Every Penny Counts

When I see a child whose pants don’t cover thin legs & ankles, whose toes have worn through their shoes, or whose skin is chapped and dry from the cold, my heart aches. My mind turns towards a way to help.

There are many charitable organizations to which a person can donate. A good question to ask is “How much of my donation goes to administrative costs?”  It is said less than 25% spent on administrative costs is a good goal.

How much of your dollar donated to St. Barnabas Orphanage & Education Center goes towards providing for the need of a child?

Director, Father Methodius Kariuki, assures his donors that more than 94 percent of every dollar raised fully benefits the child.

  • 94% – Food, clothing, educational resourcess and salaries for caretakers
  • 6% – PayPal & Bank transaction fees

As much as they are able, local community services help with maintenance or construction needs.  Their local neighbors help where they can, sharing food stuffs, fuel, wood, etc.

Father Methodios assures every donor, “We do not have any irrelevant costs. We have no hidden agenda. We are Orthodox Christians and are fully Pro-Life.” Transparency and honesty are of utmost importance. This builds trust in our relationship with, not only our donors, but with our caretakers and teachers. It models the Christian virtues for our children.

What more can a donor ask for in an age that does not value these things? Donate now to St. Barnabas Orphanage and Education Center. Every penny really does count.

Bishop Athanasius (Akunda) and Father Silouan visit Bishop Athanasius Secondary School

On June 8th, in a whirlwind visit, Fr. Silouan and His Grace Bishop Athanasius visited the students and teachers of the Bishop Athanasius Secondary School of Mugen, located in the Nandi Region of Western Kenya. Teachers and students welcomed His Grace and Father with traditional African songs and dances, communicating their commitment to educating their people. As Julius Kiprotich, seminarian and Teacher shared, “Education is the key to our success.”

The teachers and students were delighted to take His Grace and Father around the school compound and to show them their classrooms, as well as the water tank that was recently gifted to the school by Orthodox Africa and their generous donors. This water tank allows them to collect and store rainwater for domestic use, including drinking water and water for cooking.

This resource allows them to manage when they experience African dry spells.

Later, Father Silouan sat with the students and teachers, encouraging them in their studies and in their faith. Julius Kiprotich, reported that since Father’s visit the school has had an increase in enrollment. When asked what it was that was so inspiring to students, Julius shared, “It’s rare here to see a white person with whiskers.”  Perhaps it was his “whiskers” and smile, or maybe it was his inspiring words.  However, by the Grace of God, the school is in need of additional classrooms including a science and computer lab, in order to accommodate the increase in students and the educational aspirations of this beautiful community.

A Letter From A Student At Saint Innocents Academy 08/05/2017

This month, Orthodox Africa is proud to present a look at Saint Innocent’s Academy written by one of the primary school students that directly benefits from your continual support. Now with very little grammatical editing we present to you….. Note: All Edits will appear in (brackets)

A Letter From A Student:

St Innocents Chajo Academy 08/05/2017

I love st innocent so much. Because our teachers teach us very good. Then we do their work that teachers gives us and we do in hardworking and we are very displeen (disciplined)

In st innocent the environment is very clean and there is a small field that pupils go to play there games. The school chajo was start in 2011. In 2011 the school was very far because you cross a small stream. We learn that school up to 2012 we came to house of our director: That house was two rooms only. The old director build one room only then the school has three classes it was baby, middle and pre-unit.

After one year our director built standard one then pupils work very hard. Then in end of term one we do zonal (finals). Then our results came we were number four out of twenty-six schools. Then after one year director built standard two then a visitor from America came to our school he bring us pictures of Jesus. I thank Father Johna (Jonah) because he brought has frome small school to big school of hardworking pupils and improve as frome one room to many rooms that is more than five rooms. I thank my teacher who is called Miss Nelly. She is a good teacher. Because she teaches me from top class to standard four. I love that teacher very  much. We shall never forget her. Another teacher teache as from standard two up to now. He is a games teacher because he teach as then we go up to Serem. Our pupils run from Chepkuny to Serem. They fail in Serem. We love our school because (our) teachers teach us very good and in our classes everybody sit very comfortable and every class have blackboard and desks.

In teaching teachers teach pupils very hardwork and when it is zonals (finals) we are number four and lazy pupils in school teaches us to pull up our socks. I thank our teachers because they call our neighbor to cook some food at school. I want to say one idea it about breakfast. My school wants breakfast in ten oclock we want to drink tea and bread everyday. I want to tell father silvanoes (Father Silouan) to give us some money to buy milk, sugar and bread.

You can help us make this child’s wish come true, with your help we can buy some milk sugar and bread so that the kids do not have to go hungry during their school day. By going to this page www.orthodoxafrica.org /st-innocent-academy/ you will learn more about Saint Innocents Academy and will be able to make a donation that will got directly to nurturing these children both physically and spiritually.

Robinson Cheruiyot , is a 10 year old Orphan and is exceedingly bright in academics.

4 Chains, 12 Bells – What Is It?

Father Constantinos and Presbytera Triza are working towards St. Irene Orthodox Mission Center being self-reliant and self-sustaining; all with the purpose of following Jesus’ command in the Gospel of Saint Matthew, where He said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these. When He had placed His hands on them, He went on from there.  Orphaned and poor children are vulnerable to the evils in the world.  The first step of introducing these children to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is to feed and clothe them, provide them with clean drinking water and warmth, not just of body but of soul.

 

Education is one of the most important ways to raise a person out of poverty and hunger.  St. Irene Mission Center provides a well-rounded education to these vulnerable children infected and affected by HIV/AIDs who are under their care.  Raising them to be strong in the Lord gives the children the tools to be strong in their lives, no matter what happens to them.  In the following video, Fr. Constantinos teaches the children about the censer; its purpose and its symbolism.  Do you know what the four chains symbolize?  Listen and learn with the students.

Being strong in body is just as important as being strong in mind and heart.  In the following video, the children learn song and dance.  Join them in their physical education!

His Eminence, Archbishop Makarios, Metropolitan of Kenya, visited the orphanage and education center.  The joy and love of Christ he brings with him blesses us all.  In his message he spoke about the lack of rain and the food shortage in the area being a great concern of the Director, Father Constantinos.  Further, he commended the good work being done in educating the children not only with regular classes but, more so, with the spiritual teachings and food given by the Grace of God.  His Eminence made a special request to all supporters to please share in the work by speaking with friends and neighbors and continuing with their regular donations.

His Eminence took time to speak to all of the children about God and His Love for them.

Consider being a partner with Father Constantinos and Presbytera Triza, helping them achieve the goals of St. Irene Mission Center by being a regular monthly donor?  Donate Now!

To subscribe to Orthodox Africa’s monthly newsletter, go here!

 

Prayer is the light of the soul

“There is nothing more worthwhile than to pray to God and to converse with him, for prayer unites us with God as His companions. As our bodily eyes are illuminated by seeing the light, so in contemplating God our soul is illuminated by Him. Of course, the prayer I have in mind is no matter of routine, it is deliberate and earnest. It is not tied down to a fixed timetable; rather it is a state which endures by night and day.”

By the grace of God Saturday, 22 July, 2017, we received two cartons full of textbooks.  This was a donation from a local private school which is 300 km away from St. Barnabas.  Join us in a thanksgiving prayer to God for them.

On 28 July 2017, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, Metropolitan of Kenya visited our orphanage and education center.  The joy and love of Christ he brings with him blesses us all.  In his message he spoke about the good work being done in educating the children not only with regular classes but, more so, with the spiritual teachings and food given by the Grace of God.  Further, His Eminence made a special request to all supporters to please share the good news of the work being done at St. Barnabas with friends and relatives so that it may continue.  The food situation is dire in the area due to lack of rain for the crops.  Calling the teachers “heroes” Archbishop Makarios commended them for their dedication and diligence to the work of the mission.  “The children are happy,” he said.  A good sign of the work being accomplished at St. Barnabas Orphanage and Education Center.

View the full video below:

The children at St Barnabas Orphanage and School depend upon your generosity. Please don’t forget them. Any donation you are able to make helps. To donate click here or here.

 

Students Entertain Visitors

During Orthodox Africa Director, Father Silouan’s visit to Bishop Athanasios Secondary School this past June, the students provided entertainment for him and other esteemed guests of whom His Grace, Bp. Athanasios Akunda, Bishop of Kisumu and all of Western Kenya was one.

 

The group was introduced by school principal, Mr. Stanley Kirui.

 

Student Body Grows; Another Classroom Needed

Mr. Julius Kiprotich

This week’s feature post is a short interview with Julius Kiprotich, one of the teachers at Bishop Athanasius Secondary School of Mugen. The school is located in Nandi county, Aldai region, Mugen Zone in Mugen Village. It is ten kilometers from the main road of Kisumu –Eldoret.

We understand that Bishop Athanasius Secondary School needs another classroom. Would you please tell our readers why there is that need?

By the Grace of God, the school has been a conducive environment for learning. There is an increase enrollment of students due to the good results posted by the students in the last term examination. This has pleased many guardians, so they wish to enroll their students in this school. The number has increased so much the students have been in a temporary classroom. That is not conducive to learning and attentiveness because whenever it rains students and their work gets splashed with water because windows and door s are open. The dirt floor requires students to clean and sweep to prevent jiggers. It is a waste of study time as they are supposed to be taught and not concentrating on sweeping.

This classroom will be constructed alongside the other classroom as preferred by the architecture to ease the movement of teachers and students.

The school is for both boys and girls?

Yes, the school is for both boys and girls. The aim and objective of establishing the school was to make sure that there is an enlightenment in the society. This will only be fulfilled through education for both genders. Education has underpinned civilization and there is a need for accepting it in the society. The Board considers the school as the best place for nurturing the talents of the students and realization of the dreams, through good morals and spiritual growth.

How many graduates, if any, go on to university?

The school is privileged to have candidates this year 2017 as their first students to sit for the placement test to tertiary education. The statistics carried out recently by the teachers report that according to the performance based on the continuous assessment tests they have been doing monthly, there is probability that 80% will be able to join tertiary education through colleges and universities and the remaining 20% will join vocational/technical schools for further studies.

The competition between boys and girls is equal as both students were placed by the similar rank of class during admission.

Thank you, Mr. Kiprotich, for taking time to tell us about Bp. Athanasius Secondary School.  To read further details about the school go here .

Exam Time at St. Innocent Academy!

St. Innocent Academy’s students are taking their end of June exams!

A challenge the Academy has had is preparing and printing sample exams.  Doing so would allow the teachers to better prepare the students on test taking skills and strategies.  Students are given knowledge through teaching in the classroom. As we all have experienced, when the time comes to take the test, the information may be slightly altered to challenge the student to think and reason out the correct answer.  Test taking is an art in which practice helps ensure success in the end.

   

St. Innocent Academy and Father Jonah are making a request for donations with which they will purchase at minimum one, preferably two, laptops and printer.  Teacher, Julius Kiprotich, said, “Two laptops would be ideal. It would allow me to train some of my fellow teachers to improve their typing skills, to assist in test preparation, and expose the students to the workings of a computer.”

St. Innocent Academy and Father Jonah seek $700 for the purchase of one laptop and one printer.  With generous spirits, any additional funds raised will go towards the purchase of a second laptop.

To donate, please visit our donation page here.

 

Progress at St. Innocent Academy

St. Innocent Academy has seen much progress in the last few weeks! Glory to God!

Through the hard work of many people, the concrete floors in the classrooms are complete.  Now the staffroom is under construction with concrete floors being laid also.

Our school students are studying hard.

From ages 2 to 5 years, children are taught the very basics; what their name is, writing numbers, how to correctly hold a pencil, learning the alphabet and the sounds associated with each letter and singing.

Children in lower elementary school, Standard 1 to 3, follow a curriculum called Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE).  They are taught the basics of how to read, write, memorize and dictation.

The Standard 4 and 5 students study the same subjects according to the Kenyan elementary schools, which includes English, Mathematics, Religious Studies, Social Studies and Kiswahili (also known as Swahili, the Bantu language, the first language of the Swahili people).

The Standard 4 and 5 students recently took their mid-term examinations, of which there were two.  Despite numerous challenges, they emerged among the best pupils in the zone.  Overall, they ranked 4th among the best schools. Everyone is very proud of them and their achievement. The teachers are happy for the good grades their pupils are getting because of their sacrifice and dedication to their studies.  They are pledging that at the end-of-term examination they will emerge the best through the prayers of the Patron Saint of our academy, Saint Innocent.

Please join us in that prayer!