[Province of Ireland – Kenya] The Education and Empowerment Project is composed of St. Justin de Jacobis Center and St. John’sCenter. They are walking distance from each other in a suburb of Nairobi. The clients served come from a variety of poor communities scattered in and around NairobiKenya. Sr Peig O’Brien (Ireland), Sr Jocelyne Joly (Canada) and Sr Deborah Mallott (United States) work in various capacities in this project.
St. John’s and St. Justin both have educational, vocational and human development components. But more than that St. Justin’s and St. John’s are places where we help people make their DREAMS come true. The ultimate goal of both centers is to help the clients to live healthier, happier more independent lives. We trust that our clients will realize the great love that God has for each of them. Equipped with knowledge and hope and employable skills we hope that they will build better lives for their families and their communities.
St. John’s offers classes in human development, English, dressmaking and tailoring classes and seminars on business and other subjects. They participate in introductory baking and sewing classes at St. Justin.
At St. Justin the social services team provides counseling, nutrition support, medical referral and in home follow-up visits to more than 500 people each year. Conducted primarily by the people themselves and in cooperation with students at St. Johns University (USA) they have begun a small table banking project. Using this method the Rosalie Rendu Group can provide business startup and business enhancement loans to its members.
The Social work team has also worked with the parents of children who come to the PeaceSchool to introduce the Child Protection Policy of the Daughters of Charity and to make them aware of the rights of Children using a child friendly power point created for this purpose.
The adult education center provides classes in preparation for the Kenya Secondary Education Exam (KCSE), Baking, Basic English, and Computer. Eight Students have already passed the National Secondary School Exam and 61 students are currently taking classes.
St. Justin Production Unit is an advanced training course that provides a few graduates from the St. John’s Sewing Classes with advanced training in design, marketing and production. They gain self confidence in design and marketing. The goals of the production unit are, first, to affirm and encourage those who participate and to help them to realize their own giftedness and creativity. Second, the production unit stresses quality and customer service. The third goal is to improve the financial sustainability of the Center and to increase the likelihood that our graduates will be financially independent when they graduate.
The Peace School is another work. It reaches out to children and youth from a nearby community that lack the basic necessities of life. The children attend the Saturday mentoring program and for a few hours they are away from the overcrowded mud houses where they live. They can just be children and youth. They laugh, play, explore dance, music, games and hands on science activities. The program is values oriented emphasizing a particular human or Gospel value.
In addition to the activities and services provided for clients, St. John’s and St.JustinCenters provide a rich learning environment for those aspiring to religious life, postulants, seminary sisters, Vincentian Novices, and students from local colleges.
If you would like to learn more please view our website: www.stjustinctr.kbo.co.ke