Zimbabwe: Knights bring mill to leprosy village

Handing over ceremony with Hugh de Robeck Prior SLJ  and Rose Chiota, Chairman Mutemwa Leprosy Trust

Handing over ceremony with Hugh de Robeck Prior SLJ and Rose Chiota, Chairman Mutemwa Leprosy Trust

Members of the Order of St Lazarus brought an important gift to residents of Mutemwa Leprosy Village recently. The seven-strong group handed over a grinding mill which will be used for making mealie meal (a staple food in Zimbabwe) and coarse meal for animal feed.

Prior Hugh de Robeck, praised Mr Dzenga, who was responsible for building the small mill house. The group also visited chicken and pig projects which are doing well.

Prior Hugh said: "Mutemwa is obviously doing its best to be self sufficient and the mill will go a long way towards achieving that goal. Not only will they save the cost of transporting their maize to outside mills and the cost of grinding it, but they will be able to render a service to the local community by grinding other people's maize and creating an income at the same time."

Mutemwa is situated in the north east of Zimbabwe near the town of Mutoko, some 50 miles from the Mozambique border. Established in 1937, when leprosy was an incurable disease, at one time it was home to more than 1,000 patients. Currently there are about 60 residents, who have all recovered, but are unable to return to their communities because the fear of leprosy still prevails. Mutemwa also cares for some elderly homeless people.

The Order of Lazarus can trace its history to the time of the Crusades. It was established abput 1113 to care for people with leprosy and promote the Catholic faith. Today it is an ecumenical organisation with about 7,000 members around the world, who continue to work with the sick, elderly and disabled. His Beatitude Gregory III, Greek Melkite Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem and all the East, is its Spiritual Protector.

For more information on the Order of St Lazarus see: www.st-lazarus.net/
To learn more about Mutemwa Leprosy Settlement go to: www.icon.co.za/~host/john/mutemwa/index.htm

(Headline picture shows Rose Chiota, Chairman Mutemwa Leprosy Trust, Frank Valdermarca, Chancellor SLJ, Hugh de Robeck Prior SLJ)

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