THE SISTERS SERVANTS OF THE VISITATION
MISSION AID BATO, PH AND MISSION AID OL MORAN, KENYA
The Congregation of the Sister Servants of the Visitation is an international missionary congregation, founded in 1978 by Mother Vincenza Minet in Assisi, Italy. It is a young congregation, and at present serving on five continents: Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. The Charism of the congregation is to renew the visit of Our Lord to humanity; to live and transmit to others, like Mary, the joy of salvation to all and to serve, with particular care, the most vulnerable and the most needy. Where the SSV Congregation is present, the SSV Sisters commit their lives to caring assistance for the sick, special needs children, and impoverished individuals and families whom God brings to their door. There are fourteen SSV missions in the poorest areas of the world. Guardians of the Visitation in the United States supports the SSV missions worldwide with a particular focus on the needs of the Kenya and the Philippines missions.
The Mission Aid Home in Brgy. Bato, Borongan City, Eastern Samar, Philippines devotes particular care to children who are malnourished, neglected, orphaned, physically or mentally disabled, victims of violence, children of jobless single mothers, and children of the incarcerated. The Sisters provide the love and security fundamental to development of healthy individuals.
The Mission was opened through the grace and intervention of God, when Mother Foundress met the late Monsignor Angelo Saverio Zanisi in Borongan in 1988. Msgr. Zanisi asked for the assistance of the SSV Sisters to expand his mission of providing medical aide to the poor of Borongan. The benevolent priest purchased a house and lot to serve as a convent for three Italian SSV Sisters. The convent served as a temporary shelter for two malnourished minors who were taken into the Sisters' care. The charity work of the missionary Sisters eventually reached out to the nearby communities. With the help of Divine Providence, a residential facility was built for the continued purpose of caring for the neglected poor.
SSV programs assist patients in the provincial hospital, especially those in critical situations. They offer programs for short-term and long- term care for severely malnourished children at their residential care home and a nutrition program for children living with their families. These programs provides food, supplements, and continued monitoring of children through a schedule of home visits until the children fully recover their health. SSV also sponsors a scheduled feeding program for the children who are living in upstream areas of Borongan. In these upstream areas the SSV Sisters make home visits to the very poor. Their educational outreach programs sponsor children in their studies with needed tuition, books, backpacks, transportation, allowance for school lunch and snacks. The Sisters are also trying to help families augment their income by providing livelihood training and some financial assistance to improve the economic security of the family. Their plans are not yet fully realized because of the lack the financial resources to grow these programs. The Guardians of the Visitation and the SSV Sisters wish and pray to improve current programs and to extend all their services to other remote areas of Eastern Samar.
The SSV Mission in Ol Moran, Laikipia County, Kenya celebrates 20 years of service to God's people in the parish of St. Mark Catholic Church. Sr. Monica Gitahi, SSV is the local superior of the Ol-Moran Mission. The SSV Mission-Ol Moran is in a rural savanna area that is home to several tribes of people who are predominantly farmers and shepherds. The parish is one thousand square kilometers six hours northwest of Nairobi. The fourteen SSV Sisters serving in this mission focus on the needs and care of the elderly, sick, the abandoned, and the mentally and physically challenged.
SSV operates Magnificat House as a home for mentally and physically challenged children and adults abandoned by their families, and the malnourished children brought to us for short term help when their families cannot help them to thrive. It is also a rescue home for girls who have been violated, girls given into early marriages, and those who have experienced female genital mutilation. The SSV Mission also oversees the operation of the Catholic Dispensary to serve the medical needs of all the people living within the area of St. Mark Parish by providing emergency care, ambulance, medicines, wound care, and follow-up home care to the sick and injured, and accompanying the dying. The SSV Sisters sustain their own livelihood and assist their neighbors by maintaining a small working farm attached to the compound of St. Mark Catholic Parish. The SSV Sisters also work directly with the pastor of St. Marks Catholic Church, Fr. Giacomo Basso, to serve the parish by leading apostolates such as the formation of catechists, helping to oversee the parish dormitory for high school students whose homes are located a great distance from the high school, visiting the sick and homebound of the parish, assisting at Masses celebrated with tribes in outpost locations. The SSV Sisters also teach catechism at a school for the deaf in the town of Sipili, one hour from Ol, Moran.