WHY FOUND A SCHOOL IN BENIN AND, SPECIFICALLY, IN KALALÉ?
The first contact that the Company of the Saviour (Compañía del Salvador) had with Benin was through missions undertaken by young people from the Marian Congregation during the summer holidays. By visiting the country, they learnt firsthand about the great need present in this young Church, and one of the Beninese bishops asked via a formal letter for a school to be founded and for it to be clearly focused on the Christian education of girls and young women.
Mgr Martin Adjou, Bishop of N’Dali, invited the nuns of the Company of the Saviour to visit his Diocese and speak with missionaries to see where a new school might be most needed. After visiting various places in Benin, the nuns decided to found the School in the small town of Kalalé, drawn there by the poverty and great need present. In Mgr Martin’s own words:
“I will open up my heart to you: if you are looking for a place with the poorest in mind, go to Kalalé; if you have in mind the loneliest, go to Kalalé; if you have in mind the most isolated, who nobody remembers, where nobody wants to go… Kalalé is the place. Jesus would go there. If you want to give your life to Jesus Christ, go to Kalalé. If I had a religious community now, I would send it to Kalalé”.
Once again the Lord’s predilection for the poorest and the most unaffected was made clear.
On 28 September 2011, the first nuns destined for Benin travelled to the Mission of St Peter in Kalalé. There, under the guidance of the priests of the Society of African Missions, they took part in the catechism of the children and young people in the Mission and helped them with their studies. Little by little, as well as learning the local languages (Boo, Fulfulde, Bariba), they started to see the new Mater Salvatoris School emerging. All thanks to the assistance of so many people who generously collaborated in meeting the construction costs: first was the well and building the wall around the site, then the foundations and finally the house and church walls were built.
On 19 November 2014, the Bishop travelled to Kalalé for the solemn blessing of the Mater Salvatoris Kalalé chapel and School, a real event in the local Church.
Mater Salvatoris School Kalalé-Benin is the Company of the Saviour’s first educational project on the African continent.
Even before its doors opened in September 2014, the collaboration of students, alumnae and families from the Madrid School was a constant borne out through various initiatives. One of these initiatives has been the sponsorship programme for girls aged 4 to 7 who live in perilous conditions and whose families barely have enough material resources to support them.
To collaborate in this project or to receive further information, you can fill in the following form.
In addition, since 2013 a Charity Calendar has been published, which helps support the Kalalé-Benin School. During the months of November and December each year, students from other Mater Salvatoris schools and especially those in their final year collect money for Kalalé by selling the Calendars.