Health and welfare

A child is born … then tragically dies

A young life, a promise ends – from either the lack of protection against killer childhood diseases, or lack of food.

Everywhere in the world, children are born with the same ‘right’. The right to thrive. But not all countries in the world are equal. And in Africa, children still die . . . their right to thrive stolen from them.

We fight for children’s right to live and thrive

Here in our Archdiocese at the southern tip of Africa, the priests and nuns on our rural Mission stations are fighting for children’s right to live and thrive.

Mothers walk long distances to get to our clinics to have their babies inoculated against Polio, Diphtheria, Whooping Cough, Measels and Tuberculosis. In places where the distances are too great, nuns like Sister Madeline go to them. Her battered old truck serves as a mobile clinic.

But protection from disease is only half the problem. If a child doesn’t get enough food he or she will be stunted – physically and mentally – for life.

Children need food

Priests like Father Cyril do their best by starting mission vegetable gardens to help feed the hungry children in their community.

But vegetables alone are not enough. Children need carbohydrates – rice, maize meal or pasta – as well as protein from meat, fish, beans or eggs. And for those, Father Cyril depends on donations from kind strangers.

If you believe in every child’s right to live and to thrive – to reach their
full potential – would you be willing to give a donation right now online?

Your gift would be a life-giving blessing. It could inoculate a helpless baby, or add rice or maize meal to a vegetable stew. A little more could even provide some meat or other protein.

The urgency to give our children their ‘right to thrive’ is expressed in a poem by
Gabriela Mistral, Nobel Prize Winning Poet from Chile:

His name is ‘Today’

We are guilty of many errors and many faults
but our worst crime is abandoning the children –
neglecting the fountain of life.
Right now is the time his bones are being formed,
his blood is being made, and his senses developed.
To him, we cannot answer ‘Tomorrow’,
his name is ‘Today’.
Many things can wait, the child cannot.

Fr Cyril's vegetable garden

Fr Cyril started a vegetable garden in the grounds of his Mission to provide food for hungry children in the community.

children's right to live and thrive

Fr Cyril’s efforts are rewarded with an impressive harvest! This giant pumpkin will help feed many children.


All smiles after their inoculations.

School soup kitchen

Mission soup kitchens are a life saver for hungry children.