The Heart for Zambia Foundation opened the students’ residence in Livingstone for 30 students, 15 boys and 15 girls, in February 2020. The residence is situated in the centre of Livingstone and houses poor but talented students who are successful in their studies. They are future doctors, teachers, nurses… (https://heartforzambia.com/hr/sto-radimo/).
We organized a meeting with our students on Sunday, 27 August 2023. Along with the director of the residence, father John, all of our students were present at the meeting, except for the medical students, who were on a break. Once again it was very joyful, with lots of laughter, singing, dancing and of course food. I always experience special joy when I meet our students, because I listen to their stories about studying, their successes and the challenges they face during their studies, but I also learn so many dramatic life stories that are unimaginable to us in the West. In a personal encounter with them, we can discover the dignity of another person and receive something from them, because even the poorest have something to give. These young people love life; they always touch me with the inner joy that fills them despite the challenges and limitations they face. Their courage and hope are truly extraordinary. Their life joy is a light for me. Joy is not a superficial emotion, nor a personal feeling of happiness that leads to alienation, but a calm belief that life makes sense despite everything.
Often the voices of those who experience difficulties, who struggle to survive and build their lives are so weakly heard that their cries seem to disappear. What can we do for these people? They need help to be able to live and study with dignity, without thinking about whether they will have something to eat tomorrow… Dependence on the help of others can be degrading, but friendship touches the hearts of both those in need and those who show solidarity. I give thanks to all of you who have chosen to be friends with these poor young people and who are helping them to study, because “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” /N. Mandela/
Please do not grow weary because these people need our help. Without our help, they wouldn’t be able to study, they would remain somewhere far away in their villages, in deep poverty, without any prospects or future. As Pope Francis said, these young people are “the hope of a different world”; let us help them!