September 25, 2012
A Sanctuary of Hope
— Nelson Mandela
On the wall of francisca Anyango’s office is a little sign that reads: “Children are like wet cement. Whatever touches them leaves a mark.” As head teacher of Our Lady of Nazareth Primary School (OLN), a Marianist-sponsored school in Mukuru — a slum in Nairobi, Kenya — she knows intimately how children at a tender age are marked by life. Hunger, abuse, loss of family members due to AIDS, biting poverty — all leave tell- tale signs.
The Marianists are committed to leaving another kind of mark on these children — one filled with hope and possibility. The foundation of that hope is education. “They need a lot of hope,” says Kennedy Kamaranda, an administrator who left his blue-chip job in an international corporation to oversee the operation of the school. “I know that hope is never built without God, but comes from a deep knowing of God.
“If they are hope filled, then you can get them interested in school,” he adds. “They have reason to learn.”