Zambia is situated on a vast land of 763,000Sqkm in the southern part of Africa and is home to approximately 13 million people. 80% of the people are Christians and among them 1 million are Roman Catholics. The country consists of many tribes and cultures with 72 languages although four of these are widely spoken.
It is in this context that the Sisters of the Holy Cross first arrived in 1936. Today there are over 30 Zambian Holy Cross Sisters who have taken up the challenge of Evangelization and continuation of the vision and mission of Jesus Christ in Zambia begun by our ‘ancestors’.
From the outset the Sisters of the Holy Cross were mostly involved in the ministries of Education, Health and Development. Today, although the sisters do not own any medical institutions in Zambia, they continue to minister mainly to the poor people in ill equipped Government Hospitals
For over thirty years, the Sisters of the Holy Cross have also been running a Girls’ Secondary School in the Western Province on behalf of the Diocese of Mongu. This School enrols over 600 rural girls who are mostly orphaned or are from one parent families.Some of these girls daily walk a distance of over 22km to and from school. They are aged between 12 and 19 years. We sisters are also involved in the ministry of presence in Government Schools in the local community where we are sent.
We run a Nursery/Primary School in Lusaka. In this school, the sisters offer holistic education and formation to children from 3 years old and upwards. Currently, the oldest pupil in the school is 12 years of age. The school has the challenge of including poor and fee paying children.
The Zambian Province also runs a Home craft Centre for women who are mainly ‘drop outs’ from school. The young women are taught good practices of hygiene, cooking, gardening and sewing. These women leave our Centre with more self confidence and better equipped to be effective mothers and wives. A deliberate topic on human dignity and the rights of women in our society is also taught.
The sisters in Zambia also serve as administrators in different capacities and are involved in different dioceses around Zambia. We are fully involved in the local church through engagement with the children, youth and adults of local parishes.
In these days more attention has been given to serving women and children. In schools we promote and protect the needs of the children – in our secondary school we promote the education of the girl child.
In our Home craft Centre we educate women to be conscious of their dignity and make them aware that their rights are equal as human beings. Through the radio broadcasts, sister airs deliberate programmes aimed at promoting the dignity of children and women.
Our sisters, many of whom rest in graves in Zambia and outside Zambia, laboured tirelessly with minimum resources, to educate children, especially the girl child. Today, Zambia is a middle income earning country, but over 60% of its young population still lives below the poverty line. HIV/AIDS scourge which hit Zambia is now in manageable circles due to conscious investment in education and the introduction of the ARVs which lengthen the life of our infected people.
Zambia is full of potential. The challenges of unemployment still hit our youth. We, Sisters of the Holy Cross in Zambia, continue to minister the Word of God with our people in our different ministries of education, nursing, media, development, administration and many other ways in which we encounter God in people.
Like our founders we as province remain open to reflecting and responding to the Will of God when we are challenged to deepen, modify or take on new ministries as a province.
A detailed view of our Ministries can be found on www.holycrossconventschoolzambia.shutterfly.com