A place to call home

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Some of Mitanda Home’s residents Photo courtesy of Beryl Pierce


Major Beryl Pierce’s appointment at the Mitanda Home for the Aged in Zambia

By Karen Gleason

Major Beryl Pierce, a U.S. Western Territory officer who has served since June 2005 in Zambia, recently moved from the south of the country (Chikankata Mission) to Ndola in the north, where she oversees the Mitanda Home for the Aged, the second largest Salvation Army facility in the Zambia Territory.

Pierce is currently on a campaign to raise funds to renovate the home, which provides care to elderly persons who can no longer manage alone and are without any means of support. Although Mitanda can accommodate up to 40 residents, it currently houses only 20 due to financial constraints. While it receives a small grant from the government and a grant from The Salvation Army, its main funding source is from donors in other countries who sustain it through projects or private funds.

“By upgrading the property, we will be able to care for more people,” said Pierce, who has set several goals to this end including re-wiring the building so each of the 36 rental units has its own breaker box, reconstructing the overhangs, and overall maintenance. She is aiming to raise $30,000 to accomplish these goals.

Pierce’s love for the people who call Mitando their “home” fuels these goals. Some of them have come here literally off the streets, referred by the government’s social welfare department. Without family or any support, they cannot take care of themselves.

Along with Pierce, Mitanda has 14 employees plus another Salvation Army officer who is a registered nurse. Pierce functions as landlady, employer, “mother” for the residents, bookkeeper and maintenance supervisor. An officer couple runs the Ndola City Corps and helps with the residents’ spiritual program—reinstated when Pierce arrived—which includes a daily (Monday-Friday) devotion in the dining room and a Sunday evening worship service.

Pierce, a human dynamo at setting and achieving goals, is working to provide more services and activities for the residents including current negotiations with the government for a physiotherapist to help with activities such as chair exercise. In addition to financial assistance, Pierce said the home needs items including suduko and word search puzzles, checkers and chess, and jigsaw puzzles, along with nice lotions, soaps and shampoos.

To contribute to Pierce’s work in Zambia, please send a check payable to The Salvation Army (with “for the work of Major Pierce in Zambia” noted on it) to The Salvation Army, Officer Services 12th floor, PO Box 22646, Long Beach, CA 90802-9998, or donate an item listed above.

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