South Africa-Zimbabwe (ZimSA) 1899
In 1899, five English sisters were sent to Rhodesia to be part of the mission of the English Jesuits in Zambèze. The SND opened houses in Empandeni (1899), Embakwe (1904) and Chikuni (1920). They also settled in Kroonstad in South Africa in 1907. In 1938, the first native sisters, Sister Annamie Farrant and Sister Patricia Kay, pronounced their final vows.
The sisters in these two countries of Africa formed one province. But in 1975, they separated into two distinct units: Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland) and Rhodesia (which became Zimbabwe in 1980). In 2002, the sisters regrouped to form the province of ZimSA.
The sisters founded schools for the whites, mixed and the blacks. In 1972, they decided to close their boarding school for young white girls, and consecrated themselves entirely to the “poor in the most abandoned places”. The apartheid law prevented them from living in the black areas. They worked hard to improve the standard of the black teachers.
Today, the sisters serve in schools and are very active in catechesis. In Kroonstad, one sister works in development for the diocese and another sister helps orphans and children suffering from AIDS. The old boarding school of Kroonstad has become a technical formation center. In Harare, Zimbabwe, some sisters work with children who are not of school age; they take care of orphans who are more and more numerous because of AIDS.