Koinonia Community Press Release
The Koinonia Community wishes to announce the official opening of a new Information Technology laboratory at the Domus Mariae School, scheduled for 11.00 AM on Wednesday, May 14th 2008. The ceremony will take place at the school premises along Kerarapon Drive, off Ngong Road (between Karen and Ngong town).
The official launch will be graced by Giancarlo Culazzo-Head of Economical, Financial and Commercial Affairs at the Italian Embassy in Nairobi, Dario Zecchini-Member,Italian Comities Kenya, Pasqualino Procacci- Director of the Italian Cooperation of Kenya, Fr. Renato Kizito Sesana – Founder, Koinonia Community, Michael Ochieng- Koinonia Community Director, Mino Spreafico – Founder, Africa Peace Point onlus-Italy, Stefano Cammilli - IT Manager at KPMG Italy and members of the KPMG IT team: Luca Corieto, Piergiorgio Geniale,Mauro Ferrante, Andrea Merlini and Corrado Del Po.
Koinonia is a lay Christian organization founded in 1989 by Father Renato Kizito Sesana, a Comboni missionary, and officially registered as a corporate body under the laws of Kenya in 1994. Committed to the growth of the local society within which the Community is based, Koinonia is an ethical, religious and social organization that strives to alleviate the problems of people in need while recognizing the contrast between traditional African culture and modern practice. In essence, Koinonia tries to merge the best of the African tradition and Gospel values into a commitment to belong to the modern world.
Koinonia currently runs various social projects in Kenya, Zambia and Sudan.
In their daily lives, all members of the Koinonia Community endeavour to counteract the economic and social evils bred by individualism and abject poverty, placing priority on the marginalized members of the society, such as children in difficult circumstances, especially street children, women and young people from poor backgrounds.
In the Kenyan school system, many talented children from poor backgrounds are often unable to access quality education, despite the recognition of education as one of the main factors for national progress. Education makes many significant contributions to the development of the society by generally improving the standards of life, providing positive influences to the various parameters of social development and playing a major role in the improvement of social and economic values.
A recent achievement has been the introduction of free primary education. However, secondary education is yet to be provided free, and largely falls short of the required quality standards.
It is within this context that Koinonia established Domus Mariae, a secondary school with high standard programs specifically customized to the needs of the young people in attendance. The school mainly admits slum youths who have successfully completed a rehabilitation program, HIV/AIDS orphans and those coming from poor family backgrounds. The main aim is to give them the opportunity to access a decent education that will help them achieve their aspirations for a better life.
Domus Mariae School is located on a 16,000 square metre piece of land along Kerarapon Drive, off Ngong Road (between Karen and Ngong town). The school is situated, 16 km outside Nairobi, in a very green area facing the Ngong Hills that is easily accessible via public means using Matatu Number 111. It shares its location with Ndugu Mdogo House, a Koinonia rehabilitation centre for street children that has been operational since August 2006.
In its admissions, Domus Mariae School gives preference to youths from the four rehabilitation centers that the Koinonia Community has run since 1997.The aim of the initiative is to equip these youths with a solid education that empowers the unique attitudes and talents possessed by each student. The school also aims to stimulate each student’s sense of belonging to a strong human community and encourage the re-discovery of their cultural roots, albeit in dialogue with other cultures. The school is in itself meant to be a positive place of encounters where the youth get to grow up in accordance with Christian values.
In following with the project design, the school building has now been completed with 16 classrooms, a dormitory with 120 beds, one physics-chemistry lab, one computer lab, a multipurpose area and a basketball/volleyball/ football field.
The school currently has about 300 male and female students enrolled.
Labeled KKLABIT, the Information Technology laboratory project will equip the school with two computer rooms, one of which will house 40 computers for training, while the smaller one will be reserved for browsing the internet. The project also involves a Hardware section, a Software section and a framework for a local network setup.
The KKLABIT project investment was an extremely expensive undertaking that required the collaborative effort of various donors. A positive merit is that after the highly expensive start up, the project will eventually become self sustainable.