“You have to keep in mind that the Lwanga District was established in 1997 for the apostolates are so diverse and serve vast populations of students that would otherwise not receive an education. Truly, the street children, the orphaned, abandoned and poor are part of our Lasallian family. Much of this would not have been possible or continue to be possible without our Twinning relationships. There are many examples of programs that have begun with Twinning funds and are now independently sustainable. The Twinning relationships assist us in our continued outreach to the poor and in our ability to establish new programs to address the educational needs of our students.”
-Reflections of a Kenyan Brother
The “six pioneers,” as the DENA Twinning Summit participants were fondly referred to by our Brothers in Kenya, traveled to the Kenyan Sector of the Lwanga District with a sense of purpose; to deepen our Lasallian association and learn from our colleagues at the various Kenyan apostolates, to meet with students and hear their stories and to discover ways to develop new avenues of mutual support for the Twinning Program.
During their time in Kenya, the “pioneers” were warmly received, provided gracious hospitality and had numerous opportunities to explore Kenyan society and culture. As they traveled the country visiting the RELAN-Lwanga Twinned apostolates, the theme of the 2014 Lenten Twinning Appeal: “Together: We Transform Lives” was evident in ways that were inspiring and challenging. Clearly, through the work of the apostolates, lives are being transformed daily, as children and young adults are saved from the cycle of poverty by the Catholic-Lasallian education they are receiving. For their part, the students work hard and are very successful in school as they consistently score well on the national exams. For example, at Saint Mary’s Secondary School in Nyeri, last year’s graduating class was 107 students strong and 104 of the young men plan to continue their studies at a college or university. Fifteen of those graduates were admitted into University engineering programs. “The Twinning program has been a great source of life for us.” remarked Brother Peter Kombe FSC, Headmaster at Saint Mary’s Secondary School.
The Twinning Summit participants (including the Kenyan Brother participants) will be issuing a report on the Twinning Summit experience along with specific proposal for how the Twinning Program can continue to be a means of deepening our Lasallian association and provide opportunities to live our association for the Mission as Districts without borders.