My name is Teresa Villaruz and I am a Maryknoll Lay Missioner currently serving in Mombasa, Kenya. I have the great privilege of accompanying the children and teachers of St. Francis Primary School in the informal settlement of Kibarani.
Kibarani is located across the highway from Timboni Dump. Most of the families in the area rely on the garbage from the city for their livelihoods, picking scrap metal and recycling bottles. Alcoholism, drug abuse, and rape are rampant. Most of the single mothers live off of fifty cents to a dollar a day.
My first project was to start the school library, which has grown into a hub of activity for students during breaks and lunch aside from designated library times. It has become a clinic of sorts with sick students coming to rest on the mats and get some basic medication. This is where we have out meetings for peer counselors (teaching the children to be problem-solvers), where we meet with visitors who share their culture and language with us, where we explore the world that is beyond Kibarani. We have an ongoing Postcard Project in which people from all over the world write to our students and tell them about the foods they eat, weather, music, and festivals. We look these places up on our atlas and learn a few words in their languages.
My roommate and colleague, Judy Walter, also brought a project called Days for Girls to us, providing our girls with reusable sanitary pads. Sanitary pads are very expensive here (about $1 per package), so the girls often use rags or bits of whatever they can find as a replacement. The pads can be used for 3 years and cost $7, but our girls cannot afford such expense. Mothers from Kibarani and Bangladesh sew the pads themselves and we buy them, giving them to the girls who are in school. Classes on puberty and hygeine are also given to the girls by a social worker and a nurse.
Day to day, I teach Social Studies, English, and Religious Education to students in grades 5 and 6. On Wednesdays and Fridays after school, we have taekwondo classes for the girls, who are especially vulnerable.
Thank you for the love and support that you show our kids. Not only do we have a village, but we have people from every corner of the world helping us to blossom the potential in these children and I am so thankful.
Please Donate here to support Teresa as she prepares for her ministry in Kenya.
Click here: www.mklm.org to read more about Teresa and the Maryknoll Lay Missioners.
|Church of The Resurrection Womens Club||6/15/2016||$750.00||Our thoughts and hearts are with you and your mission.|
|Anonymous||4/22/2015||$500.00||We love you and are very proud of you.|
|Tito Richard & Tita Ris||3/14/2015||$250.00|