GENERAL COUNCIL F.I.C. - Prins Bisschopsingel 22, 6211 JX Maastricht, The Netherlands  Phone: *31 (0) 43 3508373
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PROFILE
Our work in Malawi

Malawi

Our Brothers in Malawi live in four communities, based in Limbe (3) and Thyolo-Mitengo. They are mainly involved in primary and secondary education, in education of deaf children, the training of primary school teachers and in catechesis, including publishing a catechetical magazine.

Next to this 'institutional' work several brothers are involved in social activities. They attend people who suffer from AIDS, help farmers to get fertilizer or seedlings, give assistance in scholarships, etc.

In 1957 pope Pius XII wrote the Encyclical Fidei Donum, calling for more missionaries for Africa. Many foreign bishops working in Africa turned to their home countries to seek assistance from priests, brothers and sisters. Amongst them was the Dutch bishop dr. J. Theunissen, Apostolic Vicar of Nyassaland in Central Africa. He approached the Brothers FIC in Maastricht (the Netherlands) and requested for brothers to strengthen catholic education in the country.

Anno 2014 the 16 brothers of the congregation are working in Malawi.

Limbe

Assisting persons suffering HIV or AIDS

A report of the British organization Christian Aid indicates that over twelve million children in Africa have become orphans because of AIDS. This number will probably increase to 43 million in 2010. According to this report, published in 2001, a whole generation of children in Africa is growing up without parents. And what makes the situation even worse: very often also the relatives who take care of these orphans die of AIDS. The children are left to the streets.


In 2000 more than two million persons died of AIDS in Africa alone. More than 25 million persons in Africa suffer from AIDS or are infected by HIV. In the area in Malawi where our Brothers live and work the number of young and adult persons affected is very high.

A few years ago we set up a program of home based care to relieve and help persons who are affected by HIV and / or who suffer from AIDS. The program encompasses about 37 villages in the surroundings of Mary View.

A group of volunteers, presently consisting of 65 women and two men, are the agents of this care. Every Monday 10.000 kg maize and 3000 kg mandolo (a kind of pea) are distributed. On 26 December 2002 more than 1500 AIDS-orphans were invited for a Christmas dinner in the main hall of Montfort Teachers Training Centre in Mary View.

Next to this we take care of fifteen babies whose mothers died in childbirth. We try to find somebody who looks after the child. In most cases this is the grandmother. We offer them the money to buy lactogen, which is expensive, but we like to give every child a chance to live. The children are doing well. We also pay schoolfees for about 60 orphans who have been selected for secondary education.

Bro. Wladimir van Heck fic.

Limbe

School for deaf children

(March 2003) this boarding school has 170 students. They populate 4 classes of pre-school and 10 classes of primary school.

 

Limbe

Teacher training college

This College in Mary View, Limbe, was an initiative of the late Bishop Theunissen. He offered part of the Malabvi estate to build a college, a minor seminary and the generalate and noviciate of the Servants of Mary, a Congregation of African Sisters. The college itself was build on the central place of the estate, a beautiful building on a very hilly terrain. It was named the Montfort College and was built and staffed under the leadership of the Brothers FIC in 1961.

The college opened its doors to sixty students for the first course in l961. The number of students increased to 180 in the years thereafter. Theunissen's most important aim had been achieved: a regular output of qualified catholic teachers.

In 1965 however it the Ministry of Education of Malawi took over the selection of students. The college became automatically interdenominational, with only a limited number of catholic students. The Brothers FIC remained the proprietor with the right to appoint catholic tutors, but without control over the intake of students.

Of course Montfort College needed a demonstration school for the students to do their teaching practice. This school was built between l962 and 1964. It opened with six classes and enrolled children from the neighbouring villages.

 

Mua

School for deaf children

In 1986 brother Ludwin Speth fic initiated a new project for deaf children in Malawi. The existing school and boarding in Mary View, Limbe, could not receive all children that needed special care and education.

In the former buildings of a colony for lepers brother Ludwin started a new school, helped by of a group of Sisters sbvm and a number of enthusiastic lay people, many of whom were trained in Mary View. Beautiful buildings were erected under the competent direction of the late Brother Tarcisio van Raay fic.

Mzedi

Primary and secondary school

St. Patrick's secondary school

This school was built in l949 in Mzedi as a primary school. It was run by the Montfort Fathers until l952 when it was taken over by the Irish Xaverian brothers. They did not continue standard one to six but started to develop a junior secondary school. Cause of lack of staff the diocese decided to call for the FIC brothers. Immediately after their arrival old buildings were replaced and new ones were added.

Gradually the school grew into a double stream with about 300 students. Up to l971 they sat for Cambridge Certificate of Education later for the Malawi Certificate of Education. Since l966 the examination results showed an average of 95% passes. Besides the usual ordinary academic subjects students had the opportunity to join a great number of clubs such as drama, debating, art, chess, Red Cross and a variety of sports. "St. Patrick's" had grown into a leading secondary school in the country.

In the past thirty years the brothers FIC continued their educational tasks. The years were quiet succesfull. Among all kinds of projects the brothers FIC took over the St. Clement's Secondary School in Mansa (Zambia), and took a leading part in the development of popular publications.

 

Thyolo

Primary school

 

Thyolo

Mitengo school for carpentry and joinery

When father Sijm, a Montfort priest, was in charge of the Mitengo parish, in the tea growing area of Malawi, he noticed that people did not know how to make roof constructions. More importantly, there were hordes of youngsters with no trade skills, no prospect for a brighter future.

This was why he founded a technical school. In 1982 the first group of students were from around the surrounding communities. After obtaining their certificates they were mostly employed by the neighbouring tea estates.

Since 1992 the School for Carpentry and Joinery is run by the Brothers FIC. The school has boarding facilities for fifty students from various parts of the country. They must have the Senior Secondary School Certificate. Those with the Junior Secondary School Certificate are admitted only if they have a background in technical skills.

The school also admits deaf students from Senior Deaf Secondary Schools. The two year course prepares for the Grade Two Trade Certificate in Building. We also provide a bricklaying course. Up till now the apprentices receive tools when they leave the school, to help them set up their own workshops.

The school has two teachers / instructors both with advanced City & Guilds Certificates. The Principal is a trained technical teacher. The pictures below can give an impression of this school. 






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