HELP US MAKE A DREAM COME TRUE FOR AFRICAN CHILDREN IN NEED
Zambia’s first Cardinal, His Eminence Medardo Mazombwe, had a dream before his death in 2013: to build an agricultural training center where disadvantaged young people would be prepared for adulthood and learn the skills necessary for rural agricultural activities, thereby avoiding the many problems accompanying urban migration. For the past number of years the St. Peter Claver Society, with your help, has been working to make that dream come true. We are committed to helping build the Cardinal Mazombwe Life Skills and Agricultural Training Centre with two classrooms, a dormitory for boys and one for girls, and a teacher’s house, along with hiring instructors and developing hands-on training opportunities. SPCS has partnered with the Livingstone Diocese’s Development and Livelihoods Department, managed by CARITAS, which has experience in developing similar schools. With the support of a local committee in Makunka parish, construction has started on a 59-acre property donated by the parish.
Much of this ambitious project is being financed by funds reserved from our initial attempt to build the center in the Lusaka Diocese, but the escalating costs of construction have still left us short of the projected costs. All funds raised this year will be devoted to closing the gap.
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND GOD BLESS YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY.
DONATIONS MAY BE MAILED TO ST JOHN THE BELOVED CATHOLIC CHURCH,
6420 LINWAY TERRACE
McLean, VA 22101
When St. Anthony Children’s Village was established in May 2003, the majority of the children were HIV infected, their mothers having died from AIDS. However, with the availability of ARVs (anti-retroviral drugs) for adults and children, more mothers are able to live and care for their children. Currently, St. Anthony’s has increased the number of vulnerable children it welcomes to include those who have been abandoned by their families, or whose mothers are incapable of caring for them, and especially those with special needs. St. Anthony’s provides both physical and emotional support to these children in a loving and caring community. As needed, the kids receive physiotherapy from a qualified physiotherapist. Caregivers continue with the exercises. The St. Peter Claver Society, which has supported St. Anthony’s since 2004, raised the necessary funds to purchase the physiotherapy equipment.
Siblings, James and Chikondi, are not orphans, but their extremely poor parents locked the children in a house without food. When James and Chikondi arrived at St. Anthony Children’s Village, they were severely malnourished; Chikonddi could not walk at all, and James was unable to walk straight. With physiotherapy and proper nutrition, they can now walk and are able to go to school. Donations are especially needed to deal with the impact of the pandemic.
ST. PETER CLAVER SOCIETY Supporting African Orphans 2020 See’s Candy Sale
Treat yourself to the yummiest candy on earth, AND at the same time help to change the life of an African child for the better! The St. Peter Claver Society (SPCS) was formed in 2004 in response to the AIDS crisis in Africa, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of parents of young children. Over the past 16 years the SPCS has made it possible for many of these orphans to receive antiretroviral treatment and attend preschool and secondary school, with some going on to college or learning technical skills. A committee of dedicated parishioners from St. John the Beloved Catholic Church in McLean, Virginia, has worked to carryout its mission to assist orphans of AIDS, mainly in Zambia. The proceeds from our fundraisers go to providing shelter, nutrition, health care and education to children and youths with special needs at projects managed by Catholic institutions. About 20% of Zambian children under 17 years old are orphans and many others live in abject poverty. (For further information, go to www.saintpeterclaversociety.org or to St. Peter Claver Society@spcsstjohnthebeloved on Facebook.) Every December, the SPCS has raised money by selling See’s candies after weekend masses at St. John’s; however, given the current COVID-19 restrictions, this year the we will be selling See’s candies online. To help break the cycle of poverty, please shop for your Christmas gifts online by CLICKING HERE Orders will be shipped after 16 November and can be made up until 4 December. Get free shipping within the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii) on orders over $65.00. Over the past 16 years, we have seen many destitute young people’s lives changed for the better and with your support the St. Peter Claver Society will continue to advance its mission of improving the lives of African orphans. We hope we can count on your support. Here’s to acheiving sweet success!
In late May, 2020, Sister Lucia, St. Anthony Children’s Village Administrator, reached out to the SPCS with an urgent request for $3000 to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak in Zambia. To expedite the aid, SPCS has sent the $3000 from funds on hand to cover the rising costs of diapers, detergent, face masks, sanitizers, cleaning materials and food stuffs.
Please help us replenish those much-needed funds. In addition, SPCS is committed to sending St. Anthony’s $10,000 by the end of July, our annual stipend.
Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Tax deductible donations can be made through Faith Direct, online at saintpeterclaversociety.org or by mailing checks payable to St. John’s with SPCS on the memo line to:
Who was Cardinal Mazombwe? He was Zambia’s first Cardinal who had a lifelong devotion to promoting education. In fact, during his 53 years as a priest, he established many universities, nursing schools, hospitals and education centers.
After observing the alarming number of orphans of AIDS in Zambia, the cardinal obtained 200 acres of land near a hospital and nursing school he had founded. His aim was to interest orphans and very poor young people to live at the farm and raise crops and livestock for their own consumption and to earn money to put themselves through school. Since 2002, this enterprise has been very successful in helping almost 200 young adults graduate as teachers, nurses, priests and more efficient farmers who are now self-sufficient and able to help their siblings. Cardinal Mazombwe wanted to stem the flow of orphans to the cities where they are generally unemployed, and too often resort to crime and prostitution, in order to survive.
The St. Peter Claver Society‘s July 8-9 second collections will pay for tuition for the following four young adults, who live at the Cardinal Mazombwe Agricultural and Life Skills Centre in Zambia. They need $4,500 to help them complete their second year of studies.
ALICK ZIMBA, 22, who is taking a three year course at the Chongwe School of Education. Alick reports: I have loved the teaching profession since I was a small boy and I really have been inspired by friends who have done teaching. My future plan is to look after my two siblings who are still at school, I would love to give them the best I can.
THOMAS NJOLE,20, who is studying nursing at St. Luke’s School of Nursing. Thomas notes: I chose nursing because of my desire is to serve people lives. My future plans are to educate my young sisters and brothers and also to help other vulnerable children.
JONATHAN ZULU, 24, who is taking a three year course in plumbing and sheet metal at the Ukwim Trade Institute. Jonathan reports: I have been interested in this course since grade nine. My uncle used to take me with him to his workplace so I observed everything he did. My desire is to get more knowledge. My plan is to build a house for my parents and to support my three siblings all through their education.
REGINA CHULA, 19, who is enrolled in a seven year course in medicine and surgery at the University of Zambia. According to Regina: I chose this course because I am passionate about saving people lives. My plans for the future are to reduce poverty levels in my area by helping Vulnerable Children like me continue their education by providing scholarships.
For the first time, the St. Peter Claver Society annual Mother’s Day sales will be selling coffee imported from Zambia which is freshly roasted locally by Beanetics Coffee Roasters in Annandale. In addition, SPCS will be offering coffee/ travel mugs with the design depicted above for sale after Masses on the weekends of April 30, May 6-7 and May 13-14. Two preteen boys created the design and wording which nicely captures both empathy for orphans and gratitude toward one’s mother.
The Coffee sells for $12, ceramic and travel mugs for $10 each, and at a special price: both Coffee + Mug for $20. All profits go toward supporting orphans and children in need at our three projects in Zambia: St. Anthony’s Children’s Village, the Mulele Mwana breakfast and lunch program; and the Cardinal Mazombwe Agricultural and Life Skills Centre.
Our newest project, the Cardinal Mazombwe Agricultural and Life Skills Centre, allows about 40 orphans from 10 to 21 years old to grow their own crops. Cardinal Mazombwe was the inspiration for this farm.
His Eminance Cardinal Medardo Mazombwe (1931-2013)
Medardo Mazombwe spent his 53 years of priesthood serving the Church and the poor as a teacher at the primary and secondary school levels. He became a great promoter of education and health studies as a means of reducing poverty. He created several schools and universities, including the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in 1984. He also helped the Daughters of the Immaculate Mary build the Catholic University in Lusaka and the National Catholic University on Zambia’s Copperbelt.
As Archbishop of Lusaka between 1996 and 2006, Mazombwe established several health and medical education projects in rural areas, including a Mission Hospital and Nursing School in the area’s Mpanshya Chiefdom. Because of the many orphans of AIDS in that area, he negotiated with Chief Mpanshya for 200 acres of prime land near the hospital and nursing school to be used for a “settlement” to house and care for the many, and ever growing number of HIV orphans, as well as very many needy youths between the ages of 10 to 23 years. The orphans lived at the settlement and grew vegetables and maize to eat and sell in order to earn money to put themselves through school. A matron lived at the farm to care for the young residents, while the nearest Catholic parish provided staff to supervise the work. The Mpanshya Farm was born!
In 2014, Archbishop Mpundu of Lusaka and the Zambia Orphans Aid (ZOA) renamed the facility the “Cardinal Mazombwe Agricultural and Life Skills Centre.” The Center had already fulfilled Cardinal Mazombwe’s objective by empowering the young orphans through education to become self sufficient and prosper. Since the Center’s creation, over 150 orphans from the farm moved on to become teachers, priests, nurses, and secretaries; and others have developed skills to improve the farm’s productivity.
Our St. Peter Claver Society (SPCS) took on the farm as a charity project in 2014, initially building an extension of the farm’s pigsty, and providing numerous piglets. SPCS also improved the children’s living conditions by paying for much needed windows, doors and beds. In 2016, SPCS began providing education grants to worthy students for their post high school educations. The SPCS’ recent July 10th special second collection at St. John’s brought in enough money to support four youths for their first year of college. In Zambia, it is estimated that a college graduate is generally able to support five to six siblings and grandparents.
Before he died, the Cardinal imparted to SPCS co-founder Shimwaayi Muntemba that he wanted to build an agricultural training center on this vast farm. He envisioned a training center that would prepare young people for rural agricultural activities, thereby avoiding urban unemployment.
In memory of our late SPCS colleague, Jay LaMonica, who had visited the farm and was one of its strongest proponents, the SPCS is designating all donations made in Jay’s honor toward the building of the training center of Cardinal Mazombwe’s dream.
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Jay LaMonica a big supporter of the St. Peter Claver Society. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jay and his family.
Quote from The Salesians of Don Bosco in West Africa have described him as “a great sheltering tree has fallen”. Many children and care givers who met him here would agree with that.