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  • Roger Thompson

Changed lives in a Kenyan school through gospel partnerships

“This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace”

Colossians 1:6

We praise God for the ongoing development of Tujisaidie Community Centre School in Nairobi, and for the transformation that has been taking place there over recent weeks. This is down to the combined efforts of the Tujisaidie Self-Help Group, the school staff and input from link parishes and organisations in Ireland.

Team and link parish visits not only strengthen relationships, frequently they facilitate a richer understanding which helps channel partner prayer and support.

A 2018 CMSI team visit from St Columba’s Portadown and Drumglass, Dungannon, resulted in a lot of improvements to the fabric of the school such as the painting of classrooms and installation of electricity. Some of the funds raised at that time were reserved for a planned project to rebuild the old single storey wing.  Over the intervening years Isabelle Prondzynski, Lucy Irungu and others worked hard to submit a funding proposal to Misean Cara to meet the rest of the project costs. This proposal was approved subject to certain conditions before Christmas and so work has now begun, adding extra classrooms to increase the capacity of the school.

Meanwhile, another CMSI Team visit in 2023 witnessed the phenomenal dedication of the school cooks Jennifer Wanjiku and Elizabeth Wanjiru who provide 320 free meals every school day for the staff and pupils, a project supported by St Mark’s Dundela.  During the cost-of-living crisis many families in the Soweto area of Kayole struggle to provide food for their children, so for a large number of the students this is the only proper meal they may have all day.  Talking to the parents and children, however, it was noted that these same children often miss out on nutrition during the long holidays over Christmas. 

Discussions with the local Tujisaidie leaders resulted in increased fundraising for a trial project to provide food parcels for the children to take home with them.  Generous donations soon arrived and the 320 holiday food parcels were procured and distributed on the last day of the Autumn term (27 October).  All the children and staff went home with their food packets consisting of 2 bags of maize flour (4 kg), 3.2 kg of rice and 2 bars of soap. Those children who were sick at home were represented by a parent who collected the food on their behalf.

Principal John Omondi reported that these parcels had such a huge impact in the community that other schools sent representatives to find out how it was organised so they could replicate the idea.

Another project that emerged out of discussions with the 2023 Team was the decoration of plain-plaster walls in the new assembly area. These colourful murals were funded by generous donations given in memory of long time St Mark’s, Dundela, member Mrs Flada Smyth.  The artwork focuses on Kenyan wildlife, landscapes and community life. When the children returned after the holidays they were absolutely delighted with the new look!

All this development is a wonderful example of the good news of Christ’s love “bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives”, just as it did in the days of the early church.



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