I want to tell you that …, by Agnieszka Liberacka


Agnieszka 04BAgnes, as usually known at Home of Hope, spent some months at the Centre but went back to Poland just after the New Year. She is sending touching words about her experience with the street children of Lusaka. We wish her to enjoy her new life back home hoping to see her again among us, here in her second home…of hope.
From Agnes:
Kitek is gazing suspiciously all the time, as if with disbelief – she’s back. He’s sniffing, observing, recognizing. He’s spending all his time sitting on a suitcase abandoned in the middle of the room, in case of another sudden departure into the unknown.
My Zambian life came to an end. One hundred and fifty days of incredible wandering – with people, with culture, with my own head – all of it over once I got on the board of a plane. It was my second encounter with Home of Hope. I went back there after a year out of longing and out of conviction that this is the way it is supposed to be. I roamed with them regardless of my mood. I roamed my new world with curiosity, fear, anger and fascination. I learnt a lot even though I’d gone to teach there.
It was a wise encounter. I didn’t live a sheltered life. I lived next to, close, within reach. This astonishment and irritation of mine. Meeting another culture, colour, and other people – always a challenge for them and for you… I didn’t hide under a blanket of romantic Africa-in-the-sunset illusions. I saw a lot, heard a lot, experienced a lot. I came up against my own wall along the way, right next to my head… It’s a price and gain at the same time. I found balance between something beautiful, ephemeral, good and something dirty, pissed-on and bad. I experienced openness, love, care and unconditional being.
Quotidian life, built of ordinary getting-ups and ordinary falling-asleeps. The stories of children, of the street… this wandering never seemed to end. All I had to do was wait, and sit; a man and man meet.
But everything times two. This adventure is like that – two-sided.
I experienced being the other one, the one from the West or the East? Never mind, a stranger. Being not at home, not in my right place, being only an unintelligible White. I experienced what it’s like when everyone wants a bit of you and you’re falling apart into small pieces, only making sure that the head is where it should be. You’re looking for legs and arms – check, shaking a bit but they are still there. You’re making sure once again – yep, they are there. I was looking for my own boundaries, whether they weren’t full of holes, whether, by chance, they didn’t need mending… where was this crack which fear and sadness were leaking through?
But you keep on wandering, as the inner compass points at your direction and goal. It makes sense, this wandering, this step-taking, this building……
What’s good and what’s bad always forms us, only if we want to give it a chance.
Agnieszka Liberacka
Final note from the author:
Those were good 150 days. I thank the people who took me in, my White Fathers for faith and the joy of shared lives. The boys for the fun of passing time together. I thank Jacek for being, for standing by and for constant help in unravelling the tangle of my own misunderstandings and questions. I thank the people who met me halfway through this little journey and struggle of mine. 

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Interview with Marina Amalia Zuccala

Interview with Marina Amalia Zuccala


Marina Zuccala 06Marina Amalia Zuccala is related to our confrere Claudio Zuccala. She is the daughter of his cousin. She was thinking already to come to Africa last year but did not know where to go. She took time to identify which kind of journey she wanted to do and, by chance, met Father Claudio who spoke to her about Zambia and Malawi. Having little money but plenty of time, she wanted to make good use of it. Travelling just for pleasure was not her concern. How to be useful? Can she be helpful? Which competence does she needs? All those questions were in her mind. Finally, she overcame her doubts and confidently came to Zambia.
Her few weeks experience in the Home of Hope project in Lusaka shown her that what really matter is goodwill and friendliness. Her discovery is quite simple; street boys are essentially boys like any other boys in the world. They like to play and learn.
Marina spent only few weeks with the street boys of Lusaka and her life has already changed for the better. She wanted to give something of herself and ended up gaining most. “Many people of my age, she said, are looking for holidays in nice tourist resorts but I want to discover what life is really all about behind the usual cliché of national parks and poverty as portrayed in Western media. I have discovered that I am warmly welcome as a foreigner, which is not the case in my country in Italy where racism is prevalent. It is not easy to describe it but I feel that I am already a new person. Simply, I realise that, as human beings, we are all the same either in Europe or in Africa. I feel good to be here.”
Marina is right now in Malawi for new discoveries. More precisely, she is in Balaka known to host many projects of the Italian Montfort Missionaries and other religious women Congregations.
We hope to hear again from her before she starts her studies back to Italy.

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New Website of St. Lawrence Home of Hope


St. Lawrence Home of HopeNew Website of St. Lawrence Home of Hope
St. Lawrence Home of Hope is a centre for the homeless children and youth where we receive and give shelter to the homeless that are found on the streets of Lusaka.
It has a dual purpose:
1. A rehabilitation centre where we offer a new home and a new start for the children.
2. It is a “half-way home” where we intend to re-integrate the children back in their families, back to their real” homes and main stream society.
The centre was founded in 1998 by the Catholic Women’s League of Lusaka at the request of the then Archbishop of Lusaka. R.R. Medardo Mazombwe. The project was put in their hands in order to respond to the growing numbers of “street children” in Lusaka. They are in charge of advocacy, sourcing funds, developing infrastructure and taking care of the running costs.  From its inception the Catholic Parish of Good Shepherd was involved in its establishment, development and running of it as it was within the boundaries of the parish. The first basic structures were built within the property of St. Lawrence Community Centre which was part of the Good Shepherd Parish which, in turn, is in the hands of The Missionaries of Africa.
Our goal is to rescue children from the vicious circle of homelessness (street-drugs-abuse-crime), rehabilitate them and their families and to re-integrate them back into their home environment (when and if possible).
The Website includes:
Why?
How do we do it?
Programmes
Children’s Stories
Galeries