Dedication Ceremony of the new Patmos Junior School
On Monday 20th January, 2020 a 'Dedication Ceremony' was held in Mathare for the new Patmos School building. This event was jointly organised by Orphan Outreach USA and Yatima Outreach with Headmaster Richard Wanjala Manya overseeing the arrangements for this special event. There is still some work on the new school that needs completing before the children can finally move in, but it is hoped that it will be ready by May 2020 when the official opening ceremony will take place.
The presiding guest at the Dedication ceremony was the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya Dr. Jackson Ole Sapit, and he was assisted by Bishop George Mechumo who is also the Chairman of Yatima Outreach and the Bishop for Bungoma diocese. The In-Country Director of Yatima Outreach, Tom Wambulwa, represented Yatima Outreach and also present at the ceremony were Area Elders and Pastors as well as representatives from Patmos School including teachers, social workers, ancillary workers and volunteers, school guards and of course the children.
We also reached out to invite several local people and organisations to this special event who have been involved with and supported Patmos School in various ways over the years. These included members of the Rotary Club of Nairobi, Conservation Officers from the Education department at the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (Kenya) AFEW and members from Fresh Life (Sanergy) to mention but a few.
A former Patmos School student, Elvis, was also invited to the ceremony. Elvis had attended Patmos School for many years and thereafter received sponsorship from Orphan Outreach which enabled him to attend secondary school. We are delighted to report that Elvis finalised his secondary schooling last year and did exceptionally well in his studies obtaining a B+ and coming third out of all the children in the school.
The Dedication ceremony commenced at 10 am when a convoy of visitors arrived at the school. The Archbishop then presided over the ceremony and inaugurated the new school building. Hymns were then sung and prayers were said. All the school children, teachers and others guests were together and this formed a large crowd at the entrance of the new school as a dedication was made. After hymns and prayers were said by both the Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit and Bishop George Mechumo, a ribbon was cut signifying the school had officially been dedicated. Everyone then proceeded upstairs to the third floor of the building into a large hall where the remaining part of the event took place.
The program was strictly followed, starting with the raising of the National flag and singing of the National anthem. A short presentation was then made by the school children and this was followed by each of the guests being formally introduced to the Archbishop and some of the invited guests chose to give a short speech. Elvis, the former Patmos School student, was invited to give a speech at the dedication ceremony which really touched the hearts of all those present. He spoke of his thanks to both Patmos School and Yatima Outreach for supporting his schooling which resulted in him attaining a B+. Elvis is hoping to be able to attend university this year commencing in September. Another former female student of Patmos School who had also been supported with her secondary schooling by Orphan Outreach and who attained a B- also gave a very moving speech of thanks. These young students represent what can be achieved with support, encouragement and hard work.The speeches from the high school students motivated all in the hall and it formed the basis of the Archbishop’s reference in his sermon.
There followed speech’s from Yatima Outreach representatives as well as from Patmos School. Tom Wambulwa read a speech from the President of Orphan Outreach, Mike Douris, which gave recognition to all the team players and of the achievements we were celebrating. Headmaster Richard Wanjala Manya was then given the opportunity to speak and expressed his thanks to God for enabling him to work with such a large team of people who had significantly helped to bring about the changes at the school and in Mathare. The Headmaster then went on to read the speech from the UK Representative of Patmos School. The people were silent to listen to this historical and appreciative speech and they were touched to hear of the significant achievements and developments that have taken place at Patmos School which have happened as a result of patience, dedication and perseverance.
After the speeches, the Archbishop gave his sermon which elaborated on the biblical story of the building of the temple of Jerusalem from the book of Nehemiah and parallels were drawn from the challenges that Nehemiah faced in rebuilding the burnt temple. In that in the midst of all the obstacles that faced him and with only a few people who had a mind to support the work, finally the walls of the temple were rebuilt. It was very much a message of the time.
After the sermon a gift was then presented to the Archbishop and there followed the cutting of the cake. Everyone was then served with a special lunch which was brought to school by outside caterers. Every body enjoyed a shared meal with the Archbishop as well as a piece of the celebration cake.The Dedication ceremony concluded at 2.00 pm with a vote of thanks from the Yatima Outreach Chairman Bishop Mechumo.
Our heartfelt thanks go to Mr Steve Spencer, Director and Board Member at Orphan Outreach for funding this new school building.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the other kind donors who have played a significant part in making this all possible for the children.
To read more about the construction of the new school building click here
To read about the land acquisition at Patmos School click here