October 2019 was my last trip to Zambia. At that time I finalized two projects to help the Presentation Sisters be self-sustaining as they continue our ministry with the poor in Kaoma. Nano Farm has about 11 fishponds and a hatchery. This year we added four large cement tanks at Nano Farm and a fifth house on the Nagle Center property.
I left our Kaoma projects in the hands of Sister Lucy, a Presentation Sister from India. We continue to work together via Zoom and WhatsApp.
Namatondo, her three daughters and Sister Lucy are pictured here. As you can see, the Zambians have no smiles. Notice that Namatondo has no shoes. She probably has none. Six months ago, their one room house burned to the ground. A short time later Namatondo’s husband died, leaving her to support the family. She works in town, cleaning and doing laundry for wealthier families, earning about $1 a day. They live in a place called The Mothers’ Shelter, where women used to stay prior to giving birth. It is not a nice place to live but it is rent-free. With money from donors, a new house was built for them.
Last year Febby, center, graduated as a clinical officer, equivalent to a PA. She is now enrolled in medical school. To be a doctor has been her goal since she was in high school. We are most grateful to the family sponsoring her.
These cement fish tanks are covered with plastic to keep the birds and other wild-life from getting into the ponds. They are heated in colder weather so the fish will continue breeding past the regular season. The ponds are divided into smaller sections for the newly hatched fish until they are large enough to be put into the large ponds.
This is the newest of five houses built at Nagle Center, located on the edge of the business district. Homes and office spaces are in great demand. Since the sewing project closed, people are now living in four of the rooms previously used as small offices and storerooms. The large sewing room has been remodeled to provide a large office for an NGO. One of the houses is being used as office space for another NGO.
All of these changes generate income so the sisters can continue their ministry with the poor in Kaoma and the surrounding areas. With COVID and the depreciation of Zambia’s currency, prices are high and the poor become poorer.
by Sister Virginia McCall