Kate Fletcher, who has provided an education and stable home life for more than 100 Kenyan girls, will speak at St. Bonaventure University Monday, April 10.
Fletcher, founder of Hekima Place, an all-girls home near the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, will talk about the importance of education in Third World countries.
Fletcher’s talk will be preceded at 6 p.m. by the film “Taking Root,” a 50-minute documentary about Wangari Maathai, who started a grassroots movement to plant over 30 million trees and give jobs to over 900,000 women.
Free and open to the public, the event will be held in the Robert R. Jones Trustees Room, Doyle Hall. Cookies and brownies will be served.
Fletcher was invited by Stacey Valimont, an environmental studies major, as her senior project.
Fletcher has lived many lives and careers. She has been a teacher, lab technician, nursing home administrator, and active volunteer, first as a Sister of the Divine Redeemer and later as the wife of Dr. Leonard “Fletch” Fletcher in Pittsburgh.
During their marriage, the couple devoted countless hours to helping an impoverished Appalachian community in West Virginia, but when Kate was widowed in 2002, she began to feel called again to a life of service.
She founded Hekima Place in 2005, leaving her life in Pittsburgh to volunteer with AIDS orphans in Kenya.
Experiencing the profound need and seeing how many girls were slipping through the cracks of available social services, Fletcher became determined to dedicate her life to caring for these orphaned, vulnerable girls.
The Hekima Place family has grown from 10 girls living in rented space near Nairobi, to 86 girls today on a spacious residential campus owned by Hekima Place. The girls now range in age from infants to university students.
SBU's Environmental Studies program, Clare College and Embrace It Africa are sponsoring the event, which has been approved as a plenary for graduating seniors.
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