Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "We are two priests here and reaching out to all the faithful is a challenge", said Fr. Augustine Kharmuti, Salesian priest who works in the Holy Cross church, the only Church in the entire world inside a refugee camp in Kakuma, Turkana County, in northwest Kenya.
The camp is home to about 182,000 refugees from South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.
Fr. Augustine coordinates the Don Bosco Technical Institute, and has a vocational centre which offers various courses to the refugees and the host community within the camp. These courses include; carpentry, electrical masonry, welding, tailoring, dressmaking, motor vehicle mechanics, secretarial, computer and English courses.
"We train 3,000 to 3,200 students every year and serve 500 to 600 Christians at every Mass", says the missionary.
Although the two fathers are helped by two catechists and three nuns, the recent influx of new refugees from South Sudan poses new challenges to their pastoral and educational work and have appealed for financial and material support from the Church, the government and well-wishers in order to be able evangelize widely, to improve the quality of education and to train more students at the centre. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 22/01/2016)