Working for human wholeness
Sr. Evelyn Akhalumenyo, from Nigeria, completed medical studies at the University of Nairobi in December 2015. After participating in a time of renewal as part of preparation for final commitment, she was assigned to our mission in Eldoret for a year before beginning her hospital internship in July 2017. She wrote about her experience at Saint Mary’s Medical Centre.
‘I have been in Eldoret since May 2016 and am very grateful for this experience. We provide a number of services here. For example, I have seen that many children in our area do not have adequate nutrition. This affects their general growth and development, as well as their ability to study. Children come to our centre for a meal during their school lunch break Monday to Friday, usually the only food they are sure of each day.
‘We do school rounds to follow up children in our support programme. This is for orphans and those from difficult social backgrounds. One day we drove for an hour to Tugen to see Ochieng. He is in Form Four, or the final year, at Tugen High School.
Ochieng is determined to make a contribution to society and he dreams of becoming a civil engineer. He wants to support other similarly disadvantaged children. We looked forward to hearing the reports about his performance in school and his general wellbeing.
‘As we went along the winding road I thought about our MMM charism and our call to work with people of different cultures, religions, social status and nationalities. These include Ochieng and all the other children we support.
‘When we arrived we were warmly welcomed by the principal, Mr. Ocholla (not his real name). The secretary brought Ochieng’s academic reports. Ochieng was doing very well and had improved greatly since our last visit. We asked about his other school activities. With great pride the principal brought down a trophy from a shelf. He said, “Your son won our school’s first football trophy as captain of the team.”
‘Ochieng joined us and smiled as we congratulated him. We asked him what else we could do to help him prepare for his final exams. He said that the school had just begun a boarding programme for the final year students. He felt that enrolling in the programme would give him more time to concentrate on his studies. He comes from a poor family and has four other siblings. His mother has only a casual job and could only afford a blanket, a bucket and some clothes. Surprisingly, all he needed now was a mattress so he could live in for his studies.
‘Thanks to our supporters, we were able to get Ochieng a mattress. We are blessed to touch the lives of so many children, families and the community, which gives meaning to our work and mission in Kapsoya, Eldoret. They will make a difference in their communities because someone has believed in their future.’