Kenya: Irish Nun appointed director of major children's centre

 A Loreto Sister has been appointed executive director of Karen, which runs the Nyumbani Children's Centre for HIV positive orphans. Sr Mary Owens, 69, takes over from the late Jesuit American priest, Fr Dr Angelo D'Agostino. The 80-year-old priest, who founded the children's centre, 14 years ago, died here-Nairobi on November 20 and was buried at Mwangaza Jesuit Centre cemetery on November 27. In a telephone interview with her yesterday Sr Mary said the central board of the Children's Centre has picked her "due to her long association with the late Fr Dr D'Agostino. "I began to associate with the late D'Agostino in 1991 long before he founded the Children's Centre" she said. "I have seen the Centre grow from its "zero" point to what it is today (It is currently catering for 95 orphans, who are living with HIV)", explained Sr Owens. Sr Owens, an educationist by profession said when she first joined the late D'Agostino "mission", she was simply assisting, "but as time went by I got appointed as a member of the central board of the Children's Centre". In 2004, she was made deputy executive. Apart from the Children's Centre, other Karen projects include: the Lea Toto (care for the children) program, currently catering close to over 2,000 HIV positive children from Nairobi's slums area. The Centre is also running Nyumbani Diagnostic Laboratory program, which offers services to the children of Nyumbani and Lea Toto as well as hospitals and health facilities in Nairobi and other parts of the country.

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