Near a Comboni Mission in Lunzu, Malawi, there is a nursing school. Every day, Father Jean-Marie Munketalingi, mccj, would watch as students made their daily five-kilometer journey to school.
This was a problem. A majority of the students are girls, and they often walk through dangerous neighborhoods to get to school.
Recognizing the need for a safe place to sleep and study, the Comboni Missionaries of Malawi, in partnership with the local community, devised a plan to build a hostel.
“We planned to help our youth to get accommodation closer to their school. We are building hostels that are safe and affordable, closer to their school. By providing help to these youth, we are sure that they will be there to serve people of Malawi in different places,” said Father Jean-Marie.
The plan was made but the funds scarce. That’s when Father Jean Marie reached out to his confreres in the United States. Through the kindness of donors to the North
American Province and other Comboni communities, Father Jean-Marie’s vision to build a girls hostel has come to fruition. The girls’ hostel was completed in early 2019 and will open soon.
The nursing school can accommodate 100 boarding students and 150 day scholars. The day scholars now have an option to avoid some of their dangerous commute. The nursing school might not be a Comboni school, but helping its students is at the heart of the Comboni Mission.
In Malawi, as in the rest of the world, “the youth are our future hope,” says Father Jean-Marie. His ministry is focused on youth outreach and doing all he can to ensure the youth of Malawi have everything they need for a successful future.
That’s one reason building the girls hostel was so important to Father Jean-Marie. The future of medical care is in the hands of these young people. After completing their education, the students will be able return to their communities and care for the sick.
“Many sub-Saharan countries are affected by HIV; Malawi is not an exception. Many people have lost their lives to this deadly disease. The responsibility of preparing for future nurses and doctors is in the hands of every Malawian,” Father Jean-Marie said. “Looking at the cost of living in Malawi, it has become a burden to many families who are doing their best to send their youth to nursing school. We Comboni Missionaries, together with the local community, would love to help these youth.”