Ever since our first visit to Nairobi, Kenya in 2002, our community has been making a difference at our sister parish Holy Cross Dandora, a marginalized neighborhood in the eastern part of the country's capital. Over the many years, we have provided support to local elementary and vocational schools, helped build and sustain a maternity clinic, contributed to the building of a new church, and have been feeding the most vulnerable. Also, under the leadership of Monsignor Torgerson, nearly two hundred parishioners have visited our Sister Parish, building lasting bonds between our communities and sharing stories of faith and God's mercy in our world. This year, we are proud to add another program to our Holy Cross Africa Ministry (HCAM): Youth Formation.
Youth Formation: Empowering Young Adults
In recent years, it has become clear that our work in Nairobi has excluded a critical ministry - supporting young people in the most vital years of their lives, as they start their professional careers. In Kenya, this is challenging for different reasons, including limited access to higher education, high unemployment, and - especially in Dandora - elevated rates of crime and violence against young men and women alike.
We have been particularly impressed by the efforts of the local Young Adult Community, which has been working tirelessly to help improve their youth's professional opportunities and reduce the risks they face. Following our 2018 trip, when we met many of them, we solicited specific ideas and have received two detailed funding proposals. These have been evaluated by the HCAM Core Team and recently approved for implementation.
Two Pilot Projects
The first initiative helps improve the local Sports Program. We will be supporting improvements to the local basketball court, so that the very active Basketball Team can expand its reach and host tournaments, and will provide funding for new uniforms and sneakers to help the team reach more at-risk youth. The estimated budget for this initiative is approximately $2,357.
The second initiative supports the local Music Program. With funding for a new public address system to help the broader community, which includes new technical equipment like mixers, amplifiers, and microphones, we will allow young adults and other parish members to more effectively meet and worship. We are also going supporting the purchase of additional music instruments - guitars and an electric keyboard - to hone artistic skills among the Dandora youth and to perform at weddings and other events. The estimated budget for this initiative is approximately $5,298.
Help us build a better future
Our decision to support these programs follows a key objective: empowering our brothers and sisters in Dandora as they become leaders in their community, city, and nation. We hope that with your generosity, we can continue making a difference through our new Youth Formation ministry, as part of HCAM Education. If you would like to join us in supporting the youth of Dandora, consider donating online: stmonica.net/africaeducation or designate your offering to "HCAM Education."
We look forward to the journey ahead, and thank you for joining us!
HCAM Education, Youth Formation Lead