Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School has a glorious namesake, but this time last year, the school was anything but beautiful.
The walls were collapsing on rotten timber supports, exposing the students and staff to the elements year-round. They were cold, damp and muddy part of the year and sweltering and dusty the other parts. They are also dark and have poor air quality. The conditions prevented the students from focusing and caused a drop in attendance. In short, big changes needed to be made urgently in order for students to be given the education that they needed and deserved.
In August of last year, working in collaboration with our Mikinduri site, Chalice launched a school reconstruction project in the rural Kenyan community. They are building six spacious and airy classrooms for children with weather resistant roofs and ceilings, good flooring, proper doors and windows. The vision: clean, well-lit and functional classrooms.
As soon as the community got the green-light for the project, they called the local parish priest, Fr. Lucas, to bless the school grounds.
“We held a wonderful Mass, and the priest blessed the people, the community members, and the grounds,” writes the Mikinduri site staff. “The community and the school parents were present for ground-breaking ceremony as they were very happy and thankful to Chalice for thinking about their school.”
Members of the community were eager to help with foundation preparation work that could be done manually – including Caroline the site director and grandmothers!
The project is progressing very well. The first phase of the project is complete, accounting for approximately 40% of the project done. This includes the foundation, flooring, and part of the walling. Rainy weather and poor road conditions have been a challenge, but the site is hopeful that the project will be complete soon and that the school will reopen for classes.
The site staff and teachers hope that the fresh new classrooms will help students academically, as they will then be able to comfortably and safely attend school.
The Mikinduri site and the children recognize the unwavering support from Chalice in seeing this important undertaking come to fruition. They give many thanks in gratitude to those who contributed in any way.
“ We are really grateful,” writes the Mikinduri staff, “for your support and love that you have shown the community of Mikinduri and the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel fraternity.”