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Eyes opened to a different world

DESPITE an entire academic year of planning, our trip to Zambia with Missio Scotland—as part of the Get Involved Globally initiative—seemed so far-fetched that it was difficult to imagine actually going. Of course we’d discussed what to expect when we arrived and what our 12 days might look like, but no one was really prepared. Our idea of the extent of poverty was derived purely from news articles we’d read and stories we’d heard. Our limited—somewhat ignorant— impression of what Zambian life was actually like is what made going on this trip so intriguing. Then the day finally came. We’d stopped in Dubai on the way and witnessed the uncomfortably, obscene amount of wealth in the form of pu

Differences dissipate in Zambia

I'M NOT quite sure what I expected from my trip to Zambia with Missio Scotland as part of the Get Involved Globally initiative. I’d always been told that things like this are life-changing and while I didn’t doubt that was true, I never really knew what that meant. I think this is because people don’t expand on what that means. A life-changing experience is different for each person. Although there were nine other young people on my trip to Zambia, I can guarantee each of us were affected differently. While some of our points overlap—for example I think we all now value our education so much more and realised just how much we rely on family and friends—we each have taken different things awa

A witness to our caring Church

OUR trip to Zambia with Missio Scotland as part of the Get Involved Globally initiative cannot be summed up by a single day or moment. Each day was special in its own way, allowing us to experience a range of emotions and to learn and grow from the activities that we took part in day-to-day. I was impacted greatly during the trip by the people, especially the girls we stayed with at City of Hope complex, who we spent time with every day. It was refreshing for me to be around young people who were so positive, vibrant and hopeful and it created a wonderful atmosphere for us to come into and live in during our trip. Although most of these children came from less fortunate backgrounds, they nev

Zambia's zest for faith and love

GOING to Zambia with Missio Scotland as part of the Get Involved Globally initiative was a truly great and life-changing experience and one I will never forget. The highlight of the trip was meeting the Zambian people themselves. They were all so friendly and very dedicated to their faith. It was really inspiring to see how devout they were. It was interesting to witness, because it made me think that perhaps we're not as dedicated to our faith here as we should be. Every night, at the City of Hope complex, the girls there would pray the Rosary and welcomed us to join them. Seeing how the girls all gathered together and practised their faith and welcomed us into that practice with open arms

A fresh perspective on faith

WHEN I told everyone I had been chosen to go on the Get Involved Globally trip with Missio Scotland, they were quick to point out that visiting the beautiful African country of Zambia would be the 'experience of a lifetime.' The more often this phrase was repeated, the more nervous I became and I started to question myself. What if I don't take full advantage of this experience? What if I waste my time? What if I actually don’t like it? All the questions were answered after having spent time there—I loved it. I was ready to experience so much. I didn’t know what was in store for me and I guess because it did scare me a little, my excitement levels were higher than ever. I was lucky enough to

Love endlessly wherever you go

I FEEL so grateful to have had the opportunity to be able to witness different cultures and surround myself with men, women and children who are so dedicated to their faith. I feel privileged to have gone on the Get Involved Globally Zambian trip with Missio Scotland, as it opened my eyes to a world that did not discriminate against race, colour or religion. Meeting the Zambian people was a very humbling experience. I was able to immerse myself in the language they spoke and their culture, and witness, at first hand, their well-mannered, courteous and truly welcoming personalities. I will never forget them and will always have the greatest respect for them. During the trip, I had the opportu

A passion ignited by Zambian people

WHEN the opportunity to visit Zambia with Missio Scotland opened up, I had to jump at it, because I knew it would be a life-changing experience and so it proved. The time we spent there—as part of the Get Involved Globally initiative—challenged me in several different ways and made me into someone who is able to see things from a number of different perspectives. As soon as we arrived at the City of Hope complex, we were warmly welcomed by the sisters, staff and students and I greatly appreciated being in their presence. Visiting the schools there was an unforgettable experience. The students there invited us to fall into their daily routine, which was to attend school from the early hours i

Show of support for seminarians

THE FUTURE of the Universal Church has been further bolstered by Missio Scotland after St Paul’s Major Seminary in Fort Portal, Uganda, recently received financial support from the Pope’s official charity for missions to the tune of £21,600. Missio Scotland recently established a partnership with the seminary due, in part, to its links with Sister Stella Maris Niwagira, a Sister of St Peter Claver who spent some time at the sisters’ residence in Bellshill. Sr Stella is currently National Secretary for the Pontifical Society of St Peter the Apostle (SPA)—the society that supports the training of priests, religious and pastoral workers—in Uganda. “On behalf of the seminary community, I acknowl

Magic memories of mission

IN THE lead up to going to Zambia, I was feeling nervous, but excited. I was going away from home with some girls from my school, who I had only really gotten to know in the build-up to the trip. We were at the same school, but not close friends. I was unsure how I would cope without my close friends and family. We were told that our phones might not work too well in Zambia and if you know me, then you know that my phone is essential! Minimal use for 12 days was going to be hard. After a long day spent in transit, I already felt that I was bonding well with all the other girls, boys, teachers and the Missio Scotland team. My nerves had vanished and I was really enjoying getting to know my tr

The strength of universality

CATHOLIC with a capital 'C' means the Catholic Faith but 'catholic' with a small 'c' means universal and that is exactly what the Catholic Church is—it is universal—and that was proven to me by the young children I met with in Zambia. These young girls in the City of Hope complex—and in other Catholic homes and schools—share their faith with everyone they meet, even complete strangers. As they welcomed us into their home and into their faith community, we participated in their daily Rosary in the afternoon, where we were encouraged to pray and sing with them. We took part in their study sessions and got to know the girls in City of Hope and learned more about them on a personal level. We dis

Witnessing faith in action

THIS was the first time I had ever been to Africa and I wasn’t sure what to expect. A lot of the time African countries are depicted as being dry, poverty-stricken and completely reliant on donations from the western world. While this might be true in some cases, it was inspiring to see that Zambia was a beautiful green country. I also learned that while, in many cases, the people do rely on donations to help build new property, it is mostly the local community and local companies that come in to lay foundations and build the schools, houses and so on. When we arrived at City of Hope I have to admit that I was quite nervous to meet the girls who live there, however, after joining them for th

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