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HOW - Kenya Outreach


St. Denis Hearts Open to the World

2017 - Our Partners in Kenya - Their Needs and Our Goals

Hearts Open to the World is an initiative of St. Denis Catholic Church in Hanover, NH to befriend and serve the people of western Kenya. Guided by our principles of caring for all of God’s people, solidarity with the poor and the vulnerable, and the call to family, community, and participation, Hearts Open to the World strives to serve those in need by:

  • ·    Build personal relationships with our Kenyan partners (in education, health care and community development) to better understand their needs.

  • ·        Assist effectively - that is, assisting locally in ways that both remedy need and ultimately promote self-direction, self-respect, and self-sufficiency.

  •     Commit professional and personal talents of our members in service trips to Kenya and in follow-up support.

Our Goals for 2017 are as follows:

Our Lady of Grace School (Kisumu District) is a K-8 school founded by the Dominicans to feed, and educate AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in Kisumu and its environs. The School’s 220 students find an education and support for their spiritual life in a structured, safe environment premised on human dignity. Goal: To assist in the operation and sustenance of OLG ($10,000)

St. Denis Konditi School (Pap-Onditi, Nyando District) is a public primary school. It serves 360 children from the Pap-Onditi area, a rural and poor district. Most children live with their birth families or extended families. Thirty percent of the children come from families impacted by HIV/AIDS. Nutrition is often poor and hunger is a major challenge. Goal: To assist in the lunch program, high school scholarships, and an AIDS orphan feeding program ($10,000).

Christ the King Katito Parish (Kisumu District) is a rural parish of the Kisumu Archdiocese serving 6,000 parishioners and eight villages near Katito. Christ the King has no has no physical church. Under the leadership of Fr. Alfred Atemo, work is underway on a permanent church. HOW works to assist in this endeavor. Goal: Bricks and mortar for church construction ($10,000).

Nyakach District Hospital (Pap-Onditi, Nyando District) is a public hospital serving approximately 68,000 persons scattered among rural communities near Pap-Onditi. The hospital has 38 beds, often occupied by more than one patient. The hospital has only one physician, and is limited to simple procedures. Deep well running water is critical and the most pressing need. Goal:Construction of a well to ensure clean water for the hospital ($5,000).

While our long-term goal is local self-reliance, we recognize that this is an ongoing process rather than a direct outcome of every initiative we undertake. HOW was inspired by the work of 1958 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Fr. Dominique Pire, OP, who reminded us that “the noblest virtues that initiate pacific action [are] Love, Initiative, Tenacity, Realism, and Patience.” HOW members commit themselves to a process born of those virtues.

Hearts Open to the World (HOW) is an initiative of St. Denis Church to befriend and serve the people of western Kenya.   Guided by Catholic principles of caring for all God’s peoples, solidarity with the poor and dispossessed, and the call to family, community and participation, Hearts Open to the World volunteers give their time, talent, and treasure in “help for self-help”.


Our inspiration:   We strive to model our work on the life of Fr. Dominic Pire, O.P., a Dominican priest who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1958. Fr. Pire worked first with refugees in post World War II Europe and then with the poor of the developing world. Striving for social change that is personal and collaborative, his motto was simply "Help for self-help." We seek first to be good friends with our Kenyan sisters and brothers.   As friends, we listen deeply to understand their hopes and dreams.   Then we work to achieve their goals, marshaling whatever time, talent, and treasure we can muster to plant "seeds of hope".