The Mwandi Mission began with a focus on delivering health and spiritual care to the Western Province of Zambia with the establishment of a church and hospital. In the plains of the Zambezi, in the west of the country, the Paris Mission, with the active participation of people from Lesotho, had started work in 1885. The beginnings were rough. The first group of missionaries, under the leadership of François Coillard, was arrested and mistreated. This mission worked among the Lozi. In 1964, under the name Evangelical Church of Barotseland, the church became independent. In 1965 the United Church of Zambia was inaugurated.
UCZ Mwandi Church currently has eleven congregations and three preaching points. Reverend Wezi M. Manda leads the consistory and Percy Muleba is the Youth minister. In recent years, the mission expanded to serve more the needs of the community including: Kandiana Village for the Vulnerable and Aged, the TLC preschool,the Orphans and Vulnerable Children project, the Basic School, the High School, and the Agricultural Project.
Mwandi Christian Hospital
The UCZ Mwandi Mission Hospital Board – American Partners focuses their fund-raising efforts in support of the hospital. The UCZ Mwandi Christian Hospital is an 80 bed hospital with wards for men, women, children, TB patients and patients with infectious diseases (primarily children). In addition to the wards, there is an outpatient clinic, a Mother-Child Health clinic, and an Anti-retroviral Clinic. The mission also includes the UCZ church, an Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Center, mission-supported primary and secondary schools, a farm, a homeless shelter, and a preschool.
A majority of the patients being treated in the hospital are HIV positive. They include young and old, farmers, fishermen, sex workers, school teachers, tribal leaders and yes even healthcare workers. No one is immune or untouched by HIV. The virus has spread throughout the Mwandi village and the virus is now seeping into even the most remote areas surrounding Mwandi. One of the missionaries living in the village said that she believes that the vast majority of the adult sexually active members of the Mwandi village are HIV positive. Stigma still limits open discussions about the pandemic and people are afraid to be tested to determine their status. In addition to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS and its secondary infections, typical tropical diseases such as malaria have an enormous social and economic impact on the people of Mwandi.
Meet the staff of Mwandi Christian Hospital: