Inverness County Cares

Partners in Development

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Pizza Sale Sunday August 6th

Inverness County Cares is doing it again! We will be selling delicious pizza, cooked in an outside wood fired oven. Sunday August 6th.
Pre-sale by E-transfer. colmac27@gmail.com
State the kind: veg, meat-lovers, pep and cheese or works. Also state time you would like to pick up. We will also be pre-selling at locations which  will be posted later. This is Inverness County Cares’ main fundraiser to support the St Charles Lwanga Secondary School in Nairobi, Kenya.

July 2017- Inverness County Cares Acquires Additional Partners

Inverness County Cares Acquires Additional Partners
Inverness County Cares (ICC) in partnership with Chalice Canada supports the St Charles Lwanga Secondary School (SCLSS) in Ruai, Nairobi, Kenya. The school provides an education for 280 students who are either homeless, orphaned or from families struggling to survive on an income that does not include a place in the budget for school fees. We are proud to say that reports out of Kenya report that the SCLSS is gaining a reputation as a well managed school with a strong emphasis on serving students’ varied needs.
One of our main goals is independence and sustainability for the school. We are working with this proverb in mind. “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Over the past three years ICC and SCLSS and more recently Chalice, have forged a working partnership with the Vermont Center for International Learning Partnership (VCILP). This is a Burlington, Vermont, based group interested in promoting learning in Kenya based on sustainable agricultural practices.
On graduation from SCLSS students are faced with the problem of an inability to attend post-graduate institutions due to a lack of funds. VCILP is working toward the establishment of an agricultural college, which will be able to accommodate the SCLSS students and with fees that will be affordable for the SCLSS students.
VCILP representatives have visited the SCLSS on several occasions and have fostered a partnership between the University of Nairobi, University of Vermont School of Agriculture, Community Development and Applied Economics Program. VCILP has connected SCLSS to the Permaculture Research Institute of Kenya (PRI-Kenya) and students and school leaders have already begun preliminary training in sustainable agricultural practices.
This partnership has led to pilot projects where school leaders have been trained in sustainable agriculture. This is in preparation for the time when SCLSS will move from their present cramped location to a spacious new campus with fertile soil and ample rainfall providing the opportunity to grow their own food and also grow food to provide an income to support the school.
https://lwangachildren.com/
https://www.goglobalvt.org/about-us
http://chalice.ca/

 

Working Toward Sustainability- June 2017

Inverness County Cares (ICC) continues to work on their commitment to raise the $60,000 portion of the $120,000 needed to support the St Charles Lwanga Secondary School, in Nairobi Kenya for a budget year. Our partner Chalice Canada of Bedford, Nova Scotia chalice.ca/will contribute the remaining $60,000.

The school is making great strides toward sustainability through their cooperation with the Burlington Vermont based, Vermont Center for International Learning Partnerships, with a focus on environmental agriculture. Their plan is to educate the students and community on the establishment of an agricultural model where they will learn to enrich the soil and plant crops, which will provide maximum yield in the location and conditions they have to work with. This is the beginning of a strategy to work with the school to provide much of their own food. At this point a large part of the school budget goes for food with prices escalating due to a drought in the region.  According to Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), “Widespread crop failure and falling terms of trade for pastoralists have affected farming and agro-pastoral communities in the northwest, northeast, and coastal strip of Kenya. The two main rainy seasons failed in 2016. There are growing reports of conflict as a result of displacement and water shortages.”

To meet out budget commitments, Inverness County Cares is planning a Lobster Dinner fundraiser. On Saturday June 24th, 2017 ICC will host a lobster dinner fundraiser from 6:00-9:00 pm, at the home of Tony and Flo Campbell, 5435 Highway19, Judique. There will be appetizers, one whole 1 ½ pound lobster each, salads, fresh rolls and delicious desserts! Music will be provided. Tickets for this event can be purchased by calling Susan Moran 902-787-2241. 100% of donations will go to St. Charles Lwanga School.

 

#1: St Charles Lwanga students putting agricultural knowledge into practice.

#2: St Charles Lwanga director meeting with Vermont partners

#3: 2016 lobster dinner

May 2017- Student Power

Student Power

Inverness County Cares (ICC) is blessed to be situated in a community where our young people are committed to helping their brothers and sisters who are in great need. These up and coming global thinkers are a testament to the example provided by their parents and their teachers. Last week Betty Jane Cameron and Fr. Duncan Mac Isaac met with Dalbrae Students who are members of the Students Helping Our World (SHOW) Committee, to relate their experiences while visiting the St Charles Lwanga School. They were very encouraged by the interest of so many students who attended the meeting. These young people think globally and act locally.

Since the inception of Inverness County Cares in 2012, student groups have provided support for the St Charles Lwanga Secondary School in Ruai, Nairobi, Kenya. Through the guidance of their teacher Melissa Cummings the SHOW students have raised funds through an annual concert where talented students provide most of the entertainment. Their efforts have provided this Kenyan school with money for exam fees, two fuel-efficient stoves, a photocopier and printer, food, water, Internet access, sewing machine and hygiene items. The SHOW students and Melissa, as well as the student members of the We Day organization and St. Stephen’s – Jubilee United Church youth group have provided valuable volunteer assistance for our annual pizza sale in August. ICC representatives visit Dalbrae and keep the students updated as to the events and conditions at the St Charles Lwanga School. In addition the WeDay participants also hosted a successful concert to pay for food for 2 months.

Emma Munro, a third year Dalbrae member of SHOW, stated why she got involved, ” I have always had an interest in helping those in need.  At my previous school, Whycocamagh Education Centre, my grade 8 class got to attend WE day in Halifax. Ever since then the SHOW Committee has allowed me to help others both locally and overseas.  The committee raises money for the St Charles Lwanga School.  In the past we have provided a stove and helped build a well.  I would recommend this committee because it is very rewarding.”

Amy MacDonald, a grade 11 student said she became active because, “I wanted to get more involved with extra curricular activities and I thought it was pretty cool that my participation could help those in a completely different country.  It is such an easy way to help out those locally and globally, who can’t get the help they need on their own.  It is also very inclusive with people from all grades joining to help out others.  I think everyone enjoys being involved.”

The SHOW Committee students will be holding a 7 pm concert, May 30th, at Strathspey Place. There will be performances by the many gifted young people in our area. These students invite you to come out to support a worthy cause and to spend an enjoyable evening in their company.

www.lwangachildren.com       www.invernesscountycares.com

April 2017- Betty Jane’s Kenyan Experience

The St Charles Lwanga Secondary (Lwanga) School situated in Ruai, on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya has a strong connection with Inverness County Cares. This bond and concern for the 280 children at the school has drawn Inverness County visitors to this little school with big dreams.

An adventurous spirit and desire to help others brought Betty Jane Cameron of Mabou, back to the Lwanga School for her second visit. In 2016 she spent a month with the children. This February and March she returned for six weeks, one of those weeks with Fr. Duncan Mac Isaac with whom all were impressed by his wisdom and caring. She taught music, health education and provided love and understanding for children desperately in need of a loving grandmother figure.

Betty Jane had the real Kenyan experience. She lived at the school, slept in a small dorm and ate what the students ate. She experienced firsthand the effects of the devastating famine in Kenya, South Sudan and Somalia. Food prices are escalating and the usual multitude of Kenyan food vendors were absent. The students survive on a very basic diet of beans, rice and cabbage and vegetables. Even tea, that necessary Cape Breton staple, was unavailable.

Betty Jane worked at the school as a member of the staff. She rejoiced in the successes of students and shared tears for their disappointments. She experienced the lack of teaching aids, scarcity of equipment, stifling heat in over crowded classrooms and difficulty in keeping good teachers when the budget doesn’t have the means to pay a competitive salary.

She travelled toward the western part of Kenya to Homabay where school director Br Kennedy Oronjo’s mother lives in their family home. She was proud to witness our Lwanga students act as student leaders and mentors for students of schools in other areas. They demonstrated strong leadership skills and were an inspiration to their peers.

Like our teens, these students have dreams and goals for their future studies and careers. They are very much aware that all this stops at graduation from Form 4 (Grade 12), unless sponsors and/or scholarships can be made available. Last year all of them graduated, and three earned university entrance scholarships. The rest of these young people are back in their communities or on the streets again, and most have not found employment. Inverness County Cares members are individually sponsoring several students, but some of us hope to start a scholarship fund to provide an ongoing source of sustainable money to help graduating students further their studies each year. There are so many needs: a new school with space for sports and recreation, a vocational school, and land for an agricultural program to help them become more sustainable and better fed. Currently, over 300 staff and students live, sleep and study on about 1/4 acre! Nevertheless, they are happy and grateful for everything. They know they are truly blessed to be part of the St Charles Lwanga family.

Betty Jane notes that her experiences with our brothers and sisters in Kenya have emphasized how fortunate we are in Canada, where we have so many home comforts and all the food we need and more.

www.lwangachildren.com

www.invernesscountycares.com

Passing of Stanley Wanjala

St. Charles Lwanga Children’s Centre and Secondary School and community at large, lost a very hardworking form one student, 14 year old, Stanley Wanjala. He passed over, on the 17th of March 2017 at 7:00 PM at Kakamega referral hospital in Kakamega town, Kenya. Three siblings, his mother and numerous relatives survive him. His family lived in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya. His death came unexpectedly. Stanley’s funeral service will take place Saturday March 25th, in Magoo, Kenya and he will be laid to rest in a family plot near his grandparent’s home. We all extend our sincerest sympathies to Stanley’s family and friends.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the Chalice Critical needs fund for this funeral, will soon find a location on the Chalice websites address this need.

https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/donate.aspx?eventid=153266&langpref=en-CA&Referrer=http%3a%2f%2fwww.chalice.ca%2f

Or you may use the PayPal button on this  website
All donations are tax deductible in Canada and the USA.
The Chalice giving code is
CN-KLN0317

We all extend our sincerest sympathies to Stanley’s family and friends.

March 2017- Fr Duncan MacIsaac in Kenya

At about 7am in the morning on Thursday February 16th, 2017 in Ruai, Kenya 280 plus students were on parade to pray, sing and give words of welcome to Fr. Duncan MacIsaac (Stella Maris and St Margaret’s parish priest) representing Inverness County Cares (ICC) from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. He came to St Charles Lwanga (SCL) Secondary School because he cares and wanted to meet the students and staff at SCL school.
Shortly after arrival Fr. Duncan sat down with about 18 students from Form 4 (grade12) and staff in their newly constructed Chapel. He listened to each student tell of their dreams for their future and how they will build up and enrich society. They spoke of what they learned at SCL school beyond the academics, of how they learned to share and look out for each other. They spoke of how they grew as persons by taking on leadership roles and carrying out their responsibilities in a faithful manner. It was encouraging and uplifting to hear these young men and women speaking from their heart and in such an eloquent way.
ICC represented by Betty Jane Cameron of Mabou and Fr. Duncan met With Br Kennedy and staff along with representatives of Chalice of Bedford, NS, that included Mary Anne MacKinnon, the International Director of Chalice whose ancestral roots are from Inverness County along with Ann Josiah a Native Kenyan who is a Regional Director for Chalice in Kenya. A wide ranging discussion ensued that examined both challenges and opportunities of how SCL secondary school can continue to move forward in the future in the best interests of the students and their education. The obvious improvements in classes, structures, formation, and financial accountability were noted and affirmed.
SCL school’s vision is clearly stated for all to see upon entering the school grounds. It goes like this: ” A society in which children irrespective of their background are equipped with knowledge and skills to play their role in life as citizens of the world”. These values are reinforced on a daily basis in the hearts and minds of the children
The students themselves are engaging and fiercely determined to do their best in this school setting, despite its limitations of space and available material resources. Those who succeed will be exemplary citizens and leaders in their communities, in their country and in the world as a whole. ICC and Chalice through shared funding of $60,000 each, over a 3 year period have enhanced and made real the possibility of the dreams and their fulfillment for these children. It is no small achievement.

 

Image #1 and 2 Administration of St Charles Lwanga School (SCL), Chalice staff and Inverness County Cares meet to discuss the school.

Image #3 Fr Duncan MacIsaac greets St Charles Lwanga  students at the door of their classrooms

Image #4 Betty Jane Cameron, Fr Duncan MacIsaac, ___, Br Kennedy, Mary Anne MacKinnon of Chalice

Image #5 Betty Jane Cameron, ___, ___, Fr Duncan, RoseMary, Br Kennedy, Mary Anne MacKinnon of Chalice, ___.

Betty Jane Update 3

This is brief. We are at a pub in Ruai to celebrate with the teachers who have been correcting exams this week. I am finally on wifi but in the middle of a dance! All is wonderful here. I spent all day-8-4 teaching at a nearby school with only 10 min. for lunch. I taught music to the entire student body and they loved it all. The new chapel is very nice but not yet in use. It has been great to have Father Duncan here and the children love him. The meeting Friday was excellent and we talked for 7 hours about every aspect of school life, health and safety, and also have lots of plans and commitments from Chalice. It was so nice to finally meet Mary Anne. I will leave you with this, and see you in another 3 weeks. My love to all of you, Betty Jane

Goal Attained

Originally Posted on 08/29/2016

Inverness County Cares is proud to announce that we have fulfilled our pledge to raise $60,000 between September 2015 and September 2016. We wish to thank Chalice for matching our donation and providing the St Charles Lwanga School with a better standard of living. The 2016-2017 budget has been approved and again Chalice and Inverness County Cares, have both pledged another $60,000 each, for the next twelve months. We wish to thank our supporters, both far and near, for their continued generosity.

February 2017- Three Scholarships

St Charles Lwanga Secondary School is located near Nairobi, Kenya. Its mission is to provide an education and a home for abandoned street children, orphans or those too poor to pay school tuition. Since 2012 Inverness County Cares has been providing support and the necessities of life for these children, as they complete their secondary education. In 2015, ICC joined with Chalice, Canada, to support the school. Together they have provided the school with a more nutritious diet, improved classrooms facilities and better living accommodations. After four full years of support the results are evident. All 43, of the 2016 graduating class passed their exams and three outstanding graduates (see below) have been awarded a prestigious government scholarship to study in a Kenyan university.

Nancy Morena’s mother was a single parent, who struggled daily in the Kibera slum to provide for her family. Now Nancy aspires to be a lawyer and work on human rights issues. She wants to be the voice of the helpless especially those women and girls who are abused.

Martin Mungai was raised by his grandmother and endured abject poverty. He is grateful for the chance to join the public university and plans to study hard and bring help to his community.

Catherine Agufana came from Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. In 2009 her father lost his job when a work accident took one of his hands. Some days the family would go without food. When she graduates, she will work toward helping her community.

Attending University is an unbelievable opportunity for these students. Sadly most St Charles Lwanga graduates are not able to attain any post secondary education, due to lack of money for tuition, unless they receive a scholarship or they acquire a sponsor.

Our website provides the full story on each student see Autobiographies on

https://lwangachildren.com/

https://invernesscountycares.com/

http://chalice.ca/

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