St. Odilia’s School, a part of Chalice’s Kawambwa site, is located in the remote community of Mporokoso, Zambia. Community members must travel to access basic amenities, such as the hospital and retail district. This is a challenge for St. Odilia’s students, because of the 172 students enrolled, almost a quarter of them are blind or partially-sighted. Another 15% of the students have albinism. These children are vulnerable because there is a rare but prevailing traditional ritual in the region that involves harming albino people.
Since it’s too hazardous for the students to rely on walking or public transit, they must be shuttled to any daily activity. It was a profound blessing when generous donors covered the cost of a 30-seater bus for the school! They also covered the cost of insurance, fuel, and tires. As soon as the bus was registered, the Sisters and children had a celebration and blessed it in gratitude!
Previously, the site constantly had to hire a van, which was costly and often unavailable during the rainy season. There were times when staff had to carry critically ill children on their backs to complete the seven kilometer trek to the hospital, because the child might have died waiting for transportation.
Now, staff can safely ferry the students to and from school. The bus has also opened up opportunities for the children to attend activities such as debate tournaments, field trips, and community celebrations. The teachers and social workers are also now able to accomplish their home visits, parent meetings, and goods distributions much more efficiently. The ease of getting to nearby towns has reduced health scares and allowed for more cost-effective supply runs.
On behalf of the Sisters, staff, and children, our sub-site director Sr. Auxillia expresses gratitude: “What a great blessing on us, the visually impaired, and vulnerable. Thanks for your good gesture. May the Good Lord bless you abundantly, today and forever.”