Salesian Sisters in Zambia Partner with UK Entity to Furnish Lusaka-based “City of Hope”

Credit: Salesian Missions

Members of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), also known as the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco, have furnished their educational institution in Zambia, City of Hope, in partnership with Reuse Network (IRN), a UK-based entity that specializes in tackling “material poverty, isolation and inequality”.

City of Hope was established “to educate and develop the full potential of the lives of poorest young people, especially the orphans and vulnerable children, who are the most disadvantaged, by promoting their dignity and rights through education and skills training, in consideration of the gender equality, health awareness, their social integration, as a positive framework in the fight against poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.”

A Tuesday, September 20 report by Mission Newswire, the Salesian Missions official news service, indicates that the Lusaka-based institution of learning “received a donation of furniture from IRN which matches surplus items with organizations and people who need them.”

In the report, officials of Salesian Missions, the U.S.-based development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), say that the donated furniture “will be used to outfit the current school and other outbuildings where educational opportunities are provided to the local community.”

The Director of Salesian Missions expresses gratitude for the donation; he is quoted as saying that the donation will “allow Salesian students to be educated in an environment conducive to learning.”


“Having school furniture provides a structured environment and enables students to sit comfortably and focus,” Fr. Gus Baek is quoted as saying in the September 20 report.

The report indicates that “The City of Hope’s Open Community School serves those suffering from malnutrition, lack of education and family deprivation” and that “basic education is offered to youth between the ages of 9-17.”

Officials of Salesian Missions add, “Primary school classes make up the first four years, after which students take the government’s grade seven examinations. Most City of Hope students do not have the opportunity to attend other schools because of a lack of financial means.”

The report indicates that the Lusaka-based FMA education institution also “offers a shelter that is home to at-risk girls referred through the social welfare system, the police, and other institutions and organizations. Many have been orphaned and have nowhere else to go.”

“There are currently 36 girls who live at the shelter who are between the ages of 7-22,” SDB officials say, and add, “The shelter is not an orphanage but rather a safe place for girls to stay while they gain an education and make the transition either to living with other family or to a more independent life.”

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To date, SDB officials say that “more than 150 girls have received services through the City of Hope’s shelter.”

On poverty rate, the Salesian Missions leadership reports that Zambia has 64 percent of her total population living below the poverty line with the rate rising to 80 percent for those living in rural areas.

Over the past three decades, Salesian Missions officials say, “incomes in Zambia have fallen steadily, and people do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as shelter, nutritious food and medical care.”

HIV/AIDS epidemic has also taken a devastating toll on Zambia’s children, the report indicates. 

“There are 1.2 million children classified as orphaned and vulnerable by UNICEF, and these children struggle to find education, basic services and hope for their future,” Salesian Missions officials say in the September 20 report.


Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.