Wonderful news was received today from our St. Kizito Administrator, Chris, in Uganda. He shared that St. Kizito was the beneficiary of a much-needed donation of fifty chairs for the St. Kizito library.
First, let me begin by telling you a little about the St. Kizito library. It is a two-room library that St. Kizito students, as well as members of the nearby community, can use. Students are not permitted to take books home from school; rather they are collected at the end of each day. If a student wishes to study or read, he/she needs to visit the library. Students walk for miles to go to the library to read and study there. A St. Kizito board member, who visited Uganda this past summer, was struck at how quiet the library was – full of students and all were deeply engaged in their studies. He also noted that the library had no monitor to maintain the silence. The fifty chairs will be a welcome sight at the St. Kizito library – making trips to the library not only enjoyable but more comfortable too!
The St. Kizito Foundation is grateful to Sharon Ocwee Opio for her generosity. Sharon is a former beneficiary of St. Kizito for five years from 2003 to 2008.
One important objective of the St. Kizito Foundation is to support the female child by giving her access to a good education to help empower her and make sure she has a secure future. A nation with educated women is a nation that will thrive!
The following post was written by Sempa Don who serves the St. Kizito Foundation “on the ground” in Uganda.
Having the opportunity to work with the Saint Kizito Foundation has brought me so many amazing opportunities. I have had the opportunity to help young children reach a bright future. Hearing their stories and learning what they aspire to do with their lives has been one of the best parts of working with the Saint Kizito Foundation.
Macrina Dodson, a teacher at a Catholic school here in Cleveland, wrote a wonderful tribute about Father Donald Dunson and the Saint Kizito Foundation. Both Father and the Foundation have played an important role in the formation of her confirmation students. The following is the wonderful tribute she shared.
An article appeared in the Wall Street Journal recently which is worth highlighting on the Saint Kizito Foundation’s website. The article, entitled “U.S. to Rebels: Listen to Mom”, was written by Michael M. Phillips in the Wall Street Journal (Saturday/Sunday, March 11-12, 2017).
The article details the rise of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) started by Joseph Kony, beginning as an ethnic war between various ethnic groups in Uganda, Africa.
The making of the beads from discarded paper products – and creating useful and desired merchandise with them such as jewelry, purses, and other lovely items has greatly helped improve the financial wellbeing of the bead makers and merchandise creators. The bead makers and merchandise creators are often times women who have little or no marketable skills. This work offers them a way forward.
African beads which are used to make a number of beautiful items – necklaces, bracelets, earrings, purses to name a few – can be made from different materials such as eggshells, ivory, bone, and other materials occurring in nature. Recently, however, discarded paper products such as flyers, posters, calendars, and magazines have been used to make beads. The use of what could be termed trash – is used to make beautiful beads which are then used to make beautiful products – which are then sold – essentially turning trash to cash.
The joy and excitement of the Saint Kizito students was evident when Father Dunson began his visit with the celebration of the mass when he visited Africa in August, 2016. Over two hundred students and their families gathered at Saint Monica’s school in Gulu to celebrate the liturgy and to share a picnic lunch prepared by the Sisters who reside at Saint Monica.
Since the St. Kizito Foundation came into existence, it brings to mind a number of common memories. We have witnessed the crumbling of empires, springs of molecule, conquest of communities and emergencies yet the fabric of the organization has remained true, heightening our appreciation for its enduring character permeated with an increasingly vibrant presence.
Paula always felt that God had blessed her with the knowledge, passion, and desire to help the less fortunate as her life’s purpose. Her pathway to fulfilling her purpose was right on schedule. She married, raised a family of four and taught in the urban city of Cleveland. After retiring, Paula continued to bear witness to the movement of the Spirit reminding her of her purpose. She got involved in volunteer work which led her to meet Sr. Mary Francis Harrington who was engaged with the Lost Boys of Sudan project. It was through Sister Mary Francis’ involvement with the Sudan’s Isaac Water Well project that Paula first met Father Donald Dunson, the founder of the Saint Kizito Foundation.
What began as a planned trip to the Sudan to check on the Water Well project ended up, due to civil unrest in the Sudan, in a trip to Uganda. Fr. Don put Paula in touch with the St. Kizito Foundation representative in Africa who met her at Entebbe airport along with some Good Samaritan sisters who she ended up staying with for over a month in Uganda.
Today provided an opportunity to visit with our founder, Father Donald Dunson and a special guest from Uganda, Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe at Saint Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio.
Sister Rosemary is from the country of Uganda in Africa. She is known internationally for her advocacy for women and children, particularly those displaced and marginalized by the LRA rebellion and war in Northern Africa. Sister Rosemary was named in 2014 by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people and in 2007 as a CNN Hero. Her travels are based upon invitations; the invitee covers her travel costs. Sister Rosemary uses the opportunities presented to her to speak on behalf of Saint Monica’s and the women and children she and her community serves.
First born in a family of 6 children and an orphan withtout the father. Education has been a challenge and biggest problem not only with me but even the other siblings though fortunately, for my side, I received a helping hand from St. Kizito family that has enabled me attain A Level studies.
This is from which I derived my happiness and I would like to send a congratulatory message to everyone whose effort has thrown light on me through the St. Kizito’s family.
By: Topaco Godfrey
I offer my words of deep appreciation to St. Kizito Foundation that has made me see life. St. Kizito installed a fresh breath of life in the hearts of hundreds of children in Uganda.
Before meeting St. Kizito Foundation, I and many other children in Northern Uganda, comfortably in desperation, called ourselves plants amidst a forest of thorns.