Locals come out in force to support Kenya project
A great crowd gathered after Friday Mass at the Manse to raise money to help a remarkable man with his work with some of the most needy people in Africa. 92 year-old Fr Leo Staples has been helping the people of Kitale in Kenya for the past 64 years, overseeing the building of 30 schools in that time.
A native of Kilmore, Fr Staples has strong connections to Enniscorthy with his brother Fr Bob Staples having served in the mission house in Enniscorthy for a long time, while his other brother Fr Frank Staples also served in Enniscorthy and the Ballagh.
It was decided that the proceeds from the January coffee morning would go directly towards helping Fr Leo in his ongoing mission to provide education facilities for disabled children in Kenya. Having noticed a lack of education facilities for disabled children, Fr Leo took it upon himself to set up a special school that serves over 80 children and he is currently in the process of making it a residential school.
Local accountant Eugene Doyle is to travel to Kenya this month to visit Fr Leo and see first hand the work he has done, as well as presenting the money raised by the coffee morning - a total of €2,053.
'He's a remarkable man and we'll never see his likes again,' Eugene said. 'He's so humble and devoted to the cause of helping these people. He's really fearless. He went out there 64 years ago with no resources and didn't even speak the language, which is a local dialect. Not only did he learn it, but he translated all of the school books to be in the native language of the children.'
Eugene also wished to thank the organisers of the coffee morning for donating the proceeds to the cause, as well as everyone who came along and contributed in any way. He is now looking forward to passing the money on to Fr Leo and seeing first hand the great work he continues to do at 92 years of age.