In March 2021 the provinces of Zambia-Malawi, Zimbabwe-Mozambique and South Africa were merged to form a new Jesuit Province of Southern Africa.
Jesuit Missions has long links with this region, partly because South Africa and Zimbabwe were formerly part of the British Province.
Southern Africa is a beautiful part of the world with lots of youthful potential. Unfortunately political instability, poverty and the climate crisis have meant that this region is yet to reach it’s full potential and this is what motivates us to be involved.
Here is an example of one project we are currently running in Southern Africa:
‘A community cannot develop if it is sick and fearful of illness’: Covid-19 support to the Denis Hurley Centre, Durban
Named after the former Archbishop and anti-apartheid activist, the Denis Hurley Centre in Durban has been providing the only primary health care services to the city’s most vulnerable population since 2015. This includes almost 5,000 homeless people, tens of thousands of refugees and people living with HIV and AIDS.
The Denis Hurley Centre has a drop-in clinic where they serve over 1,500 patients each month and administers HIV tests, as well as a mobile clinic through which is reaches over 500 people a month by driving around the poorest parts of the city, and a satellite clinic-in-a-container near the harbour.
Advocacy is a key part of the Centre’s work, with Director Raymond Perrier chairing a task force on homelessness in the city.
Funding for the centre was secure, but the Covid-19 pandemic led to stakeholders pulling out. The Centre became endangered of shutting down when the marginalised needed it most. Jesuit Misisons was humbled to support the Centre during the month of October last year, enabling it to continue delivering free primary healthcare including HIV and tuberculosis treatment to its patients, of which were more than 60% were homeless.
South Africa has been one of the worst-affected countries by Covid-19, with over 1.5 million cases and 50,000 registered deaths.