Abana Project - Marymount for Zambia

Conscious of the problems of the needy and marginalized women and children in the world, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary act to address these problems. In 1998, the four RSHM international schools in Europe each adopted and became responsible for the four RSHM missions in Africa. Marymount International School Rome sponsors the missions in Zambia through its Abana Project, thus making our students aware of the RSHM Sisters, their works, and the needs of the children in this country. To help alleviate these problems, students, faculty and families at our School participate in numerous projects, events, and fundraising initiatives in support of the children in Zambia. 

Facts & Figures
Zambia is a country located in southern Africa. It was once a British colony but gained independence on October 24, 1964.

  Zambia        Italy USA
Population (in millions) 17.1 60.6 324.5
Life Expectancy 61.8 83.2 79
Mean Years of Schooling  7 10.2 13.4
Literacy Rate (15 years and up) 83% 98.8% n.a.
Average Annual Income $1,300  $35,299 $54,941

UNDP Human Development Report 2018
The World Bank 2018

The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary run social missions in 14 countries, including four countries in Africa. Marymount International School Rome has been paired with the missions in Zambia and during the last 10 years has raised more than €100,000 as direct aid for these missions.

Abana is the name for Marymount's outreach program to raise funds for the RSHM Missions in Zambia. The name means "children" in Bemba, the language spoken by many people in Zambia. The logo's heart recalls the shape of the country itself in addition to the sacred heart on Marymount's crest. It also stands for caring. The child within the heart represents the fact that the program involves children helping other children and the chalkboard character indicates that our Missions are in support of these special schools and education in general. 

Read about the the Abana Project's Goals here

RSHM Missions

The RSHM Missions run missions in Chivuna, Choma and Lusaka, providing a range of services from education to health care.

Zambia Project - Chivuna Community

Chivuna Health Clinic
Without even the most basic of medical supplies and equipment, this clinic strives to provide basic healthcare for families in Chivuna and its surrounding villages.  The clinic also coordinates outreach programs for the mothers of infants of remote villages in the Chivuna region.

Chivuna Primary School
This school is run by the government, catering to almost 1,000 local children.  The school is often short of teachers.  There are now plans to start a pre-school for the many children who live around the mission.

St. Joseph’s Secondary School for Girls
St. Joseph’s Secondary School for Girls, which is fee-paying, provides secondary education for more than 600 girls from all over Zambia.  These students, all girls, not only undertake responsibility for the maintenance of the school,  they also subsidize the running of the school by cultivating their own crops.

Water Project
A major project was completed in 2008 to provide an adequate supply of clean water to the whole mission.  A second stage now needs to be addressed.  The area needs a sewage system that will ensure hygienic conditions and will recycle waste.

Zambia Project - Choma Community

Street Children Project
The aim of this project is to provide support and shelter for children living on the streets of Choma.  The majority of these children have lost parents to AIDS.  The organization provides the orphans with food and blankets, and it built a shelter to house them.

Arise School
In another area of Choma the local residents are starting a community school for their children who are not able to attend the government primary schools.

St. Mulumba's School For Children Who Are Deaf, Blind, and Disabled
This boarding school provides education for 160 children with specific, and sometimes very severe, physical and mental disabilities.  Support from Marymount enabled the school to build a new dormitory and purchase a state-of-the-art piano for the visually challenged and an industrial-sized cooking vat, which facilitates meals for the children. In 2019 Marymount's fundraising allowed for the stockage of necessary books and supplies.

Kalundu Ka Maria Open Community School
This school was founded with funds raised by Marymount Rome students.  In fact, Kalundu Ka Maria means Marymount in Tonga (the most commonly spoken tribal language in the region).  This is a non-fee paying school for children who live in the townships. In 2018 Marymount's fundraising also allowed for the purchase of a new roof for Kalunda Ka Maria's Grade 8 classroom after a storm had completely destroyed it, allowing children to return to school.

Kara Counseling and Clinic for AIDS Patients
This clinic provides HIV testing and post-test counseling.  This clinic also provides home-based care for AIDS patients, and it runs a small hospice.

Zambia Project - Lusaka Community

Umoyo (Life) Center for Orphans
The RSHM started this center to cater for the needs of orphans who have not yet reached school age.  Support from Marymount has provided fabric for the children's clothing as well as classroom supplies for children and teachers.

Our Lady's Hospice for Terminally Ill HIV Patients
This hospice is run by a group of religious orders, with one sister from the RSHM providing counseling services.  Marymount has supported the monthly salary of one healthcare worker and provided funds for clothing, food, and blankets for infant orphans.