A little history

Mariapolis Piero is located at around 27Km from the city of Nairobi, in Kenya’s central Province. It expands on 18 hectares of green land.

At 1.620 m above sea level and close to the equator, with its rainy and dry seasons it enjoys a mild climate and almost constant splendid sunshine.

During her visit to Kenya in May 1992, in her inaugural speech Chiara Lubich said: “You know that all of us are being guided towards a very high and stupendous aim, to contribute towards the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer when He asked the Father “May they all be one”.

She compared the Focolare Movement with a big sailing ship which sails are pushed by a wind which blows over all humanity, the wind of unity.


It calls the people of our planet to build a world marked by a stronger spirit of brotherhood and concord, a more united world…. It is in this perspective that we have to see that which is coming to life today here in Nairobi….

It is a tree which branches can offer a home to many birds, just like the Kingdom of God which Jesus speaks of and that is, to many people who will come here from all over to see how unity is learned, how unity is put into practice, how it can be spread around us, to see how the world would be if the unity invoked by Jesus and wanted by the Holy Spirit for our times is fulfilled…

The specific characteristic of the little town is the calling of the Movement in Africa, it will be a particular accent on a particular duty, namely evangelization. To realize this, this centre will specialize in Inculturation”.


This is how the “School for focolare-style Inculturation” was born. Its goal is to deepen the life of the Gospel by “trying to dialogue” with the various cultures and cultural practices of the African peoples from the point of view of the spirituality of unity.


On that day the architect presented the blueprint for the little city and Chiara later wrote in her diary: “we opened the big blueprint with the drawings of the ‘little town’, we looked at them, we marvelled at them, we dreamed …..”




From that time Mariapolis Piero has become a place of formation for all the branches of the Movement.



After 20 years, the little town is composed of: Focolare houses, Formation schools, Centre for African Inculturation, a Youth Centre known as the “The source”, a Spiritual Centre for priests and religious called “Living water”, the “Wim” Mariapolis Centre, a Carpentry, craft Workshops “Virgo” and “Gazelle”, the editorial Office of New City Africa Magazine, the Church “Our Lady of Light”, and a project of a nursery school at the service of the local people is underway.


The experience which comes about is a family experience where members are bound by the gospel-based reciprocal love.

A family opened to everyone, a family where everybody, children and grown-ups, young and old people, priests, religious and families have a role to play. And this is what our “method of evangelization” is all about.

It’s an on-going formation process in real life aiming at building up “mature Christian communities.” (Christifideles laici, 34)



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