Emerging partnership with Swaziland calls on students

By Kelsey Kastrava
January 18, 2011

Numerous Cabrini students study abroad, mostly to the capitals of Europe, and some to Guatemala and Ecuador. This week however, two visitors have reversed the process to come from Africa to help us learn about their history, culture and lives.

Two employees of Cabrini Ministries in Swaziland, Africa left the continent for the first time in their lives to learn from the faculty and students at Cabrini College and more importantly, to teach us.

Sharon Singleton and Simo Mamba came to the college with plans to give us a glimpse of the life the people in Swaziland live. The small African nation is suffering from the AIDS epidemic with 40 percent of its population being infected. Swaziland is, in fact, the most infected country in the world.

As a result of these numbers, many of the children are left orphaned and vulnerable.

Our own Cabrini sisters are working hard to help these children, but what are we as a college of Mother Cabrini herself doing to tend to the needs of our brothers and sisters in Swaziland?

The Loquitur would like to commend the several faculty members and trustees who have not only visited the Cabrini sisters in Swaziland, but have made immense efforts in helping the orphaned and vulnerable children (OVCs.)

With all of the plans made by faculty however, The Loquitur feels it’s time the student population become more knowledgeable about the crisis at hand. Moreover, we as a student body need to take part in the transformation of the OVCs living at Cabrini Ministries hostel in Swaziland.

Education majors could tend to the illiteracy problems of the orphans by creating lesson plans appropriate to the education system used at the mission. Social work majors could perform case studies and ultimately provide childcare services for the children.

Business majors could help devise a strategy to help the funding at Cabrini Ministry. Marketing and communication majors could help document and advertise the dire need for assistance in the country.

To do this, we would have to learn much more about their culture and lives, so different from our own, so that we can apply our necessary skills to play a role in the advancing of the orphaned children.

Singleton and Mamba shared with the campus community during their visit how grateful they are for what the college has already given to Cabrini Ministries. They cannot talk enough about how proud they are to be a part of the peaceful land of Swaziland. Singleton emphasized how it could be a paradise with its wealth in culture and its maintained peace. However, the AIDS epidemic is wiping out its people, leaving the children severally damaged–wearing them down physically, mentally and emotionally.

Cabrini’s mission is universal in all of its institutions across the world. We are called upon to accompany people of all walks of life on their journeys. As the Cabrini Mission Foundation states it, we should have “an active presence in people’s lives and sharing the love of God with all.”

The Loquitur asks the campus community and the student body especially to take a closer look at our college’s emerging partnership in Swaziland and what you can do to change the lives of the orphaned children.

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Kelsey Kastrava

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