Inverness County Cares (ICC), is a local charitable society which was formed in 2012 with the goal of providing for underprivileged children in the Third World. Our membership consists of 9 board members, approximately 10 more regular members and many people in our communities who volunteer their time when needed.
Together with our partner Chalice (www.chalice.ca) we help provide food, water, shelter and an education to the students at the Kawambwa group of two schools, which are situated in the Northern part of Zambia. The first school, Saint Mary’s, which is located in Kawambwa, was opened in 1961 by Dutch sisters and partnered with Chalice in 1997. The second school Saint Odilia, is located in Mporokoso, 200 km North from the Saint Mary’s school. This school opened in 1962 and partnered with Chalice in 2012. These schools cater to a large number of children who are born with Albinism. In addition to this, many of the children have physical handicaps, HIV positive status, hearing disabilities, epilepsy, hydrocephalus and high rates of visual impairment.
The schools are home to a large number of children, often with parents living in distant communities of rural Zambia, Southern Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These children who have found refuge in the Kawambwa schools, are sent there for protection from the threats faced by persons with Albinism. They are in grave danger of kidnapping, mutilation and death from individuals who use the body parts of persons with Albinism for witchcraft rituals and other sorcery practices. This is common in parts of Zambia, Tanzania and some parts of the Congo and is one of the reasons many children escape their villages to find safety at the Kawambwa schools. They cross dangerous rivers and walk through dense tropical forests to access the school’s protection. Sadly, many are lost on the journey, but those who succeed are finally in a place where they are protected and valued. The numbers grow every year because the persecution doesn’t end and is not likely to stop soon. The schools now have 420 children who are sponsored by Chalice.