Our Links With Zambia - Kaoma

St. Dunstan's is involved in raising funds for the Children Aid 's Orphanage in Kaoma, Zambia. The parish has been supporting the project for the last ten years, which is led in Kaoma by Sister Mary Vianney.

Kaoma District

Kaoma is located in the Western Province of Zambia (see map). It is described as 'the grain basket' of the province, as better soils and rainfall (between 800 and 1000 mm) allow more intensive agricultural production than elsewhere. Kaoma District produces more than 90% of the surplus production of maize, Soya beans and groundnuts of the province. Maize is produced on 60% of the cultivated area. Total maize production has increased 50-fold over the past 30 years, associated with greater use of fertiliser, for which credit has been available. Maize yields average 2 t/ha. The average farm size of the 12000 farmers is 2.1 ha. Cassava (on 27% of the cultivated area), sorghum and millet (each 5%) are relatively more important in the western, sandy part of Kaoma (DoA, 1933a).About 60% of the rural population live within 15 km of the four main roads, where the population density varies between 10 and 50 persons/km (CBS, 1990).

Children's Aids Orphanage

In 1978 during the Zimbabwean war of independence an Irish Presentation Sister was forced to leave that country where she had worked as a nurse for many years. She was threatened with imprisonment by the then Rhodesian government. But Zimbabwe's loss was Zambia's gain when Sr. Mary, Molly, Vianney Moloney ( the Sister with the three names!) joined the community in Kaoma.

The pandemic of the Aids virus which has cost the lives of thousands of Zambians over the past years has left over 1,000,000 orphans in its wake. In response to this need Sr. Mary and her community now cares for 134 orphans. 'Boy's Town' has 29 young boys in its care at the moment. Milk is freely supplied to many families. To cater for the educational needs of these and other local children a Community School has been built. A farm, piggery, butchery and rental property are some of the ways all these ministries are sustained.

Ines, seen here making jam, ministers in a small rural community Kabanga about 40 km from Kaoma. Thanks to Irish Aid and other contributions it now has its own clinic. Angela, who taught for many years in Bandon, Co. Cork in Ireland, is teaching at the local high school and is tireless in her dedication to the students both in and out of school hours. Clementina, the first Zambian Presentation Sister, works in the local hospital and oversees the Home Based Care programme for those suffering from HIV/Aids.

Irene, the fifth member of the community, teaches in the local school and is preparing for further education in Kenya.