The culmination of a seven year building programme came to fruition today with the opening of the boys wings of our GLO Transition House and the The Good Shepherd Chapel. This house is the next step in preparing our older children for life outside our walls, we will learn them to clean, wash, iron & prepare meals for themselves under the watchful eye of Uncle Hemed & Auntie Christine. We will also learn them how to budget which will be a new hurdle to cross for the children.
As you can imagine there was much excitement this past week and everyone worked so hard preparing for this special day. Serving pilau for over 150 people, preparing a full Mass with a very vocal choir and preparing our three boys to make the transition from Maguire & Kilroe Houses to their new home took many hours of preparation. With Madam Mercy, Madam Sharon and Papa Kevin at the helm it was a big operation but one that would run like clockwork.
The amount of work that went into the day was just unbelievable but all went to plan and we were so happy to have Kim & Vincent Maher and Dermot & Jackie McKenna visit from the UK to celebrate our special day, with Father James Clarke visiting from Manchester as well all was set for a tremendous occasion.
Father James met Father Moses from our nearby parish in Mtwapa to discuss the finer details of the Mass and with Mr Stephen & Madam Elizabeth leading our choir and Father Gabriel co-celebrating the Mass a great day began. Dermot & Jackie brought up a goat as a gift to Father Moses, although this is the normal in Kenya it did raise a few eyebrows from our visiting guests. The sound of the voices of the choir was just delightful and once Mass was celebrated and The Good Shepherd Chapel was blessed we moved onto the other entertainment for the day.
Last month our very dear friend Joe McErlean lost his younger brother Liam, both Papa Kevin & Mama Mary have very fond memories of Liam and we were privileged to dedicate the paintings in our Good Shepherd Chapel to the memory of Liam, again unveiling this plaque brought a tear to our eyes but every day children will visit our chapel and enjoy these paintings so Liam’s memory lives on in this little spot in Kenya, knowing Liam we do think this would make him very happy.
The choir sang some original compositions from Mr Stephen, the older children said a very moving poem but the highlight was the traditional dancing with some of our KG 1 & 2 pupils accompanying our Standard 8 pupils, it was a fantastic sight with everyone joining in the dancing and celebrations. Following this both guests planted trees to commemorate the day, it was indeed a time to reflect and celebrate our achievements at The GLO.
Next we unveiled the plaque for the Transition House with Dermot & Jackie McKenna cutting the ribbon so our boys could enter the Transition House, it was indeed a watershed for the project and everyone felt very emotional. Seeing Dermot’s reaction to the plaque dedicated to his parents Johnny & Mary made us all realise the deep significance of the day.
Following the blessing of the new building, our older boys Abdullah, Collins & Saidi moved across from Maguire and Kilroe Houses to their new home, with the help of our supporters and the dedication of our staff we had made a dream become reality. From we turned the first soil in January 2013 to this opening day in March 2014 we have had a few mountains to climb but thanks to the belief of our supporters we have managed to succeed and now have this wonderful new building.
Together we can make a difference and what has been achieved here today is indeed a miracle.
In the words of Robert Kennedy “The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better”, our Transition House is indeed going to make things better for our children and we thank you all for being a part of this.