The Kasisi Orphanage was founded in 1926 by Domenican Sisters; after two years the Polish Sisters from the Little servants of Mary Immaculatae overtook the management and today it is one of the biggest and well known in Zambia.
In 2002 the name was changed to Kasisi Children's Home, as not all the children were orphans and the house gives shelter to homeless, abused, sick and handicapped children. It is situated outside Lusaka, Zambia's capital, near the airport and is part of the Kasisi Mission.
The terrain is as big as 1,5 soccer fields, and consists of solid stone buildings composed by dormitories, kitchen, dining room, pre-school, offices, pharmacy, playgrounds and a church.
The House has between 200 and 250 children, aging from a few days to twenty year olds. All the children had a rough start of their lives and plenty of traumatic experiences such as: parents passing away, aggression, illnesses, abuse situations or being homeless. At Kasis they have a second chance and can start to build a structured life in a protected environment, allowing them to play and be children again.
Basic needs such as food, a bed, clothes, medical treatment and education are provided. Moreover, every single child is also stimulated and motivated in the pursuit of their personal interests, for instance: drawing, painting, reading, music and so on.
From the age of five, the children attend the pre-school, which is situated within the premises of Kasisi Children’s Home. They start primary school at the age of seven, at fourteen they go on and attend the junior secondary school; both establishments are located near the Kasisi Home. Afterwards, the kids have the possibility to attend High school, as interns, meaning that the students are away for the entire semester and come back to the home during their holidays.
All the schools, all the material and the uniforms, fees and expenses are covered by the Children's Home. The best students get the opportunity to go to university in Zambia or abroad. There are several private sponsors, firms or institutions who offer scholarships.
There are about four Polish Sisters running the house; Sister Mariola is in charge with the help of the twin sisters Maria and Janina. They manage to keep everything under control, not an easy task with over 200 children to look after.
The Sisters teach catholicism to the children as well as bible lessons and religious chants. Every day at seven there is a mass, attended by older kids, on Sundays the mass is attended by everyone and it is followed by a spectacle with dancing, a lot of singing and drums, a pleasure and sensation to attend.
There is a special department to cure the sick children called "The House of Hope" as there are many illnesses such as: TBC, cholera, malaria. Many of the children are HIV positive and they need special care as well as daily medicine. The House of Hope functions like a small hospital with special beds, incubator for babies and an ambulance for transport to Lusaka’s main hospitals. Everything is donated by different organisations and initiatives.
The Kasisi Children's Home plays an important role in the neighbourhood, it offers work to a lot of young women (the so called mummy’s) who take care of the children, the laundry and the cooking. The sisters also take care of injured or ill people who knock the door. One of the cases we experienced was a mother appearing with her daughter which had been bitten by a poisonous snake. Thanks to a quick transfer to the hospital the girl survived. Kasisi also covered the hospital bill that the family could not afford.
Each morning some farmers and families bring baskets with harvest: beans, bananas, peanuts, potatoes.... and put them in front of the entrance of the House. The sisters take everything they need or can use and in exchange they fill the baskets with clothes, exchange that works for both parties.
The Kasisi children's Home is not supported by the Zambian government; therefore all the monthly expenses to support the over 200 children are covered by donations and gifts, one of them being Fundacja Kasisi from Poland. Fortunately, there are some really great organisations and private parties that help the House in every way they can.
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IBAN: CH26 0900 0000 6932 8118 2
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