouraged the students to work hard towards their goals and assured them of the support from School of Hope Foundation in realizing their cherished dreams. To crown the visit, Ellen who is the daughter and also a journalist with CNN in New York, had a very interactive session with students drawn from the journalism club. Students were able to enquire from what motivated her to become a journalist, how journalism in Kenya compares to US and some of the challenges she faces in her work. Through her sharing of her experiences, students were able get an insight of what it means to become a journalist. By and large, the visit benefited the school and the guests mutually. Apart from the interactions and sharing of experiences, we believe that both the guests and the school mutually benefited from the interactions.