Lettera da Moses , responsabile della Mother Secondina House creata da Padre John a Maua
MOTHER SECONDINA HOUSE OF CHILDREN
Mother Secondina House of Children was the last Missionary project of Father John Cugnod in Meru, Kenya, his Second home.
He founded the House in January 2014 with the cooperation of myself (Moses Gituma) his long time friend since 1973. In that year (1973) he was working at Mikinduri Catholic Mission under Father Luigi Bruno and was also Chaplain to the LVIA at Tigania Catholic Hospital. I was then doing my final theology courses preparing to be ordained a priest. I was not ordained, but I ended up working with Father John at Ruiri Mission where he had been appointed parish priest in 1974. Together with him we developed the mission secondary school and later with him we acquired land and built the Meru Rescue Centre at Kairune, which is now the current Don Cugnod Primary School.
The object of establishing the House at Maua, the second largest town in Meru County was to assist orphaned /disadvantaged children get proper care both physical and spiritual in a family atmosphere as they go through school. That is why the children’s House is next to my house and the children have access to my house at any time and for any neecl. I am father to them and my wife is mother to them. And that was Father John wish. According to him the future childrens’ homes in Africa should be connected to a family. That is what he often told me.
Majority of the children at the House are those who were admitted in 2014 and 2015. Father John insisted that the children shall not be more than 20. In September, 2015 during his last visit he among other functions baptized the children into the Catholic Church.
The children are between class 3 and form 1. There is one Eric Murithi who does not go to formai school, but is taking a welding course. Those in primary School go to the nearby Kilalai Primary School and Conquerors’ School of the Deliverance Church. The one in form I is at Materi Girls Secondary School of the Diocese of Meru.
Our day begins at 5.00 a.m when we all wake up, say moming prayers, wash up, do morning duties, take breakfast and walk to school at 6.30 a.m with food for lunch. At 5.00 p.m the children return back to school, clean themselves, have in door games, have supper at 7.00 p.m then study and go to bed at 8.15 p.m. At the weekends we do generai cleaning and attend church.
To keep the House running I rely on the friends of Father John coordinated by the association Kairune. Father John had on his death bed asked Gianfranco not to forget assisting me so that the House could go on. And it is trae without help from the friends of Father John through the association Kairune, we could have closed. Thank God his friends are concemed about us. Apart from providing the daily house needs, school needs, medicai needs, maintenance needs, there are now other emerging needs now that we must think of the future. Very soon a number of children will be joining secondary school, that will need more money for fees. To be self reliant in the future, there is need for buying some land where we can grow our own food, keep livestock, chicken, grow vegetables etc. As we grow as an institution, it will be important we have a vehicle.
Now that I am getting old, I am now 70, it is my hope that Mother Secondina House of children will as the years go by get more support from the friends of Father John, as I also try to involve the local community. I hope in the future there will also be Italian staff to help in the running of the House. And that is possible if we can put up an extra residential house.
The signboard to the house reads, Mother Secondina House of Children Residence (A Missionary footprint of Father John Cugnod R.I.P). Everyone here knows that although I run the House, Father John, a Catholic Priest from Cuneo, Italy is the founder. I am only continuing his work with the support of his friends of the association Kairune.
Moses S. Gituma