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Early Loreto Kenya on video

“Early Loreto Kenya” on YouTube

Sr Mary Owens IBVM

The Loreto Sisters arrived in Kenya in 1921 and will celebrate their centenary here in 2021.

Some have been in Kenya for 60-70 years. They knew the pioneers personally and give an insight into what it has meant to educate half a million to one million African girls. They don’t know the exact number! The pioneers were all Irish and came here after periods in India and Australia.

They started the first school for African girls in East Africa in 1936:

Sr Colombiere Kelly IBVM

Loreto, Limuru. Before that education for African girls was unknown. They changed culture.

Their stories narrate what the Church in general, and Loreto in particular, has done for education in Kenya and by

extraction in the whole of continental Africa. Similar stories, as far as I know yet undocumented on video, can be told of other supernatural families in the Church on all continents.

It is a story of development and evangelisation through education.

Most of the prominent women in Kenyan history have come from Loreto schools, notably Wangari Maathai, who became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace” in 2004.

In 2013, on the 50th anniversary of Kenyan independence, the sisters received a special award from the President in recognition of their services to education

  • Sr Ephigenia Gachiri IBVM
  • Sr Maire O’Nolan IBVM

If you know people who have studied at Loreto Schools in Kenya or elsewhere please let them know of the existence of these interviews.

If you have difficulty accessing the interviews through the links, try typing “Early Loreto Kenya” or the name of the interviewee. Or open You Tube first and then search. All the links have been tested.

This project was compiled by Fr Conor Donnelly, Nairobi.

1.General Synopsis Early Days.


2.Sr Jane Francis Mulongo IBVM


  1. Sr Mary Owens IBVM


4.Sr Colombiere Kelly IBVM


5.Sr Ephigenia Gachiri IBVM


6.Sr Betty Whyte IBVM


7.Sr Maire O’Nolan IBVM


8.Sr Nuala Brangan IBVM


9.Sr Breid Cunningham IBVM


10.Sr Caitriona Kelly IBVM


11.Sr Malia IBVM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8MB4Aadz6U  (second part of the interview)

12.Sr Philippine Stamp IBVM