The project “Rebuilding the Marist Brothers Residence in Orore, Kenya” is still under implementation. Orore is located on the shores of Lake Victoria: the rural location leads to widespread poverty and, consequently, to children being at risk of being used as labourers on fishing boats. Our Lady of Orore started its educational activities under a tree on 12 January 1996, with only fourth grade pupils. In the following years, the formal school infrastructure was built and the school expanded into a fully functioning primary school. Today, 216 students are enrolled and the school consistently outperforms local government schools in the comparison of academic results. The Marist Brothers’ community house was built in 1996. A community chapel was added in 2007. The Brothers play an integral role in the administration of the school and are present and active in the wider Orore community. As the only remaining apostolate in Kenya, there is a commitment to maintain a strong Marist presence throughout the region. The Marist community in Orore also runs a programme called ‘come and see‘ which allows young people who are considering a vocation as a Marist Brother to go and live with the Brothers for a short time to see what life is like as a Marist Brother, participating in prayers, meals, household chores, sharing the life of Marcellin Champagnat and Mary and experiencing life with the Brothers. If a young person wishes to take the next step in his vocation, then he will join the official Aspirancy programme.
PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT:
The Brothers’ residence was built in 1996. At that time, the shore of Lake Victoria was about 100 metres away. However, year after year Lake Victoria has expanded so that the shoreline is only 30 metres away and when the wind is strong the waves reach the community chapel. Moreover, in 1996 a seasonal river flowed near the house. This means that every rainy season the house and chapel flood, slowly deteriorating the buildings. In fact, Homa Bay County is characterised by extreme rainfall. Recently, it became apparent that the leaky sheet metal roof needed to be replaced. After a further inspection, it emerged that the wooden framework supporting the roof needs to be completely replaced because it is rotten, and to replace it, the walls need to be modified. But since the walls have deteriorated, such replacement is impossible. The situation has therefore become critical: the building is beyond repair and must be completely rebuilt. Any simple repair or maintenance would only prolong the inevitable collapse of the building. The new residence comprises seven self-contained bedrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room, lounge for welcoming and meeting visitors, as well as a prayer space in the chapel. Five of the rooms will be allocated to the Brothers in residence, leaving two rooms free for visitors, both Marist and lay people, for young people who wish to participate in the ‘come and see‘ program and to allow for a future increase in the number of designated Brothers.
THE PROJECT IN BRIEF:
The aim of the Project is to rebuild the Marist Brothers’ residence in Orore, Kenya, which is currently in a dilapidated condition.
THE PROJECT IN NUMBERS:
- 1 residence rebuilt
- 7 new bedrooms
- 12 educational programmes implemented by the Orore Marists
SDG Goals: 16