Notre Dame Children Outreach
|From left, Sisters Rose Ngacha, Monica Juma, Mary Odundo and Gloria Adoga work with the orphans in Nyalien’ga.|
Empowering orphans, vulnerable children in Kenya
For more than six years, Notre Dame Children Outreach (NDCO) has been providing transformative education for needy and vulnerable children in the diocese of Homa Bay in Kenya.
A project of the School Sisters of Notre Dame’s Province of Africa, NDCO aspires to give a future full of hope to children in Nyalien’ga Parish. The project, which includes a team of 10 staff members, empowers orphans and their grandparents through transformative education. In addition, NDCO provides health care, psychosocial support and food security for both the children and their guardians.
NDCO was born in 2009 as a response to the “cry of the orphans.” The School Sisters of Notre Dame in Kenya recognized these cries as a call to reach out to vulnerable children in Nyalien’ga Parish.
It was evident that the impact of HIV/AIDS was weighing down on many families, and the number of orphans was rising steadily. Many children were left orphaned, and some of the children were left to head their households. It is from this background that the Notre Dame Children Outreach was started to help break the vicious cycle of poverty and HIV/AIDS
Currently, NDCO supports more than 230 children. Some of them are now young adults. The main focus is to provide transformative education for these children and youth. Most of these children are in primary and high school. A few of them are in tertiary institutions.
Empowerment through education
Through provision of quality education, NDCO continues to empower persons to reach their full potential. Because they believe that education gives the young people a broader understanding of life, the sisters hope that they will help the children to shape a better future for themselves.
NDCO is run by a team of SSNDs and lay staff. Sister Rose Ngacha, SSND, the project coordinator, works with Sisters Mary Odundo, Gloria Adoga and Monica Juma in the NDCO project. The team in runs different programs for the children and their guardians, with a focus on education, character formation, psychosocial counseling and food security.
The sisters act as surrogate parents and advocates for the children. They ensure that the children get quality education and the help the children get what they need to grow into whole persons.
NDCO partners with the local church, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and local leaders in most of their programs. They make true the African proverb which states, “It takes a village to bring up a child.”
Visit the Notre Dame Childrens Outreach website for more information.
- By Sister Rose Ngacha, SSND