Kabwe, which is part of the "Mary Help of Christians" Vice Province of Zambia-Malawi-Zimbabwe-Namibia (ZMB), is a city with two Salesian parishes, which are entrusted with many mission stations, primary and secondary schools, a home for street children, oratories and, recently, the Novitiate has returned to this city after nine years.
The 25 members of the Association of Salesian Cooperators of the local center animated by the Salesian community "Blessed Artemide Zatti" come from both Salesian parishes. Most are women; then there is a good number of teachers and faithful, all deeply committed to the work of parish evangelization. Furthermore, on January 31, another group of 11 aspirants began the formative journey, which will last three years and which will be accompanied by the Formation Councilor and Delegate for Social Communication, Fr Ignatius Musenge.
The Salesian Cooperators experience the joy and satisfaction of their apostolic commitment by directing the oratory, carrying out daily work, accompanying youth groups or even simply living their vocation as teachers in their respective schools. Belonging to both Salesian parishes in Kabwe, they also form a natural bridge between the two communities and hope to be able to open another center soon.
During the Extraordinary Visitation, conducted on behalf of the Rector Major by Fr Václav Klement, Extraordinary Visitor "ad nutum" and "pro tempore", the Salesian Cooperators gave voice to their joys and their daily challenges. Some of the points highlighted were: how to effectively help the poor, how to “rejuvenate” their presence and how to get younger members.
Those involved in the Oratory, on the other hand, highlighted how often they find themselves faced with the poor understanding of the parents as regards Don Bosco's educational system. The lack of training materials, such as a Don Bosco film, adequate literature on his educational system and the lack of materials relating to the Salesian Family, constitute a challenging problem.
Despite the difficulties, the lay Salesian vocation continues to grow in this part of the Salesian world.