Sr. Celestine Daly
On the 24th October, 2018, the President of Zambia, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, celebrated the 54th anniversary of Zambia’s Independence. On this occasion His Excellency hosted the Investiture Ceremony whereby he conferred Honours and Awards to 18 distinguished persons. This year’s recipients included two Irish Nationals, Sr. Celestine Daly, a native of Rosemount, Co Westmeath and Fr. Michael Kelly S.J. a native of Tullamore, Co Offaly.
Celestine with the President of Zambia, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu
I am a member of the Northern Province, Mercy Congregation. I have been living and working in Zambia for 30 years. The President’s Insignia is awarded to persons who through their inventiveness and initiative have contributed to the wellbeing of the community in which they live. Supported by the Sisters of Mercy, Northern Province, also Bishop Michael Smith and many people from the Meath Diocese has enabled us to develop many opportunities for those in need. Funds have also been received from the Children in Need Foundation San Antonio in the United States of America. Thanks also to the involvement of the community of Rosemount, Monze Diocese, the Zambian Government and multiple schools, groups, and individuals who have kindly donated money, as well as sharing time I have been able to assist in creating a better quality of life for people in Zambia.
Celestine with her medal
We as a team facilitated capacity building for untrained teachers and those who performed well were encouraged to go to T.T.C. (Teacher Training College). It was obvious to us that there was a great need to reduce the burden of teachers in overcrowded classrooms.
We quickly placed the newly trained teachers in the remote areas where their service is greatly needed and appreciated. The young teachers are monitored and assisted with a monthly stipend. This gives them an opportunity to maintain their teaching skills and provides them with their basic needs. Presently there are forty-three teachers on this programme.
Infrastructure development included a beautiful new school, classrooms, and twenty-four homes on campus for teachers, a well was drilled, electricity and solar power were provided, computers and laptops were supplied to some schools. At the local hospital the children’s ward was beautifully refurbished and medical equipment supplied.
I was requested by the Ministry of Education to co-ordinate Religious Education in the District. At Deanery level we organize retreats and community workshops which help to motivate the teachers.
On a monthly basis we provide food for approximately 50 very poor families. A number of students are sponsored annually
The Investiture Ceremony was followed by a State Reception in honour of Independence Day and the recipients of Zambian Honours and Awards. I was accompanied by my niece Pauline.
I would like to take this opportunity to convey my heartfelt gratitude and sincere thanks to all the people and organizations that have supported me here in Zambia.
May God bless you and thank you for your kindness and generosity.
To see a video of Celestine receiving her award, please click here.
Celestine Daly rsm