A Healthy Self-Sustaining Community for
Children in Zimbabwe
Last December, Sister Kathi Barbee, MM was the guest of honor at the graduation ceremony at Mavambo, an organization that she founded in 2001 in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Mavambo’s mission is to “empower children to develop their maximum potential to become socially adjusted, self-sustaining, healthy responsible citizens.” A large percentage of children in Zimbabwe are orphans, and many others live in poverty such that the issue is one of survival rather than of success. But thanks to Mavambo, thousands of children have completed a 12-year course of education successfully.
Among the services Mavambo provides are: education assistance and literacy programs; nutrition education and support; testing and counselling for HIV; psycho-social support; health care; child protection services, and economic support and counseling for caregivers of the children. This not only makes better lives possible for the children, but helps build a future for this developing country. At the ceremony, Sister Kathi gave a speech of appreciation and presented the diplomas. She rejoiced in meeting some of the first members of her staff that are still with the project. She visited the community library that was named after her, planted trees at the site, and had a most enjoyable day.
Sister Kathi entered the Maryknoll Sisters in 1981 and soon thereafter went to Kenya for her first overseas mission, working with women and developing small Christian communities. She first served in Zimbabwe as a teacher from 1989-1997. After earning her Master’s Degree in Teaching, she returned to Zimbabwe from 1999-2013, where she taught HIV and AIDS education and started the Mavambo Orphan Care center. Since 2016, her mission has been to provide aid to immigrants in need along the Texas-Mexico border.
Papas a la Huancaina (Peru)
This potato salad is a favorite Peruvian dish served on all fiesta occasions. It was submitted by Sister Ruth Marie Wohl, MM. who served for many years in South America, first in Bolivia and then in Peru.
- 10 medium potatoes
- 10 large ripe olives
- 5 sliced hard boiled eggs
- 10 lettuce leaves
- 2 cups fresh cheese
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 hot yellow Peruvian pepper, remove seeds
- 3/4 cup or 1 can evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 a sleeve unsalted saltine crackers
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook potatoes in boiling water to which a bit of salt has been added. Cool and peel potatoes.
To make the sauce, blend together the cheese, salt, black pepper and mix well. Pour in oil, a little at a time as for mayonnaise. Add the evaporated milk, then the crackers slowly, blend well. Lastly, add the onions and peppers.
To serve, arrange lettuce leaves on a platter and arrange peeled potatoes on them. Cover the potatoes with the sauce and garnish with the sliced hard-boiled eggs and olives.
Serve cold. Serves 8.
God of all benevolence, our benefactors have
a special love for you and cheerfully give to
the poor. Their gifts enable us to accompany
and help empower the poor to make your
love visible. Shower them with blessings of
peace, joy, love and good health. May our
deep thanks and gratitude embrace their
kind and generous hearts always.
—Sister Teresita Perez, MM
“God expects from us grateful hearts in prayers of adoration, praise and thanksgiving and all that the world asks of us is prayers for them in their needs. In our life here, gratitude can be expressed in a thousand ways, but chiefly apart from prayer, in expressions by word and kind deeds the gratitude we owe to one another in community.”
—Mother Mary Joseph, 1929