One of the most urgent problems facing the poor in eastern Zambia right now is a lack of clean, abundant water. The sinking water table has caused an increasingly desperate situation for families who depend on streams and shallow wells for their daily needs.
On a recent Cross Catholic Outreach trip, I had the opportunity to share time with 20 incredibly brave mothers in the diocese’s impoverished Chamilala Valley area, where childbirth is a fearful, often tragic experience.
Recently, Cross Catholic Outreach received a letter that touched my heart. It was written by 12-year-old Chama Mofya, who attends a Catholic school we partner with in the Luanshya area of Zambia, run by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Assisi.
These kids are learning to grow veggies. It’s one of their before/after school activities, along with study time, sports and a snack they get from our ministry partner in Zambia—the Namaacha Program.
Last year, we met a Zambian woman named Christine who had gone from riches to rags because of AIDS. Once the owner of three houses, she sold all her properties in desperation and used the money to pay a medicine man to cure her. In the end, she was left with no money, no friends or family to support her, and a worsening illness.
Some kids will invent almost any excuse to stay home from school. But 10-year-old Bruce Mwansa has a legitimate reason for his imperfect attendance. In fact, no one would blame him if he didn’t show up at all.