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CSC Improves the Lives of Girls from Nyalienga Community

Strathmore University’s Community Service Centre (CSC) and SchulestattStraße (an initiative of members of the Catholic Prelature Opus Dei in Germany), partnered to offer relief, hope and love to the girls of St. Josephine Bakhita Girls Secondary School. This is a school that provides shelter and food for upto 400 needy girls in Nyalienga, Homabay County. 40 percent of the pupils, who are currently studying at the school, lack at least one parent or both and therefore know and call this school their ‘HOME’.


In the summer of 2013, a team of industrious young people from Europe and Kenya constructed a dining hall for the school and a second dormitory for the girls, one year later, August 2014. In total 45 young volunteers; students from Germany, England, Kenya, the Netherlands, Austria and Portugal have participated in the two projects, with each project taking 3 weeks.


“Up until now, three of us would have to share one bed sometimes”, says Emilly Akiryia, a student at. With great amusement and a huge a sigh of relief, she added, “Thanks to your help, commitment, passion and love for us, this will soon change.”

As a result of HIV being prevalent in the region, the number of orphans in the region is high. The school protects the girls from sexual abuse, the risk of infection, early marriage and unwanted pregnancies.


The social help provided in 2013 and 2014 was only possible because of generous donations. Over 35,000 Euros was collected for both projects. The money was used to buy the material needed for construction and for the salaries of local experts in carpentry and construction. Costs for flight, transfer and visa were covered by the individual participant.


Sunburns from the scorching sun, exhaustion, sometimes heavy rain and language barrier, did not deter the team of 27 young people from giving their best effort to the community. In a span of 3 weeks, the team managed to build a dormitory that fills a capacity of 200 girls and also finished plastering the interior of the dining hall. Led by experts in the construction field, the team was relentless at trying to ensure that the girls shall no longer have to compromise on comfort as they pursue their academic journey.


The project and stay in Nyalienga, was both a volunteer service and a youth exchange program. For three weeks, the team worked together and had interactions with people their age from different social, ethnic and religious backgrounds. No gap was existent because the entire team was jelled by one strong purpose: “Making hearts smile”.


Article by

Reinhard Backes and Carl von Wedel