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Sr. Immaculatas Dream Begins

by Marsha Winsryg

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Sr. Immaculata, founder of the Mpekala Project which trains rural Zambian women in the growing and economic uses of sisal, has documented the initial phase of the planting some sisal fields.

She has photographed the new fields and the women are planning to create more fields when the rains come.

Meanwhile, as the first crops grow, the women will learn how to make various items, like baskets, bags and floor mats, from a skilled artisan.

Because sisal needs very little rain to grow it will be a dependable source of material for this purpose and can bring much needed income into these outlying areas and sustain the women and their families.

sr I lg

 Sister Immaculata, Livingstone, Zambia

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Melanie DeMore Concert for Zambian Disabled=

Thursday, August – Zambia Is Us Concert

Preconcert party – 4:30 to 5:30 in the Highlands in East Chop

Silent Auction with handmade quilts – a collaboration of Zambian and Island women- 6pm

Opening act Suesan Stovall at 7:30pm

Featuring  Melanie DeMore and the Instantaneous Community Choir at 8pm

Tickets $25 at Island Entertainment, Alley’s General Store and Above Ground Records and online through TicketsMV (+party $50)

Come and see one of a kind African auction items, the soulful and groovy songstylist Suesan Stovall and the awesome inspiration on Melanie DeMore, and help Zambian children at the same time! Let music and art help us wage peace together.

For information call Marsha at 508 693 4059.

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Zambian women working for Zambian women and children

Franciscan Sisters Dedicate to Education, Healing and Empowerment

The African Artists Community Development Project, my small non-profit, has been sending money to the Mama Bakhita Center for Disabled Children for nine years and I have visited them four times. Each time I come away with a sense of what it means to serve your community as a way of life.

“A Franciscan Sister is committed to evangelising God’s people through education,healing and empowering. She serves the vulnerable, aware especially of the needs of women and girls.”

The Sisters I have met through the years, beginning with the late and beloved Sister Michael Lungu, have inspired me with their calm and tenacious devotion to the neediest people. At the Mama Bakhita Center live four of these women. Sister Agnes is the head and oversees the operation of the Center, with it’s school and theraputic programs. Sister Francesca is a trained physiotherapist and works with the children there. Sister Gwendolyn spends each day at the AIDS clinic run by the larger group, the Little Sisters of Saint Francis. And Sister Bernadette keeps the books for them.

Other Sisters in the same area run a day care center, a school lunch program for the highschool, a sex workers support group that assists with vocational training  and medical attention for those who want it. These are Zambian women, not missionaries from another country, who quietly work to support their world.

So we work to support them.

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Saving Jack Mwanapapa

When I returned from Zambia in the beginning of February I received a message from Sydney Mwamba that his home village of Jack Mwanapapa had been partially destroyed when the Nasanzu river flooded. No lives were lost, but gone were three houses, livestock, farm equipment and a year’s worth of crops.

First an earthquake in Haiti, next in Chile, and now more hardship and loss in a forgotten little corner of Zambia.

Not knowing what else to do, I sent out an email to everyone I knew asking for $10, and in one week’s time, I am able to send $1000 dollars to Bugner Chanda, one of the tradesmen in the village who goes into town regularly and can pick up the money at the Livingstone Western Union. Thanks to so many kind people who took the time to put a $10 dollar check in the mail. I DO believe, I DO believe in fairies and angels and kind people.

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