Kenya: Meet Yvone

Lent is a 40-day journey of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. This Lenten season, Catholic Relief Services asks Catholics to remember the Gospel story of the feeding of the 5,000. “Just as the modest amount of five loaves and two fish was multiplied to be shared by thousands, small sacrifices add up to make a big difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters around the world,” CRS said.



CRS Rice Bowl invites you to get to know three girls from Honduras, Vietnam and Kenya, reflect on their stories of hope, share a meatless meal with your family, and donate the money you save as well as other funds to the Rice Bowl program. Funds support CRS programs around the world. Twenty-five percent of the total alms collected in our diocese remain here to support hunger alleviation efforts.



Rice Bowl resources are offered in both English and Spanish and are available in print and on the web. Find them at: or You can also join the CRS Rice Bowl Facebook group. Organizations interested in applying for a Local Rice Bowl Grant can obtain the grant guidelines and application form by contacting the St. Cloud Mission Office at 320-251-1100 or visiting



(Image from CRS Ricebowl)


Meet our global family

Now it’s time to meet a girl from Kenya. As you read about Yvone and her family, think about what you might have in common with them.




Yvone Nancy Awino, 11, carries a slice of bread on the road from her family home in Konjiko village in Siaya Country, western Kenya, May 1, 2019. (Photo by Georgina Goodwin for Catholic Relief Services)

Ambitious and intelligent, Yvone is 11 years old. She lives with her grandparents, her aunt, three siblings and three cousins in Konjiko, a village in Kenya. Her community is located near Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa. The village is also close to the Equator, so it is very hot there. Yvone and her family speak Kiswahili and English.

Yvone is one of seven grandchildren living with Eliakim Dude, 62, and wife Patricia, 54, who’s youngest daughter Gaudencia, 25, has been part of a Catholic Relief Services initiative Integrated Mothers and Babies Course IMBC program which is a pre-program for Early Childhood Development ECD. She is now a lead mother, checking on the other mothers to make sure that they are practicing what they learn in their group. Guadencia’s whole family has noticed improved nutrition and sanitation practices. They now diversify their diet, plant different crops, keep eggs to eat not sell, all resulting more energy to work and for the kids to attend school.




Home and Family

Lunch of beans for the seven grandchildren of Eliakim Dude, 62, and wife Patricia, 54, at the family home in Konjiko village in Siaya Country, western Kenya, May 1, 2019. (Photo by Georgina Goodwin for Catholic Relief Services)

In Kenya, chores are one way Yvone helps her family too. Each morning she washes dishes, sweeps the house, prepares lunch for the younger children and washes their school uniforms.

Yvone’s family has a hut where the family eats and sleeps, a stable for the animals and a separate kitchen hut. During the rainy season, the family collects water from a system on the roof. When it’s dry, they borrow from neighbors or walk to a community water point to fetch water.

Yvone’s family life has changed for the better thanks to a CRS program that teaches families about healthy food. In our next story, you’ll learn how.


In the Gospel story of the loaves and the fishes, Jesus fed the crowd because they were far from home, hungry and without food. Have you ever been far from home and hungry? How can you help feed people whose homes may be far from yours?




Joy of Learning

Just like Trinh and Maria Ana, Yvone’s family works hard to send her to school. Her grandparents believe that having an education is an advantage in life and want all of their grandchildren to have the opportunity to go to school. Her grandfather, Eliakim, sold 42 heads of cattle to pay for his children’s education.

Yvone’s grandmother, Patricia, says: “I have a dream for my children to study and to be able to do anything possible to earn a living.”


People followed Jesus because they wanted to learn from him. His own disciples called him “teacher.” What did you learn from Jesus in the Gospel story of the loaves and the fishes?




Yvone Nancy Awino, 11, attends Kiswahili class at Majango Primary School taught by headteacher Mark Onyango, in Konjiko village in Siaya Country, western Kenya, May 2, 2019. (Photo by Georgina Goodwin for Catholic Relief Services)

Dreams for the Future

And Yvone? She wants to be a hairdresser so that she can earn money to help her family. She dreams of one day being able to buy a car and give rides to her family, so they won’t have to walk far distances.

Jesus calls each of us to use our gifts and talents in the service of others. What gifts and talents have you been blessed with? How might you use your gifts to help





Pilau (Spiced Rice) – Kenya Recipe

(Photo by Lauren Carroll/Catholic Relief Services)

Makes 6-8 servings

  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 ½ t all spice
  • ½ t black pepper
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 4 c water
  • 2 c basmati rice

In a medium bowl, combine the cumin, all spice, and black pepper. Set aside. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and red onion and sauté for 10-15 minutes, until dark brown. Add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon stick, and spice mix. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the potatoes and the water. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Add the rice, stir, and cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked, and the liquid is absorbed.


Materials are gathered from Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl:

Author: The Central Minnesota Catholic

The Central Minnesota Catholic is the magazine for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

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