Kibera Diary June - July 2011


Irish/Scottish Dancing, Butterflies and Kibera Lions !!
(Michele McCartan's first report from Kibera)

making butterfly masks croppedpf1

Busy making butterfly masks and enjoying the photo !


The interaction between
the Kenyan pupils of
Laini Saba Primary School and
the participants in
the Kibera project
was a
truly creative experience.





The leaders leaving from Dublin Airport

The leaders had planned
Craft, Drama and Sport activities,
plus Irish/Scottish Dancing classes,
all to be gathered together in
a concert on the final day.
As  the photos portray,
this was a great event for all
- full of fun and self expression-


A Unique Journey to School

The first day of their work with the young people was on Tuesday 11th and it began with a journey I imagine none will forget.

Michele decribes it.                                       "A Nightmare"

Tuesday morning we headed off at 8am for
our first visit to Laini Saba Primary School.

I had visited this school in Feb 2009 and
knew what it was like to make our way through the slums.
However I did not realise that now
I was experiencing the rainy season in Kenya and

what had been a bad enough trek through the dirt
was now to become a nightmare.
We squelched our way to the school ,
not daring to lift our eyes from the path
for fear of falling into God knows what!
Yet despite the squalor and open sewers you eventually arrive at
Laini Saba to experience the peace and tranquility
that this school provides for its pupils.


2010 Anastasia Shibutse rscj outside Laini Saba Primary School
Teresa Deasy rscj & Carmel Flynn rscj, leader of Kibera Project


For those of you who have not seen
the school building,

it has a wooden structure,
the floors are buckled

from the tremors of the daily train
passing through the slums.

It is a condemned building and
the Sisters do hope to build a new school.




H.U.G are committed to providing

financial support for this long term project
but for now we can look beyond the building and
appreciate what a centre of learning Laini Saba is for its 450 pupils.


That morning "the children swarmed round us like bees round a honey jar.
They were fascinated by our skin!
I was constantly prodded as they investigated how white my arms were,
I imagined being bruised by night time!"

Anastasia rscj, the principal



We met with Sr. Anastasia, the principal, and
discussed our plans for the fortnight.

We hoped to give
each child an experience of art and craft or sports
and/or irish/ scottish dancing.

The children enjoyed themselves immensely and
sometimes that excitement was very hard to contain,
but they learned very quickly that
Irish teachers are very big on discipline

The Children....

standard_5_proudly_show_off_their_butterfly_hats_croppedpf in_the_jungle_performed_by_standard_6_cropped-editedpf
Standard 5 proundly show off their butterflies In the Jungle performed by Standard 6

.....showcased their Talents at the Concert.


Irish Dancing by Standard 7 at the Concert

 Their three plays
The Lion King
Jungle Book
If I were a Butterfly
plus the dancing...

kiberia_butterflies___croppedpfc kiberia_lions_cropped_-editedpf
Kibera butterflies ! Kibera Lions !


It was a truly amazing experience for the pupils in
Laini Saba Primary School Nairobi and
the Irish/ Scottish Kibera Project Participants.

In the words of Michele:
"Our overall plan was by the end of the fortnight
we would host a concert showcasing the children's efforts and
also run a mini gaelic football tournament and
this is what we achieved!!! "


9th. July 2011    Completion of Kibera Project and
                                                      Return of Participants




It is hard to believe that nearly two weeks
have passed since the group,
on the African Outreach Programme to Kenya,
gathered in Dublin Airport.

Gerry Casey and Michele Mc Cartan


 This last week has been a busy week for our
African travellers.

Gerry Casey, a Youth Worker from
Warrenpoint, Co. Down and
Michele McCartan, a former teacher in
St. Catherine’s College Armagh,
travelled up to Chekalini to do
Child Protection work with staffs up there

Emma, Emma Rose, Clare, Aoife, Jennifer, Sinead and Mhairi continued the Drama and Craft work they have been doing,
preparing their three plays

The Lion King
Jungle Book
If I were a Butterfly
and preparing the concert, plus supporting Gerry’s work of getting the Mini- World Cup well organised.

Clare, Emma, Emma Rose, Aoife and Jennifer

All these events took place on Friday 8th July, 
we look forward to reports and photos of all these events,
when the travellers have time to share with us,
after their return later today.

A heart for each other and for the world

In Armagh on the
Feast of the Sacred Heart,
some of the Associates,
who had themselves been out to
Uganda and Kenya, prayed for the
Out Reach to Africa
participants in the Eucharist.
All were hoping that they were
enjoying the experience
in the midst of the challenges
and demands of the trip.

We also might hold them in
our hearts and prayer
these days and weeks as
they readjust to our Irish culture, climate and ways !


29th. June 2011
    RSCJ Preparations with friends and colleagues


As we eagerly await news from Kibera

we can share something of the connections and support
that Carmel and Pat received in preparation for the trip.

Pat Egan rscj

Pat, as many of you know, had a coffee morning in
the Sophie Barat Residence, sponsored by AMASC, where she received very generous support both from those who attended, and from those who could not but, still wanted to be part of the effort.

Shelton Abbey Prison


Pat’s colleagues and clients in Shelton Abbey Prison
were also very generous in their interest and financial support.

Participating in the Dublin City Women’s Marathon for both the Benevolent Fund and Kibera,

Pat was able to top up all the contributions she had received.


Carmel Flynn rscj


Carmel Flynn also received many contributions
through different avenues and from different sources


Helen Mulholland


 To start with, the Kibera night organised by Helen in the Office
and the North Dublin Musicians raised €2000.



Our Lady of Hope


Among the treasured contributions
that Carmel received was a picture of Our Lady of Hope.
Carmel received this surprise gift from Sr. Bridie Byrne rscj in Cedar House.


Carmel Flynn packing educational gifts and things for the rscj and children there


Carmel's cases included educational materials for the Primary School in Laini Saba,
Kibera, Nairobi and
special features for the special needs children
in Chekalini,
along with the homely gifts from rscj  for Bernadette Mc Ardle rscj,
of cafe latte packets and Quick mix bread !
Bernadette is from our Irish/Scottish province,
offering support to the Uganda/Kenyan province
working  in Kangole, Moroto, Uganda, for the last few years.

Pat and Carmel will see Bernadette in Uganda,
with the second group of young people who go out to Uganda soon.

If you would like to read about the fund raiser, click on Kibera Night.


26th. June 2011




The first HUG group 
leave for
Africa this morning


 Emma and Gerry at the check -in




 Before sunrise
Sunday 26th June 2011
the Kibera Team were checking in
their baggage
at Dublin airport

At 4.30 a.m. the airport
was very full of passengers,

travelling to all parts of the world.

The group travelled, via Paris Airport, to Nairobi
, Kenya
The journey  took 2 hours to Paris and then another 8 and half to Nairobi.



Claire, Aoife Michele, Jennifer & Gerry with other travellers



There was a focus and dedication as the arrangements were made,
with an excitement and quiet apprehension
as they set off on their first trip to Africa.


michele_mccartan_and_jennifer_checking_in_with_other_passengers aoife_jennifer_gerry_and_michele_poising_for_photo
 Michele and Jennifer with other travellers Aoife, Jennifer, Gerry and Michele


They were all in the experienced hands of Michele McCartan,
who has already been out a few times
to Kenya and Uganda, with Carmel Flynn rscj.


pat_egan carmel_image
Pat Egan rscj Carmel Flynn rscj


Pat Egan rscj and Carmel Flynn rscj set out on 25th 
ahead of the main group so as to get things underway.
They will be there to receive the group when they arrive in Nairobi.

Sinead O’Sullivan originally from Waterford but working in London  joins them on 27th June. Sinead lans to stay in Africa and therefore travel to Uganda where she will join those coming from Fenham (Newcastle-upon-Tyne). 
Mhairi Stewart joins the group in Paris
to travel with them to Nairobi.


The group patiently posed for the camera before setting off for security


Claire, Emma, Emma Rose, Aoife, Jennifer, Gerry & Michele


The group return on 9th July, but in the meantime,
besides adapting to the radical change of climate, culture, lifestyle, activities and
enjoying Kenyan life and welcome,
they will be involved in an ambitious educational programme
with the pupils in Laini Saba Primary School.
This will involve doing Craft and Drama work with the children

and of course Sport.
They are planning on doing
The Lion King
Jungle Book

If I were a Butterfly,
with three different groups ! !

Everyone will participate in the Final Concert and
Gerry will organise a Mini World Cup on the same day


In the queue for security Emma, Emma Rose, Claire,
Aoife & Jennifer
The sun rising at Dublin airport

to rise
as the




We hope the young people will keep us up to date
on their activities and experiences.
They seemed to think that might be possible
as they headed off.