Breaking stones in the quarry
Breaking stones in the quarry
Livingstone is a city in Zambia on the border with Zimbabwe where the world famous Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River separate the two countries. It is a city which attracts thousands of tourists from all over the globe each year. Yet only a few kilometres outside Livingstone another world exists. It is the world, the life and the existence of the many hundreds of people who work in the quarry, breaking stones. They sit in small groups armed with hammers and for long hours each day, in the hot sun, they break stones into small pieces which are then sold on to the Lorry Owners who come to collect them.

The majority of those working in the quarry are women. Although their hands are rough because of the hard labour their eyes are bright and they take pride in the fact that they can earn enough to feed their children. One has the impression that there is a strong community bond between workers.

Sr. Frances with students outside first classroom
Sr. Frances (centre) with students outside first classroom
It is in this situation that Sr. Frances Rooney FMSA began her work with the people. They wanted to be able to write their names, to be able to sign documents for their children, and thus a group for adult literacy began. They built a small mud and wattle room which became a first classroom. Now thanks to the generosity of benefactors two classrooms have been build which will also be used as a community centre.  

After long hours of breaking stones, member of the adult literacy group lay down their hammers and with eagerness, take up their copybooks and pencils to learn the finer art of writing. These people are the hidden, uncomplaining heroes and heroines of our times, who delight in small things. In their simplicity, they have a lot to teach us.