eSwatini – Three nuns mobilize an impressive relief machine against Covid-19. The example of the MSMHC

16 June 2020

(ANS - Malkerns) - "The COVID 19 pandemic has posed great challenges for humanity all over the world and has completely reshaped our lifestyle. At the same time, a crisis is also a great opportunity to explore our creativity and our innovative ideas to counter these negative impacts." It is in this spirit that three Indian religious of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC) - the 12th group of the Salesian Family - contributed to support the population affected by the coronavirus and its consequences. Ending up to become, even in their own small way, a model of behavior for many.

Instead of being discouraged by the problems related to the pandemic and the small number of their community, Sister Elsa P. Joseph, Sister Mary Clara Topno and Sister Susan Soren, whose community is based in the Salesian parish "St John Bosco" of Malkerns, stopped to discern what they could do.

And thus they undertook numerous activities:

  • They wrote letters and presented aid projects to individuals, companies, friends, and benefactors, involving the most diverse people in their initiative: from the truck drivers who made available their vehicles and their expertise to deliver the aid, to the Indonesian Consulate and to the Taiwanese Embassy, ​​who made maxi-deliveries of several tons of food to the nuns.
  • They identified the priority recipients of their charity, first of all seeking the poor, the sick, the elderly and the lonely.
  • They worked in collaboration with the village heads, the catechists and the various local authorities in all phases of gathering and disseminating information and aid.
  • From March 14 until the end of May, they physically distributed food and health and protection devices to 900 families in 52 villages, while also making the population aware of the correct prophylaxis practices.
  • In the midst of their many activities they were noticed by journalists and communication operators, and the nuns also found time to give interviews on their work.

At the end of their activities, the three "Ferrandine" nuns (from the name of their founder, the venerable Mons. Stefano Ferrando, SDB) met to thank everyone - the volunteer collaborators, the benefactors, Fr Martin McCormack, SDB, and Fr Mbongiseni Shabangu, SDB, and God for all the graces they witnessed in this vast relief effort.

The work of these three religious was so commendable and appreciated that Fr George Menamparampil, the Salesian deputy from the Congregation for the coordination of emergency activities for Covid-19, declared: "Congratulations, sisters! You have become experts in resource mobilization, an excellent model for all of us!


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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