School for the Differently Abled: an Update

School for the Differently Abled: an Update

The exterior of Bishop Korir Memorial School

The Bishop Korir Memorial Secondary School for Differently Abled in the Rift Valley of Kenya, in part supported through generous donors of the Ohio Province, is three-quarters through its first year of operation. Though still a fledging institution, the school is offering hope to children who are deaf and, in most cases, impoverished and who, before the school’s opening, had few paths before them.

At present, the school has an enrollment of 34 students, 16 of whom are deaf. The students board at the school and are in part sustained through maize grown on the five acres of property. Test scores are high and improving both for students who are deaf and for those with normal hearing. The average age is between 15 and 20, with most deaf students being older because of no previous educational opportunities after primary school.

Sister Margaret in classroom with students

Still, there are challenges. Notre Dame Sister Margaret Inziani, the head of the school, says the school struggles to raise enough money for the students’ food, tuition, and uniforms. While hearing aids have been purchased for those students who are deaf, ear molds to make the hearing aids more effective are still financially out of reach.

“What we are learning,” says Sister Margaret, “is to let everything happen by turn, because it is God’s grace that has gotten us this far. This, and the good people, the well-wishers, who support us with food and pens and books and stationery.”

Students line up for a midday meal. There is often a lack of food to serve.

Three Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur work at the school. They, and an additional six lay employees, meet not only the educational and special needs of the students but also the day-to-day needs related to nutrition, shelter, recreation, and medical care.

“We teach very early in the morning and very late in the evening because we want to support these students,” says Sister Margaret. “And the students’ discipline is good. They are improving day and night. If discipline is good, it goes hand in hand with performance. We have good hope for them.”

Published in the 2023 Annual Report, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Ohio Province. Join our mailing list to receive one.