Society Matters | Volume 34 No. 2 | Winter 2024

Volume 34 No. 2 | Winter 2024 4 Society Matters SVD parishes in Zambia providing social outreach to help those in need The Divine Word Missionaries in Zambia are meeting the pressing needs of the villagers in their communities by running a range of innovative programs for youth empowerment, health, education and housing assistance. St Charles Lwanga Parish in Kabwe has grown and matured as a parish since its establishment in 1996, said the parish priest, Fr Silvio Borges SVD. “As children grow up and new faces appear in the parish, there is a need for youth to know their faith and how to handle the challenges of today,” he said. “These challenges demand that our youth become even more rooted in their Catholic faith and are empowered to stand against these pressures.” Thanks to donations, including from the SVD Australia Province through the generosity of our partners in mission, the Zambia Mission was able to establish a program of youth training, with facilitators brought in from the diocese and government institutions, such as the police. “The impact of the subsidy was indeed tremendous and was a service to the whole parish community,” Fr Silvio said. “Because of the subsidy, we were able to hold the seminar and train volunteers to help in the ministry of accompanying the youth. As a result, the whole parish benefited.” Fr Silvio extended his thanks to the SVD Generalate and to the SVD Australia Province and benefactors who have supported the project. In the parish of St Arnold Janssen in Mwandi, the SVD has been helping poor families with their educational needs. Parish priest Fr Roman Janowski SVD said that two years ago, the government of Zambia made a policy that all public schools would have free education, and the mission schools would be half-sponsored. “It was a great help to the parents after many years of paying very high school fees together with their other responsibilities,” he said. “However, the school challenges were only partly solved, because the demands for school uniforms and educational materials still remained a big financial challenge for parents and guardians. “In this situation, this project was very helpful, especially for those families who have many children and their situation is very poor.” Fr Roman said the parish was also able to organise two educational workshops to help the students to become more familiar with their school programs and to become knowledgeable in avoiding AIDS. “Generally, the project was very helpful for our community and the parish,” he said. “Many children and their parents Thanksgiving Mass for the donors - Mwandi Education Parish Youth Empowerment