The Tertianship building in Manresa was the venue this August for a holiday for fifteen orphan children from Kenya who are HIV positive. It was organised by Kenya Orphan Aid, an Irish charity set up to support the work begun by a Jesuit priest in Kenya, Fr D’Angelo D’Agostino. In 1992 he founded a home for these children in Nairobi, and through its outreach programme it now assists thousands of other children in surrounding slums. The Manresa holiday was a huge success, with the children enjoying a wide range of sports and excursions. Below is the account of Geraldine Martin of Kenya Orphan Aid.
MANRESA’S SPECIAL GUESTS
This August saw a horde of excited visitors descend on the Tertianship building in Manresa for a fun-packed 17-day holiday. Fifteen boys and girls, aged between twelve and fifteen years came from Nyumbani Home for orphaned children living with AIDS. They were the guests of Kenya Orphan Aid, a registered Irish charity (CHY 16128) which supports the work begun in 1992, by Fr. D’Angelo D’Agostino S.J. when he set up Nyumbani, which provides a home for 109 orphaned children who are HIV positive. The Home is situated in Karen, Nairobi, and its outreach programme provides medical care and education to over 3,500 children, living with AIDS in the slum areas around Nairobi. Fr. Agostino’s third project, Nyumbani Village, also supported by Kenya Orphan Aid, provides a home to over 250 destitute children and grandparents affected by and infected with AIDS in Kitui.
The children arrived into Dublin on August 6th and had a lovely welcome party ready for them at Manresa. They were thrilled with their accommodation and had a wonderful time the next day, cycling around the beautiful grounds. With Dollymount beach , only across the road, they thoroughly enjoyed , swimming and making sandcastles, a treat many of them had not experienced before. During the holiday the children enjoyed a whirlwind of fabulous activity including speedboating in Dublin Bay, Beauty and The Beast at The Olympia, Riverdance at The Gaiety, GAA football training, Funtasia, pottery, painting T shirts, Trinity College Climbing Wall with Gerry Whyte, a wonderful visit to The Dail with Senator Ronan Mullins. The excitement and generosity of friends who invited the children to dinner at their homes , sponsored events and offered to drive was such, that the children’s itinerary rapidly became booked out! The only complaint was that it went by too quickly. Since their return they have written, texted and emailed several times, with wonderful memories of their trip to Dublin and many requests to come back.
Protus, who cares for the children at Nyumbani, remarks on the enormous boost the holiday at Manresa has given to the children’s confidence and self esteem. Kenya Orphan Aid is enormously indebted to Fr. Joe Dargan S.J. His positive, energetic and enormously generous support, and that of his colleagues, Fr. Paddy Carberry, Fr. Brendan Woods, Fr. Todd Morrissey, Brother Peter Doyle and Mr. Joseph Murray, made this wonderful opportunity for the Nyumbani children possible and utterly enjoyable!
There are no administration, travel or other expenses deducted from donations made to Kenya Orphan Aid. All contributions are used to benefit the children.