To mark the first ‘World Day of the Poor’ on 19th November 2017, which was designated by Pope Francis, the sisters in Konzalendo decided to assist seven elderly poor people in the parish. These were identified and chosen from all denominations.
The best way to help, the sisters thought, was to provide them with foodstuffs; the ordinary items used daily e.g. mealie-meal, cooking oil, salt, sugar and soap. On the sister’s next visit to Blantyre these were purchased.
Distribution happened over a two-week period because of the long distance from one person to the next. Also, they had to get help to carry the items because of the rough terrain. Normally it is a challenge to walk a distance without carrying anything!
Apart from the disabilities of old age within the group to be assisted, two are physically disabled - Thomas and Samuel; Margaret C and Mr N are blind and housebound; Margaret M lives with her granddaughter; Maria J lives with her son Filo who has a mental illness and Nora N is unable to walk.
All were surprised and delighted to receive these gifts because generally they only purchase small amounts of food at any given time. Money is usually scarce so people survive, not from day to day, but from one meal to the next. Apart from the joy the sisters experienced in giving they were touched by the gratitude of these poor people who have so little of this world’s goods.