Zambia: Kabwe, Kapiri, Lusaka
The mission in Zambia is 37 years old. Sisters serve the Zambian Church through spreading the Good News about Christ, witnessing, prayer, sacrifice, and work for the poor. They have:
- Vocational schools for girls
- "The House of Divine Providence" for elderly and abandoned
- help in parish and evangelization
- prepare native catechists to teach religion
- providing education opportunities for poor children through "adoption" program; it helps those who need the most
In 2003, we had nine sisters from Zambia and Kenya going through their formation here. Sister mistress tries to direct each sister to more profound relationship with Christ and inflame in their hearts the charisma of congregation. Sisters participate actively in parish prayer groups. The novice lasts two years. After they finish, sisters do their first vows and join in fulfilling of congregation's mission. Sisters from Kenya usually go back to their country.
The Home Craft School
Girls and young married women learn here sowing, cooking, maintenance of the house, taking care of children, arranging flowers, hygiene, religion, and English. Sisters and lay people are the teachers. Everybody can attend the school despite their religion. Currently, we have 36 women: 13 of them Catholics, the rest represent 14 various religions. After finishing, they receive diplomas which help them to find a job in sowing business, restaurants, and houses receiving guests. They can also open their own small businesses.
It's a small city located about 60 km from Kabwe. There is more and more works started by congregation that serves people living in that area. Just like in Kabwe, there is also School of Home Craft. Besides that, we also have kindergarten educating more than 200 children from various religions. Children stay here from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.; each one brings something to eat from home.
In 2001, sisters started running grade school. There are 1st and 2nd grades consisting of 150 children. Every year, the number increases. That's why sisters plan to build a school.
Opening a grade school in the poorest side of Kapiri Mposhi is a great joy for all citizens including sisters. Over 300 children go there to study. One of the sisters supervises the school and building of new classrooms.
Through directing parish groups, sisters join the life of parish.
In the poor side of the capital city, the community youngest historically exists from 1994.
The House of Divine Providence is a priority for sisters; here 20 elderly and 13 orphans or homeless children live. They have beautiful garden, grotto of Blessed Mother, chapel, and open heart of sisters to their disposal.
One of the sisters is a teacher in grade school for poor children; she is also in charge of it. At first, the instruction took place under the skies, three walls, no roof, and no desks. Everyday, sister brought with her everything she needed that day to teach. This is how it worked: before sisters came home from mass, a group of boys waited to help sister. The same happen when they were going back home. Boys were scheduling themselves to help; often, they are boys overgrown, but grateful for a chance to study.
Sisters plan to organize a point of educating poor children in their own garden, "under the tree"; hopefully, later the people who see the same need for education will help with building a school. In the suburbs of Chawama, there are many children who don't go to school. Sisters visit the sick and elderly in their homes. They bring Holy Communion, support, and hope to those people; they do all of that with love and joy.
From the letter of Sr. Judyta to friends of the mission
May God bless you all who everyday pray for us. It would be hard to do anything without that prayer. May God bless also those who offer financial support. Both kinds of support are equally needed to ease up the pain of a desperate person in whom Christ suffers.
What is happening down here? Rainy season is almost over. In our place, Chawama, we already had 17 cases of cholera. In the House of Divine Providence, we have 20 older people and about 30 elderly from outside. It's pointless to talk about God to a person who is frustrated to the limit; first, we need to meet their physical needs, so they would want to listen about God. Though not everybody is a Christian, we try to love everybody the same. Christ constantly dies and suffers in our neighbors sick with AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
We have a chicken farm to cover part of expanses for helping the elderly. Since we don't have any donations that we can constantly count on, we had to think of different ways.
Today, I'm taking our new resident, Abraham, to hospital. When he came, he was filthy, smelly, and had a huge wound on his foot; he had this wound for past two years. The wound was deep and bandaged with dirty rags. After a warm bath and soaking the foot with wound, Abraham felt like a baby. I will never forget his grateful smile. He was smiling as a baby would upon seeing its mother.
sr. Judyta Bożek