Marking the 15th Anniversary
It’s been 15 years since the seed of hope was planted in the heart of Kibera slums. A lot has been realised but this lives a lot ot be done yet. On 17th June 2018, St. Aloysius Gonzaga secondary school marked its 15th anniversary since its humble beginnings at the heart of Kibera slums. Since then, the school has been a true beacon of hope to hundreds of boys and girls who have dared to dream courtesy of the support they have been accorded. On this anniversary and in line with the tradition that has been created over years, there were a number of activities that took place on the day. Even though the material day was very chilly and cold, St. Al’s community braved the weather in numbers to ensure the celebrations had the meaning it has been known to have. The day began with a Eucharistic celebration which presided over by Fr. Terry Charlton, who is also the co-founder for the school. He was assisted with the current school chaplain Fr. Richard D’Souza and Fr. Dan O’Hare who is a Jesuit priest from New York city and who also accompanied this year’s pilgrims from the US. Fr. O’Hare gave a powerful homily to the congregation on faith as a follow up to last year’s message of hope. During the mass, 20 students also received the sacrament of baptism ushering them into the Catholic faith. This was also the day that 14 students who excelled in 2017 examinations and who qualified for university were also recognized awarded. A strong challenge was posed to the current forth form students to ensure they surpass the performance of their predecessors to ensure the schools enroll more students at the university.
The celebrations were also graced by our pilgrims from the US who were able to share their experiences with the students and the entire St. Al’s community. This year, we were blessed to have two pilgrims who were able to visit other Jesuit projects within Nairobi in addition to visiting Maasai Mara national park for their maiden safari. The pilgrims were paired with students to help them deepen their relations, bond, share experiences and feel at home away from home. Our students were very happy to play the role of hosting the guests and ensuring that their stay in St. Al’s was fruitful and an enjoyable experience. Apart from the hearty singing during the mass, the students were also able to showcase their talents through other traditional songs, dances and short skits. The highlight of these entertainments was a beautiful salsa dance that was presented by a group of the students that got everyone on their feet. The chief guest, who is a lecturer in one of our local universities, reiterated the importance of collaboration between the school and parents/caregivers of the students to ensure the overall success of the students. In her sentiments, she reckoned that the holistic formation offered at St. Aloysius is unparalleled and challenged the students to take full advantage of the same to be men and women for others. In order to mark the 15th anniversary of journey of faith and hope, a cake was cut and shared by all. Thereafter, everyone present including students, teachers, parents/caregivers, pilgrims, invited guests, friends and families took meals together. This is the true spirit of St, Aloysius day – the spirit of sharing to learn, love and serve. The chills of the day were turned into joy and warm with the fun lived on the day. Long live St. Al’s.