The arid and desolate region around the shores of Lake Rudolf in Northern Kenya has twice been in the world's headlines recently.
GV zoom to close up Loiengalani Mission sign.
GV and SV group carrying ikon
SV tribal women following procession.
SV Father Polet and little boy
SV and GV tribal men and women entering Church
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Background: The arid and desolate region around the shores of Lake Rudolf in Northern Kenya has twice been in the world's headlines recently.
Earlier this year, the famous Kenyan paleontologist Richard Leakey discovered human remains there millions of years old which have provided valuable information about the evolution of man. Last month, Loiengalani on the South Eastern shore, became the centre for the many scientists who gathered to observe the total eclipse of the sun.
Some of their experiments were designed to calculate the effect of the eclipse on the isolated tribes who do not have the benefit of modern scientific explanations of such phenomena.
An Italian missionary, Father Joseph Polet, has been working in Loiengalani for eighteen years helping to improve the harsh life of the tribes. When he came, he found the local inhabitants in a desperate plight. The natural aridity of the climate coupled with the destructive activities of marauders from neighbouring Somalia had deprived the people of almost every means of livelihood, and many of them were actually starving One of the tribes - El Molo - had shrunk to 75 members and was in danger on extinction.
Father Polet brought medicines to combat malaria, pneumonia and trachoma which h ave claimed thousands of African lives. The mission also established a school, which now has more than 100 pupils and was recently enlarged to include all elementary classes. It employs three lay teachers and three nuns.
Father Polet has also converted many of the local people to Christianity, and at Sunday mass he can now count on a congregation of over 150 regular communicants.