Abdi Aggrey Lidonde is one of twenty-five siblings who grew up in abject poverty in Shikhokho, a village in the western province of Kenya. His large family barely survived on the income his father earned as a Kenyan postal service worker, and school fees were nearly impossible to come by. What food the family was able to afford went to the youngest children first, and often ran out before Abdi and his older siblings could eat.
Beverly Lidonde, Abdi's mother, was a firm believer that education is the way out of poverty, and went to great lengths to see that her oldest son received an education. She would scrape together whatever money she could and walk Abdi miles to school to and from school to ensure he attended. At times when there wasn't enough money to pay the fees, Beverly would persuade the teacher or principal to let him attend despite this. Due to Beverly's poor health, she was unable to make the round trip and would often sit or sleep on the curb outside and wait for Abdi all day.
Upon graduation from high school, Abdi found a job alongside his father at Kenya Post and Telecommunication to help support his family and pay his siblings' school fees. While there, Abdi dreamed of what life would have been like had he been able to accept the offer he earned to attend Kenyatta University in Nairobi. With so many siblings to help support and educate at the primary level, money for a higher education was out of the question for Abdi.
In a chance encounter at a political gathering that he accompanied his father to, Abdi met an American woman who was married to a native Kenyan, living outside of Nairobi. After getting to know him and learning of his dream of a higher education and ultimately better opportunities for his family, she offered Abdi the opportunity to go to the United States to pursue his education while living with her parents free of charge.
Abdi settled in Worcester, Massachusetts in December of 1982, and began his studies at a community college there. Unfortunately, one month into his stay, the couple with whom Abdi was living fell on hard times and could no longer afford for him to stay. Fearing that he would not find a job because he spoke very little English at that point, Abdi decided to return to Kenya. A few days before his scheduled departure, a classmate from the community college suggested to Abdi that he apply for a job alongside of him, as a janitor at The College of the Holy Cross. His lack of English communication skills wouldn't be a problem, the classmate promised, and as long as he worked hard and did a good job, he would be fine. Abdi nervously applied for the job, and was given it on the condition that the classmate would be responsible for him. He succeeded as a janitor, while continuing his education at the community college and went on to earn a degree in History and Political Science at Worcester State College.
Abdi married his wife, who he met while at Worcester State, and has a family of five children. Following in his mother’s footsteps of encouraging and somehow providing education for his children, all five children are college educated, and one has even continued on to graduate school.
Abdi has worked hard to realize Beverly's dream of a better life through education for her children. He has provided additional income to his siblings in Kenya, as well as school fees for their children. Now, through the Beverly School of Kenya, he will honor his mother by providing education and an opportunity for a better life for impoverished and orphaned children in Kenya
Alice Mudiri - Executive Director
Alice was born in Kakamega, Kenya. She obtained her primary and secondary education in Kenya, and higher education in America and Scotland.
Alice brings a wealth of experience in both teaching and working with non-profit African organizations to the Beverly School of Kenya. She has worked for the World Health Organization, African Region Headquarters; University of Zimbabwe, Division of Reproductive Health; Christian Health Association of Kenya; Africa Community Action Health Network; and was acting Chief Operating Officer for the National Council of Non-Governmental Organizations in Kenya. She taught Health Policy Planning at the Tropical Institute of Community Health in Kenya; at Kenyatta University in Nairobi; and at the Nativity School in Worcester, Massachusetts
Janet Warari - Principal
Janet Warari born in Nyeri, Kenya, has been an educationist for more than 30 years. She has worked in various capacities as a class teacher, senior teacher, tutor, subject head, zone coordinator, deputy director In-service, senior lecturer, head of a department and chair of guidance and counseling.
My vision for Beverly school of Kenya is to make it an institution like no other in Kenya. An institution that produces students who are well rounded and able to excel in both academics and character. A broad based educational institution that will enable learners to develop their intellectual, physical, moral, spiritual, emotional and social potential within a positive motivating and caring environment.
My goal is to help my students achieve world class academic performance and proceed to the most prestigious institutions of higher learning anywhere in the world, while retaining their individual identities.
My entire staff will be reliable, committed and of high integrity. This team will ensure that we maintain and uphold a sense of great achievement in the institution, enabling students leaving Beverly school be confident, fulfilled and having realized their full potential.
Reverend John E. Brooks, S.J.
Aggrey Abdi Lidonde
Spenser S. Huston
Jacqueline Dansler Peterson
David Njau Chege Instrumentation Laboratory
The Beverly Connection is a student-founded and student-run organization at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. TBC was founded by Catherine Wauters (Holy Cross 2008) during her final year. Catherine and a few other select students established The Beverly Connection as a method to drive student interest in assisting with the promotion of the Beverly School of Kenya. Since winter of 2007, The Beverly Connection has been a growing force on campus, holding benefits and fund raisers with all proceeds going toward the Beverly School of Kenya. Last spring, musician Josh Kelley (who has played with the likes of Rod Stewart, Counting Crows, and Third Eye Blind) played the Ignite Benefit Concert, where more than one thousand dollars was raised for the Beverly School of Kenya. The Beverly Connection has accomplished a great deal since it’s founding a little over two years ago. For the 2009-2010 year, TBC has great plans that include another benefit concert, charity basketball tournament, and more, with all proceeds benefiting the establishment of the Beverly School.
To recognize the existing ties between the Beverly School of Kenya and the College of the Holy Cross, we the students join together to raise awareness amongst and elicit support from the Holy Cross and Worcester communities, for the Beverly School of Kenya. Believing in the importance of education and in the power that education has to shape long-term progress and change within societies, we, the members of The Beverly Connection commit to working to spread the idea at Holy Cross of the Beverly School of Kenya as an investment in Kenya’s future through our work, and to facilitate the Beverly School itself by sponsoring fundraising activities throughout the academic year.
These Individuals, Companies & organizations have supported BSK on several fronts including visiting Kenya with Abdi,
|Miriam Sanderson -Treasurer Package Steel Industries||http://www.packagesteel.com|
|Chris Crowley -CEO Polar Beverages Corporation Worcester, MA||http://www.polarbev.com|
|John E. Dougherty Commercial Carpet and Tile||http://www.doughertycarpet.com|
|BollusLynch Certified Public Aaccountants & Consultants||http://www.bolluslynch.com|
|John T. Andreoli -CEO Sullivan Group Worcester, MA||http://www.sullivangroup.com|
|WCRN Radio 830AM||http://www.wcrnradio.com|
|Liz Roos -Principal West Elementary Andover, MA||http://www.aps1.net/wel|
|Dexter Morse Head of School Worcester Academy||http://www.worcesteracademy.org|
|College of the Holy Cross||http://www.holycross.edu|
|Dr. Charles Weiss -Nativity School of Worcester||http://www.nativityworcester.org|
|Non Profit Organizations|
|Seven Hills Foundation||http://www.sevenhills.org/|
|Bill Buck -President Andover Rotary Club||http://www.rotaryandover.org|
|Sue Swanberg -American Red Cross of Central Mass||http://www.redcrossworcester.org|
|Rotary Club Naivasha, Kenya||www.rotarysafehouse.org|
|T. Sanderson -CEO T Sanderson Building & Remodeling||Phone 508 277 1222|
|J. Karago SecureGraphics Media Printing & Webdesign||http://www.securegraphics.com|