30 August 2022

Children Press Office

Students back at Mama Lorenza after the elections

Christine was the first girl to pass through the gates of Mama Lorenza’s Vocational Centre yesterday morning. Moving shyly through the unusually empty spaces, she followed the procedure she knows well: a signature in the register at the entrance, a greeting to the head teacher, the forms in administration and a check of the personal belongings she was carrying.

It was lunchtime, so Christine sat down at the table and silently ate the soup she was offered. Then, since there was nothing else left to do, she waited.

The joy of getting together

After schools were closed due to the presidential elections in Kenya on 9 August, Mama Lorenza was finally able to reopen yesterday. Students continued to arrive throughout the afternoon, after having faced sometimes quite long and challenging journeys.

The patio began to fill with voices, first whispered then increasingly enthusiastic and lively. The girls greeted each other from afar and their faces opened in an irresistible smile when they recognised a friend, before running up to each other for a hug. In an instant, the effort of the journey disappeared in the face of the joy of finding each other.

Without any adults having to direct them, they returned to their usual routine: they stowed their bags in their lockers, put on their uniforms, prepared dinner and ate all together. Headmaster Jane gave a short speech to welcome them back and to thank those who had brought fruit and sweet potatoes as gifts to share with the others. A standing ovation greeted the news that freshman Judith had returned with a sack full of oranges! One more hour of rest and recreation, then it was time for bed.

A reason to be proud





One of the most common problems faced by schools in Kenya after a school closure period is the time it takes for students to return home, which can extend even several days beyond the appointed date.


Last night at Mama Lorenza, however, the missing girls could be counted on the fingers of one hand, and even fewer were those who had not been heard from. This is a fact that those who live in Europe might find taken for granted, yet here it is anything but common, and should therefore be a source of pride, because it demonstrates not only the involvement of the students, but also the support of the families who helped them to return on time, facing journeys that were not always easy. She emphasises how they are aware of the investment that everyone – school, families and donors – are making in the education of these girls and their future.


As of tomorrow, classes and exercises begin again, but in everyone’s mind there is the knowledge that they will soon have the chance to celebrate again: in a little over a week’s time, the graduation ceremony will take place, and at school there is already the excitement of big events.