In 1994, Sr. Rose Wangui joined the order of the Visitation of Holy Mary (VHM), or the Sisters of the Visitation at their Georgetown Visitation Monastery, in Washington, D.C; but she was unable to leave her people completely behind. Her compelling stories of their needs and desires to connect with the developed world were shared with local Washingtonians. Moved by the urgency and compassion in her voice, a committed group of benefactors adopted Sr. Rose’s dream of improving the basic living standards for Lare’s villagers and providing access to basic health care, clean water and more recently to building of a girls secondary school for those vulnerable and marginalized in society. The Mercy Center Foundation, USA has been established for the purpose of raising awareness about the rights of the child, especially, the girl child and providing development funds and advocacy for the building of a girl’s school, named the Mother of Mercy Girls Secondary School in Lare, Kenya.
Access to Clean Water and Health Care
The dream began in 2002 when Sr. Rose gathered business men and women to help purchase land in Lare, Kenya. This unique and beautiful site, located on a bluff that overlooks the Valley of Nakuru, in the Great Rift Valley was dedicated to God and entitled, “Mercy Center Lare.” The Mercy Center Lare Board of Directors was then formed by leaders and villagers who established and registered their charitable organization legally with the Kenyan Government for the express purpose of helping the impoverished and suffering people. One year later, Sr. Rose’s dream of linking with donors in the United States became a reality. From 2003 to 2009, Mercy Center Lare, Kenya has collaborated with American partners to build a 600 foot deep well that now provides critical access to clean water for more than 500 villagers and their families.
Nearby streams and creeks are typically used for bathing, washing clothes, drinking water. Since the people of Lare are mostly all peasant farmers dependent on the land, parents often lack money for very basic necessities to provide for their children. As a result, many children drop out of school to help their families, especially the girls.
A clinic was subsequently built in 2006 which now serves approximately 250 residents per month and 3,000 villagers each year. The clinic is staffed by a medical officer, nurse and volunteers who also run a mobile ambulance. The clinic provides basic immunizations, health checkups, maternity care and seeks to expand services to provide dental care also. The clinic is in need of conducting HIV Aids education and awareness as well as a host of other needs in order to expand and modernize its outreach to meet the growing needs of the population.
Realizing the Dream To Educate the Girl Child
To date, the Mother of Mercy Girls Secondary School has enrolled 205 girls, providing room and board, and strong foundation of education for those ages 14-18. Many of the students receive support for their education at this time however, the school has initiated a basic tuition requirement which families are working towards fully paying on their own. Until that time, the Mercy Center Foundation is raising funds to support those most vulnerable to attend school through fully funded scholarships. Recently, the Mother of Mercy Girls Secondary students have placed 3rd amongst 26 private high schools, in the trial National Kenyan Exams, for the Education District of Nakuru, Kenya. Word travels fast and this honorable distinction bestows considerable merit for the new school which was only begun in 2010. This demonstrates that these young women are thriving emotionally, intellectually and physically at the Mother of Mercy Girls Secondary School! Their teachers, school staff and volunteers associated with the building of the school have achieved much in the journey to transform lives and fully develop the potential of girls from Lare and the Greater Rift Valley.
This final phase of Sr. Rose’s dream will not be complete until this school is able to provide education, room, board and tuition for 350 girls from the local and regional villages. Your donations will be used to pay for the education of young women who will change the life and culture of Lare for generations to come.
Please join us in this most worthy undertaking. Visit with the girls of the Secondary School by viewing their recent interviews on our Youtube video and help us by making a donation to achieve the dream!
We are deeply thankful to all of you for continuing the legacy of our friend and inspiration, Sr. Rose. Bd. of Directors of the Mercy Center Foundation, USA.