The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart (Cabrini Sisters) have been serving the St. Philips area of the lowveld of Swaziland since 1971, where they came to bring the love of the Heart of Christ to the people. They did this through Catechism, developing healthcare, and providing skills training for adults. By 1996 they considered leaving the area due to increased development and improvement of life circumstances. Then came HIV, and everything changed: people all around were falling ill and dying, leaving their children and families behind. At that point, the sisters realized they had to stay- the need had become so apparent.
It was five years ago that we began operating under the name of Cabrini Ministries, having developed a focus of addressing the problems of HIV and TB. Since then, we have been blessed with the resources and opportunities to expand our programs to better serve the community, thanks to the generous support of donors as well as new grant opportunities.
As an organization, we have received positive recognition through various articles and photos in major newspapers, a TV interview opportunity, and our many colleagues sharing word of our work. Thankfully, these opportunities to spread the name and work of Cabrini Ministries have helped us improve and expand services while widening the net of potential donors, increasing rapport with ongoing supporters, and improving our standing in Swaziland.
Over the past few years, we have been able to progress from a sole reliance on individual donor funding to a more diverse mixture of private donations and grant funding. Additionally, we have become integrated into many of Swaziland’s national strategies and have become partners, working hand in hand with various governmental and nongovernmental organizations and agencies.
In addition to the exciting development we have seen within our relationships with other key players, we have had positive changes happening within the organization as well. Our staff has increased in number to over 40 local community members, with the staff becoming more knowledgeable and skilled within their respective areas of work. Some areas of staff development include accounting, human resources, database maintenance, and training health care paraprofessionals. Both the Child Care and Health Care arms of Cabrini Ministries have increased their capacity to provide for the needs of the area.
On February 5, 2010, we held an all-staff celebration to commemorate our growth over the past five years. Staff members were recognized based on the year they joined the organization, with special acknowledgement of the 26 employees who began working with Cabrini Ministries in 2005 or before.
We would like to publicly thank and congratulate the following employees for five years of dedication and hard work: Bongani Nhleko, Esau Bhembe, Fodo Mbingo, Jabulile Gamedze, Johannes Ngcamphalala, Khisimusi Mamba, Lucia Gamedze, Mathew Mkhaliphi, Mcoshwa Hlandze, Mkhawuleni Nkhabindze, Mkhumbi Shongwe, Nkosingiphile Vilane, Ntombi Vilakati, Ntombizile Simelane, Nxobile Mkhatjwa, Priscilla Mamba, Sanele Dlamini, Pius Siboniseleni Mamba, Sindi Nhleko, Sonnyboy Sikhosane, Thandiwe Mathunjwa, Thokozile Nxumalo, Zodwa Gama, and Zodwa Vilakati.
We will continue our celebration of the 5 Year Anniversary of Cabrini Ministries over the next few months, where you can expect to learn more about the advancements in Child Care and Health Care programming and join us in thanking some of our most committed supporters.
Without you, there is no Cabrini Ministries; thank you for all that you do that allows us to continue our work here. May 2010 be a blessed year for us all!