Since 2017 we’ve supported our members with almost €13.2m in funding for health projects in the following areas:
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
A disturbing statistic illustrates why providing basic healthcare is a priority for many Misean Cara members: in Africa, a mother is 40 times more likely to die from complications during and following pregnancy and childbirth than a mother delivering in Europe.*
Working on the ground, Misean Cara members understand that improving people’s health doesn’t always require complex solutions.
Access to basic services and facilities can transform the health of millions worldwide. Clean water, sanitation and hygiene, and good nutrition are fundamental rights that missionaries continue to deliver in their communities. From solar pumps and boreholes in South Sudan to water harvesting in Kenya and improving access to toilets in remote Zambian schools, simple projects supported by Misean Cara members have a profound and long-lasting impact.
Beyond basic healthcare, communities face other challenges. For example, the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood offer elderly patients in occupied Gaza essential treatments for conditions like cardiovascular disease, strokes and diabetes. This is given free of charge to an especially marginalised group that development funding projects often overlook. In Gaza, quality healthcare is in short supply for everyone, especially the elderly. Misean Cara’s funding of healthcare for this group is a clear expression of missionaries living up to their commitment to reach the furthest behind.
Bringing healthcare, dignity and empowerment to people living with HIV and AIDS
The town of Livingstone has the highest rate of HIV and AIDS in Zambia. To provide support to members of this community, the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa operate the St. Francis Community Integrated Care Programme together with funding support from Misean Cara. Since opening in 1993, the project has helped nearly 12,000 HIV and AIDS patients in the district through counselling, health services and economic empowerment.
Annie Muleta, one beneficiary of the St. Francis Care Programme, tells her story:
“I became involved with the project in 2017, first as a patient, getting medicine at the clinic, which helped me manage my infections.”
After becoming a care supporter at the health centre herself, Annie now coaches other patients in the importance of sticking to a regular schedule for taking their anti-retroviral drugs.
“As a care supporter, I want to encourage others who have lost hope after testing positive,” drawing on her own struggles after being diagnosed with the disease. “The stigma of HIV and AIDS has reduced in recent times – in the past others would look at me and say – she is going to die. But I am positive about life. My parents have accepted my situation and I am now a happily married woman.”
The St. Francis programme also helps children who have been orphaned by HIV and AIDS or are living with their own infections. “We have clubs for the children and each December we organise a big party for them where they can interact socially and feel that they are loved.” The clubs also provide medical support for the children and their guardians, encouraging adherence to medication schedules, and teaching the importance of good nutrition.
“I am happy with people knowing my status,” says Annie. “I know my testimony will be helpful to others.”