Sponsor a child from the slum: LifeFunder
(LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic nun is working to combat extreme poverty in Africa by providing faith-based education as well as food and clothing for children.
Sister Miriam Duggan, who has served as a Franciscan missionary since 1969, is running three schools for children in the poor slums of Kenya. By providing young people with practical education and basic necessities, her team hopes to guide them to a productive life blessed with work and free of the poverty they knew as children.
During an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, Sister Miriam explained that it costs $250 to educate, feed, and clothe one child throughout a year. She said that “God is good, so we take in children,” but added that funding is limited and expressed that the staff ask “God to send us some money.”
Specifically, Sister Miriam and her team are seeking donations to support the Mother Kevin Community School, which was founded by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa in an effort to serve children in the slums of Nairobi.
Two renovations are being sought for the school, including the conversion of one room to a science laboratory to accommodate new curriculum and constructing coverage in a room where students are served food.
In addition to the $8,500 needed to construct the new science classroom, $5,600 is necessary to provide school books for the students. Per child, it costs $250 a year to provide education and food for a student in primary school and $500 for a child in secondary school.
Even amid the struggle to gather necessary funding, the effect of Sister Miriam’s mission on young people is evident.
“It is very good and the learning is high,” a sixth grader named Fidelis, who wants to be a pilot when he grows up, told LifeSiteNews. Asked what motivates him to study hard at school, the boy replied, “So that when I grow up, I can win my dream.”
“This school is beautiful, smart, the food is good, and the school is just nice, even our teachers,” another sixth grader, Felicidad, said. “I want to be a doctor.”
The school system is designed to put kids through primary and secondary school. After completing the basic education levels, some of the youth receive scholarships from the government to pursue higher education while others begin working. Although the mission strives to enable young people to find meaning and purpose in their lives, some of them “stay idle” and require further attention and guidance.
Sister Miriam referred to these children as “school dropouts, those who haven’t done well in their exams or who haven’t got good results.”
“Our social workers track them down and we bring them to here and we do an eight-week life skills and rehabilitation with them,” she told LifeSiteNews. “And really with strong motivation. We can’t do anything about the past, but we can do a lot with the present and into the future.”
Vocational training is provided in the hope that “if they have a trade, they can get a good job.” A survey of those who have gone through this program in the past seven years shows that “89% of them are working in stable jobs.”
“And, to me,” Sister Miriam added. “That’s the only answer to poverty.”
Donations for resources, renovations, and sponsoring a child’s education can be made here.