THANK YOU ST. THOMAS MORE!!!!!!!
When I left my ministry as Youth Formation Director at St. Thomas More parish in Brookings, SD...the parish gifted me with a donation of several thousand dollars to help the people of Zambia. Right now the greatest need for the people is food. Everyday people tell us that they have nothing to eat, so a portion of the STM donation has been used to purchase maize (corn) seed and fertilizer for some of the local farmers in Kalomo, Zambia. The maize seed is ground into mealy-meal (flour) and from this they make nshima, which is the staple food of the Zambian people.
This is part of a sustainable farming project that was begun to help local farmers produce enough food to meet their needs. This group of farmers in a a small village near Kalomo have had poor crops the last two years because of drought the first year and floods the second year of the program. However, they still returned 100% of the seed they owed back to the project to keep the program going. I was saddened to discover that even though they returned their full share...there was no seed or fertilizer available for them. They had plowed their fields by hand and were waiting with much hope that some how they would get seed to plant. And thanks to the generous people of St. Thomas More the people of this small African village have planted their crops! The people were overjoyed when we went to them and announced that we brought seed and fertilizer for them.
All of the farmers benefiting from this donation of maize seed are living with aids. They are part of a support group that gathers regularly with Home Based Care workers. They support each other in their illness and in life survival skills. Sr. Teresa Malloy, PBVM is a nurse and gathers with several support groups each week to consult with them about their health and survival needs. I've been going with Sr. Teresa to meet with the support groups around Kalomo for several weeks.
A large portion of the STM donation will go to the village of Kaoma to build a mill for grinding maize seed. This will create a new business in the community and the people can grind their maize seed locally.