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Project of the Week – Kenya

Construction support for a new convent and formation centre  

The Archdiocese of Kisumu serves some exceptionally poor areas of Kenya. Hunger, illiteracy, and lack of medical provisions, combined with terrible road conditions and a lack of clean drinking water, make life difficult for many people in these areas. Electricity is no more than a dream for most of the local population. On top of this, there are certain traditional tribal practices which inflict additional suffering. Girls are often married off at the age of 12 and widows are not infrequently “taken over” by the dead husband’s brother. And since in many cases the husband has died of AIDS and the wife is living with HIV—the virus which can lead to AIDS—the virus continues to spread. Overall, the incidence of AIDS is very high here due to a lack of appropriate care. 

Many other issues are also affecting the population. Most families survive on what little their crops will yield, and in the rainy season, many people move away to the towns and cities in search of work, since it is impossible to grow or plant anything during this time. As a result, the children and elderly are often left behind in the villages, without care. By contrast, in the rainy season, mosquitoes bring malaria, which spreads rapidly. And there are other frequent sources of disease and infection due to the lack of clean drinking water. 

The Visitation Daughters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was therefore established to help those in need. Of the six sisters who founded the association, three are qualified nurses. They care for expectant mothers, act as midwives, care for the sick and look after the elderly and orphans who have been left behind, as well as provide counselling and assistance to people facing all kinds of challenges. Through their work, they are also helping these people come to know Jesus and His Good News, guiding them on their way to the Catholic Christian faith, instructing them and praying with them. 

However, the sisters themselves do not yet have a permanent convent in which they can live and train the young women who wish to join their community. We would like to help them in the amount of $45,000 towards the construction of a house and formation centre in the nearby town of Katolo. These new vocations will play a crucial role in the future of the congregation and that of the archdiocese. Will you help us?  

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