From the beginning in January 2002 the sisters began to manage a Clinic/Dispensary providing general medical care to people in the immediate locality of Thigio and screening, treatment and immunisation of children in local schools/church programmes.
Gradually they extended this to home visits, particularly to people with AIDS or mental illness, establishing family support by supplying food and medication.
October 2002 saw the opening of a Nursery to provide care for children at risk between the ages of three and five. Local women are employed to help with the children and to cook breakfast and a mid-day meal for them. This work also extends to home visitation of the children’s families and to opportunities to encourage families to access other services available.
In November 2002 a Women’s Centre was opened. This is an outreach principally to the mothers/carers of the nursery children, many of whom have AIDS or are HIV positive. The women are visited in their own villages where they come together to discuss their needs as they struggle with the consequences of AIDS. As a result they have begun some small income-generating projects. Allied to this is a training centre for young women who did not finish school or who are single mothers. It provides a tailoring course leading to a qualification and is in the process of being developed further.
In order to provide a service for handicapped children of the area a Physiotherapy Unit was established in November 2002. Progress is slow, but even the little progress, due to the care and attention the childen receive, is welcomed. The carers also experience support, education and some respite as a result of this project.
The most recent project established in this area has been an Agricultual Project which started in December 2002. The main work of this project is setting up kitchen gardens for poor families to provide better nutrition and opportunities to become self sufficient.