Greetings from a very dry and hot Zambia! We have entered the dry hot season and will be most ready for the rains to return the end of November.
It is with both a sad and grateful heart I’m writing to you today. My heart is sad, because I need to tell you that I will be leaving Zambia the end of December. However, I’m also filled with great gratitude for the past seven years of living and ministering in this wonderful place that is so graced by God’s presence! I’m also filled with gratitude for each of you who have enabled this ministry to continue and prosper!
The Presentation Sisters have been living and working in Kalomo for 23 years. It has been a painful decision to close this place of mission, but due to the low number of sisters and rising ages of sisters, the decision has been made to close the Kalomo mission. We are hoping another congregation will come and continue the work. I was not planning to leave Zambia at this time, but there are no other sisters to stay with me at this time. One Irish sister is returning to England after 30 years and the younger Zambian sisters are moving to teach and study in other places.
I want to give you an overview of the outreach, development and projects you have enabled me to work with here in Kalomo over the past seven years:
The largest project has been building a Skills Training Center for youth and adults. The center includes a modern computer technology area. Here we teach computer skills and give access to the internet. This has been especially beneficial for school students, those wanting to attend university, teachers, police officers, ministers, business people, and those hoping to obtain a government job. There is a classroom for teaching adult literacy. There are many adults in Zambia who have never had the opportunity to attend school. This gives them that opportunity! They learn how to read and write along with other basic things most of us take for granted. One student recently said that he wants to be able to go into a bank and know what to do! There is also a conference room to hold meetings and various kinds of educational workshops.
We have also sponsored over 500 students from preschool through university to attend school. Education is supposed to be free, but the schools can’t function without charging some fees. If the students don’t pay they get chased from school until the fees can be found. Education is really the only way out of poverty, so most of our efforts have revolved around education, which has always been one of the main mission directions of Presentation Sisters throughout history, beginning with our foundress Nano Nagle.
We have also done the Child Headed Home project, building several homes for young people living alone without any adult to guide them. This project began because of the story of Kenny, Danny and Nipo, the young boys who were living in a small one room mud hut that collapsed in the heavy rains. They were sleeping on the dirt floor at night with one blanket to keep them warm during the cold season. We approached you, our friends, donors and partners with the hope of building homes for children such as these. Your responses were abundant and generous!
We have received at least four containers of Kids Against Hunger food relief for the malnourished, vulnerable and sick. The food that arrived from both South Dakota and Illinois was enough to feed several hundreds of thousands of people. Visitors come to our door everyday looking for rice.
We have built a house for very poor farm workers on the Home Based Care Farm and drilled a well for clean drinking water for all the neighbors around. We have also provided many other necessities for all of our workers, including food and education for their children.
We have given out many loans to help people in various ways, especially to help with small businesses and other family emergencies.
Everyday there are people coming to us with different needs and we have helped when we can. These have included medical emergencies, funerals, farming materials, transportation, girl’s hostel at Mwaata Secondary School, and many other charity needs.
Thank you so very much for your interest, your donations, and especially your prayers throughout the years. All of the development we have been able to do is because of your generosity. A number of our partners were even able to come for a visit and stay with us for a few weeks. It was a pleasure having you here to see this lovely place in person! May God continue to bless you in abundance for your beautiful and caring hearts. Let us all continue to keep the people of Kalomo and all those made poor in our hearts and prayers. God bless you all!
In the spirit of Christ and Nano, Sister Deb Nelson