Posts Tagged ‘Jesuit Father Terry Charlton’
Jesuit Father Terry Charlton Shares an Update from St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School in Nairobi, Kenya
More than one million people live in Nairobi’s squatter community of Kibera, including 30,000 orphans of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In October, National Jesuit News highlighted the work of Jesuit Father Terry Charlton, co-founder of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a unique Catholic high school designed specifically for young people affected by HIV and AIDS in the Kibera slums. Fr. Charlton recently shared with us an update of the initiatives taking place in Kibera:
World AIDS Day, December 1, 2011
I write to you with a great deal of joy in my heart as we mark the completion of another school year at St. Aloysius. We are grateful to all of you who have supported us in every way through this year. It seems that, each day, we take a small step; it is easy to neglect to look back and consider what has been accomplished since our modest beginnings in 2004. With our 59 seniors, who have just finished their month-long final exams, we have graduated just short of 300 students. Nearly all have continued on in the graduate program with community service for six months and sponsorship for college. We expect to have our first graduates receive their Bachelor’s degrees in 2012.
In 2001, we reached out to those whose needs we saw were the greatest – the people living in Kibera slum who were dying of AIDS. We asked them how we could help them. They all asked us to take care of their children. Today, with your important partnership, their children, now orphans, have been given an opportunity and hope for a high school and college education and a life far beyond their parents’ dreams. Thanks to your financial support, your prayers, and your willingness to share the story of St. Al’s, our students have hope and aspire to live the school motto “to learn, to love and to serve”.
For the fifth consecutive year, Margaret Halpin and Charles DeSantis of Georgetown University taught art classes to interested St. Al’s students. As always it was a wonderful opportunity to develop talent and to find outlets for creative expression. Again, this year Kuona Trust offered us a gallery where students were invited to exhibit their paintings to the public.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga High School is located in the impoverished Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya and is dedicated to serving AIDS affected youth. With nearly 1 million inhabitants, Kibera is the largest slum in sub-Saharan Africa. In order to be admitted to the school, students must have lost one or both of their parents to HIV/AIDS and their surviving parents must also be afflicted with the disease. Jesuit Father Terry Charlton co-founded the school in 2003, which recently open a new building to its 280 students.
St. Aloysius is based on the Jesuit model of Catholic education and serves bright youngsters of all faith backgrounds who are at risk by providing a college preparatory education and support to overcome the deficits of their environment. Their educational philosophy is based on the Ignatian principals to become men and women for others who are dedicated to bettering society. Even facing such challenges as dire poverty and being orphaned, the children of the school take its motto to “live, love and learn” to heart.
You can read more about Fr. Charlton’s vision for St. Aloysius here or by watching the video below: