The Catholic Diocese of Kitui through well-wishers have raised 3.8 million in support of education at St. John Eudes rehabilitation centre through a fundraising dinner held on 6th August 2021 at Kitui pastoral centre.
St. John Eudes Rehabilitation Centre was established in 2001 under the mandate of the Catholic Diocese of Kitui to assist the increasing number of children, who due to challenging financial and social circumstances are forced to live in the streets of Kitui and surrounding counties.
Diocese of Kitui has been organizing annual fundraising dinners in support of various diocesan projects which have been very successful and beneficial to the faithful as well as the diocese. The first dinner was held in 2011 in Nairobi and it raised 1.9Million. One of the successful projects supported through fundraising dinner is the construction of Our lady of Protection Shrine, Museve.
In his opening remarks, His Lordship Rt. Rev. Joseph Mwongela thanked all the people for their unity and support towards the church projects. He emphasized more on family unity and encouraged parents to be always there for their addicted children and walk with them in their recovery journey. The bishop also talked about self -reliance and challenged the parishes to embark on income generating projects which will lead to self-sustainability. Bishop Mwongela’s pillars are self-reliance and vocation.
James Muthui who is in form one at St. Thomas Kalawa joined St. John Eudes Centre in 2016 explained to the congregation the struggles he can gone through in life and how the diocese came through for him when he mostly needed help and promised to work hard in school so that in future, he can extend the help he has received to the others who are in need.
Eric Musee a fourth-year student at Masai Mara University taking bachelor of arts in Mathematics & computer science in applied science joined St. John Eudes in 2009 when he was in class 6. Upon arriving at the centre, he was accorded the necessary parental love and he received all the basic needs.
The Rehabilitation centre operates with the objectives of reconciling these street children with their family members and rehabilitating them back to homes/school life, providing them with medical care and where necessary providing access to and funding for primary and secondary education. In addition, the centre offers intensive counseling in an open, caring and safe environment while helping the children to cope effectively with changes in their environment and ultimately facilitating their development and long-term independence through tertiary education, vocational training and work placements.
It also prepares the children to lead a meaningful life in future by empowering them with necessary life skills after rehabilitation so as to become independent and responsible people in the society.
Based on these criteria, St. John Eudes centre has to date successfully rehabilitated over 700 street children, providing them with the emotional, psychological and fiscal support necessary to allow successful reintegration into community life and ultimately providing them with an invaluable opportunity to better their lives. As the sole support service for street children in Kitui, the centre provides an invaluable social service for street children and the community at large.