ENDICOTT, N.Y. -- Hundreds of children in Kenya may soon have a new school to attend thanks to an Endicott church. The project was started three years ago by St. Francis ministries, an organization based out of St. Anthony of Padua.
When she arrived at St. Anthony of Padua Church in 1999, it all seemed like a dream.
Sister Anisia Muthoni had always wanted to build a school for children in her home country of Kenya.
Years later, that dream is coming true after the outpouring support of her parish and community.
"All of the parishioners in this parish, in St. Anthony's, they've given me a home where I feel loved and cared for and without them, I don't think we would have made any progress on this building," said Sister Anisia Muthoni.
The organization St. Francis Ministries was formed in 2012.
Since then, they've been able to install fresh water tanks, provide electricity and make tremendous progress toward a school.
Those who have made the mission trip say seeing the children in need inspired them to work even harder.
"You hear about it but when you see it with your own eyes and you see how they suffer, to such a degree it's overwhelming," said Marlene Hutcheson.
Sixteen years ago, Sister Anisia Muthoni was brought to the United States by St. Anthony of Padua Church. Since then she's fulfilled her promise to not only give back to the local community, but give back to communities all over the world.
"We feel that we must do something to change. Even if we change one child, we've done something because we believe that there's no child that should be left behind," said Muthoni.
Muthoni spends her days visiting the sick in the community, while also planning her next step in giving back to her own country.
Board members say she's one of the strongest women they've ever met.
"When I think of her I use the word angelic. She just has this air about her. She's an angel in her demeanor, in her words, in her acts of kindness. I've never experienced that anywhere," said Anthony Paniccia, St. Francis Ministries Board President.
Muthoni hopes building the school will also build hope for hundreds of children in her home country. Board members plan to open the school in 2020. Those who would like to donate can do so here.