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The relief that comes after women listen to their fellow vulnerable women

Photo credit by Dorine

By Dorine Banda Zimba - National Chairperson of the Catholic Women Association Malawi

and Sr. Maureen Ogundeph – Sacramentine Sisters of Bergamo

The Catholic Women Association (CWA) of Malawi, which is an active member of the World Women’s Observatory (WWO) and whose many members are ambassadors of the WWO, has clocked 50 birthday candles in the year 2022 since its inception in 1972.

The President of the CWA, Dorine Banda, and the former President Lucy Josleyne participated in the African Workshop that took place last July, in Tanzania, Dar Es Salaam.

One of the points noted in this meeting was networking with others to assist the most vulnerable women and the which CWA launched the celebrations last December, had a huge celebration on 22nd July 2023 at Civo Stadium, and it will close the celebrations this coming December at their Annual general meeting in Mzuzu Diocese.

Among the many activities they carry on are Spiritual enhancement activities, Economic empowerment activities as well and Charity activities. they also take care of the environment by responding to Pope Francis' Encyclical Laudato si’ and many more social and cultural activities.

They participate in the mission of the Church. Patronising all liturgical events like Ordinations, jubilee celebrations for priests and religious Sisters, Vocational and Mission Sundays, and conducting the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations (WUCWO) missions in all our dioceses. They give support to the priests in the Parishes and sisters in the convents and give help in seminaries. They visit the sick and the needy and share with them some of their needs.

In the year 2022, CWA Malawi representatives participated in the initial launch of the World Women’s Observatory (WWO) meeting in Kenya. Learning how to discern, and converse with women who are invisible, and to be a voice for the voiceless women, after the workshop, they went back with zeal to implement the survey as social correspondents. Many women experienced the relief that came from the Catholic and non-Catholic women who narrated their stories, some of them sobbing, some releasing deep sighs as they narrated their stories, seeing the relief that comes after pouring out the pains these women face on a daily basis, it is soothing that listening to those vulnerable women is very essential. It should not be for the survey only but should be an ongoing activity done by Catholic women in collaboration with religious women.

In Luke 1:39-45, we see Mary visiting her cousin Elisabeth who was and experiencing lots of joy. Drawing inspiration from the Gospel, World Women Ambassadors similarly experience joy in their encounters with the vulnerable, visiting them even when they have no materials to help rendered to them. They are relieved when they talk to someone and realise there is someone listening to them.

On the other hand, there is anticipation from these women about the help the social correspondents may bring. This is expelling WWO to do something to help these vulnerable women as they are faced with many challenges, violence, conflicts, poverty, Reproductive health, HIV and Aids, effects of Covid 19, marriage breakups, deaths of loved ones, and many more.

As women of WUCWO together with the Sisters from different congregations of Malawi under the umbrella of the Association of Religious Institutes in Malawi (ARIMA), we need to network more and bring peace and love to our fellow women, pray for them, and encourage them, that is what CWA Malawi is trying to achieve. With the help of the Virgin Mary our mother, we shall overcome.

Catholic Women Association Malawi (CWA)

The Catholic Women Association Malawi is an organisation of Catholic Women.

The organisation has been in existence for 50 years and it brings together Catholic women at different levels, from Parishes, Dioceses, and national levels.


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