Swazi Observer covers Feast of Mother Cabrini

On Saturday, Cabrini Ministries celebrated the Feast of Mother Cabrini with Mass, drama, singing, dancing, and lots of food.  The Swazi Observer was on hand to cover the events.  You can click the image below to see the article or read the full text of the article below.

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Saint Francis Cabrini honoured

19 November, 2012 11:55:00   Stories by Joseph Zulu

CABRINI Ministries at St. Phillip’s on Saturday celebrated Francis Xavier Cabrini, a Catholic nun who dedicated her life to helping orphans and immigrants in the late 1800s in America.

The day, also known as ‘Cabrini Feast’ started off with a church service at St. Phillip’s Catholic Church and was followed by plays, dance and song by the community. Cabrini, who died in 1917, is considered a Saint and a section of nuns known as Cabrini Sisters have continued her work throughout the world.

The Italian born Saint travelled to America where she worked extensively to help orphans, immigrants as well as miners.
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She ensured that they had basic healthcare as well as basic education and even went inside the mines to ensure the working conditions for miners were safe and healthy.

In Swaziland, the Cabrini sisters under the Catholic Church have continued the work of Francis Cabrini where thousands of residents around St. Phillip’s have been helped.

Residents were also treated to a slide show of the life of Cabrini and how she struggled to reach thousands of orphans and immigrants who at the time were considered low class citizens.

Although her initial dream was to travel to China and serve communities there, the Pope at the time advised her to travel to America. By the time of her death, she had founded 67 missionary institutions to serve the sick and poor as well as train additional nuns to carry on the work.

Highest survival rate for HIV patients on ART

SISTER Barbara Staley says Cabrini Ministries has the highest survival rate amongst HIV patients who are on the antiretroviral treatment (ART) programme.

She said according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the survival rate was at least 80% but with Cabrini Ministries, it was 90%. She said the rate was based on how many patients died within a year from commencement of the ART programme. Sister Staley said some of the patients died because they arrived late for ART but that the extensive awareness made by Cabrini in the area had made it possible for people to test for HIV.

Cabrini taking care of over 3 000 HIV patients

CABRINI Ministries is taking care of at least 3 000 HIV and AIDS patients, including both children and adults around the St. Phillip’s area.

Sister Barbara Staley, the Director at Cabrini, revealed this during the ‘Cabrini Feast Day’ for residents around the area. She said some of the patients were orphans due to the pandemic and that Cabrini provides for their needs, including education.
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“We want to provide the same care they would get from their parents,” said Staley, adding that the organisation only stopped helping the orphans once they were grown up and able to support themselves.

In most instances, she said some of the children were also provided with school fees at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Noteworthy is that this is similar to the work done by the founder, Francis Cabrini who also assisted orphans, sent them to school and provided free medication.

At St. Phillip’s, Cabrini Ministries provides free medication to its patients and also operates a mobile clinic.

According to Bongani Khumalo, who heads the programme, Cabrini has several outreach activities for residents.

He said they provided mobile medical facilities at Ncandweni, Nkanini, Mbadlane and Madleni.
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“We provide similar health services offered in bigger towns,” said Khumalo. He also said they had partnered with bigger hospitals such that patients who need further treatment were referred to major health facilities.

He said due to the high level of poverty in the area, patients were also provided with transport and got their medical bills paid. Khumalo revealed that Cabrini was funded through ICAP and that they also work in collaboration with the ministry of health.

Year at a Glance

October is always a busy month for us at Cabrini.  School is getting back into session, we often have visitors and it is the time when we transition from one grant cycle to the next.  While this means lots of paperwork and reporting, it also means we have the chance to take a look at the impact we are making in our community.

In the last year Cabrini has:

  • Served over 3,087 unique clients
  • Provide care to 710 Orphans and Vulnerable Children
    • 152 children receive a “total care package” (nutrition, shelter, health, education, legal/protection, psycho-social support)
  • Treated 2,377 clients for HIV and TB related issues
  • Administered 756 HIV tests and follow-up counseling
    • Overall rate of positive tests was around 30% with a distinct upward trend the previous two quarters.
  • Supplied life-saving anti-retroviral drugs to 1,258 people
  • Followed up on 1,258 missed appointments and seen 92.4% of clients return to care
  • Offered clinic care to 32% of Health Care Clients either on their homesteads or in their local community
  • Trained 125 people on sustainable agriculture and food security

 

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As with any organization that works with at-risk populations, the numbers are simply a gateway to understanding the larger impact that occurs in actual people’s lives.  The 1,258 individuals who are receiving intensive HIV treatment are fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, who would be dead but are now alive.  The 152 children receiving comprehensive care are vulnerable individuals who would be alone without intervention.  The 441 receiving academic support are the next generation who are being given a chance to succeed in life.  The 125 reached with agricultural training represent homesteads that will now be able to produce food for their entire families.

Every number has a person behind it and every person has a story of how Cabrini has assisted them.  All of this would not be possible without your support.  If you would like to participate in this life-restoring work, please consider partnering with Cabrini Ministries.