In the Bemba language Twafwane means “Lets help one another.”  This was the name given to a project started in Kitwe, Zambia by Fr Anthony Kelly SMA.  It aimed to provide houses for vulnerable people by giving them the opportunity to help build and own their own homes.

The focus of the project was on street children and women made homeless by the death of fathers and husbands due to HIV Aids.  Culturally when a man dies, his property is inherited by his father or brothers which often left women destitute and children with no support.  Their most basic need was a safe home.   Started in 2006 the project aimed to meet this need and by 2013 it succeeded in building 64 homes. All are now owned and occupied by those who helped to build them.

Each home consists of two bedrooms, a kitchen, sitting room and a bathroom.  They have running water and safe sanitation.  The water supply comes from bore-holes sunk on the site.  A solar powered pump brings water to elevated tanks that feed the homes.  Building work was overseen  by trained builders and the prospective residents, now owners, helped with the building work on site.  Thus  they had a very real input in the work and subsequently they paid a small rent.  The rent was used in a revolving fund for other improvement projects initiated on the site by the residents themselves.  At present, this fund is being used to pay the fees that will secure the deeds for their homes from the Government.

This project was made possible by donors in Ireland, especially the Parishioners of Clonbur, Cong and Cornamona, Clontuskert and Kiltormer Parishes in Co Galway, Kiltormer Hurling Club and grants from the SMA’s  Small Grants Fund.

In 2023 Fr Anthony Kelly returned to Kitwe to revisit the long complete project, meeting many of the Twafwane residents he had worked with all those years before.  A leader among these said to him, “We were on the ground before …. Now we are respected.”  This project has made a difference; it has had life-changing and long-term benefits.

You can help other SMA projects in Africa that also seek to make a difference to people’s lives. Donate below to the SMA General Fund from which grants are made to SMA Missionaries for Projects.

Learn about the Twafwane Housing Project

Making Bricks on Site

TWAFTWANE making the bricks on site

1st Family Photo in Home

TWAFTWANE A first family photo in what will be their new home

Building in Progress

TWAFTWANE building work

64 Homes Now Complete

TWAFTWANE completed houses

Fr. Anthony Kelly


"The secret was, that they built the homes themeselves.
We didn't give them for nothing. If we had, they wouldn't have appreciated it - they wouldn't
have cared for it. ...There's a community spirit there that wasn't there at the start..”

- Fr. Anthony Kelly, SMA.

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If you would like to support our Mission Projects, please make a donation to the SMA General Fund from which grants are made to SMA Missionaries for Projects in Africa.