St. Denis Hearts Open to the World
Our Partners in Kenya - Their Needs and Our Goals
Hearts Open to the World (HOW) 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:
- building strong personal relationships with our Kenyan partners (in education, health care, and community development) to better understand their needs.
- assisting effectively - that is, assisting locally in ways that both remedy need and ultimately promote self-direction, self-respect, and self-sufficiency.
- committing the professional and personal talents of our members in service trips to western Kenya and in follow-up support across the miles.
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. Dominic Pire, O.P., who reminded us that "the noblest virtues that initiate pacific action [are] Love, Initiative, Tenacity, Realism, and Patience."1 HOW members commit themselves to a process born of those virtues.
HOW Mission Statement, adopted 20 October 2015
1Dominique Pire, "Brother Love: Foundation of Peace," Nobel Lecture, 11 December 1958
Our goals for 2018 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 ($20,000).
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 ($15,000).
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 continue its assistance in this endeavor. Goal: Purchase of pews to support church opening ($5,000).
Nyakach County 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. Expanding upon the installation of a drilled borehole for clean running water (completed in 2017 through the generous support of St. Denis HOW donors), the hospital seeks to improve sanitary facilities. Goal: Installation of flush toilets and sinks ($5,000).