Malawi Carmel

By Sr. Vilma Juaneza, cm

Malawi is a small country in Africa. The official language is English, but Chichewa is the real language of the people. It is a very poor country with a colonial economy. A great percentage of its economic income is concentrated in Lilongwe, the capital, a very large and beautiful city with splendid gardens, tall buildings, well-paved roads and highways and a good airport. However, a few kilometers away, the specter of poverty greets the eyes: famished faces, people in tattered clothing, inhuman dwellings AIDS, cholera, malaria and malnutrition.

Mtengo Wa Nthenga

Two communities are situated close to these suffering people. Mtengo Wa Nthenga was founded in 1979. Here, six Carmelite Sisters – three Spaniards, one Filipino and an Indian – do their utmost for the inhabitants. To this mission center hundreds of patients flock daily. The poorest are the ones who usually become victims of all these epidemics.

Hunger in Kapiri

One hour ride from this community, towards the west, is Kapiri where we settled in 1974. Five sisters compose the community; three Spaniards, one Filipino and an African. Hunger gets worse because of frequent droughts, Health service, however, is well maintained in Kapiri. The dispensary caters for up to 350 people daily. In both communities the sisters work intensely to save lives by giving treatment nourishment and moral support.

Forming Religious Sisters

Today young Malawi women are joining the Carmelite Community to dedicate their whole lives. There is hope in Malawi.