Last night I was honoured to meet Father John from our partner St John’s Sports Society in Korogocho , just outside Nairobi in Kenya.
As Laura said in her last blog entry, regular readers will know that Korogocho is the fourth largest slum in Nairobi and life there is very tough indeed. As you may remember, last year students from Oaklands Catholic School visited St John’s Sports Society with their teacher (Mr Mugeni Sumba – pictured) and met Father John in person. St John’s offers young people a chance to learn teamwork, cooperation, leadership and tolerance through sport and also focuses on peace building, having played a leading role in using sport to reconcile communities after the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007/2008
During his homily, Father John took the opportunity to thank the communities at St Michael and All Angels (Leigh Park) and Sacred Heart (Waterlooville) for all their support and gave us a great insight into life within the slum and the hope St John’s offers to young people there.
He is such an inspirational person – and recent inaugural winner of the Franco-German Human Rights Award for his selfless commitment to the people of Korogocho.
Father Paul Leonard has just emailed me to say; ‘Please extend my, and the parish’s, thanks to Father John for joining us today and sharing with us something of his work in the slum in Korogocho. We were all humbled by his sharing and we pledge, as our parish, our commitment to supporting his work in whatever way we can.’
As I write, Father John is in Oaklands all day today talking to students about his work and no doubt inspiring them too!
Tonight he will go to the Westminster diocese and continue visiting schools and parishes before journeying up to the Hexam and Newcastle diocese!
Thank you so much Father John for joining us!