Team Mutomo: More than a Mission Trip


Courtesy of Sadie Grunau

Sadie Grunau and girls from the secondary school in Ndola, Zambia.

Meghan Quinlan, Vis Life Editor

For a seventh year, Visitation is preparing to send a group of students for an educational experience to Africa through the Team Mutomo program. This June, the group will travel to Ndola, Zambia, where it will stay with the Dominican Sisters of Ndola Province who minister to the community through education, orphanage care, and the provision of dental and health clinics. Throughout the two-and-a-half-week trip, the group of twelve Visitation students will work alongside the Sisters doing community service, working in the clinics, playing with the children at the orphanages, and shadowing some of the students at the high school. Traveling with a handful of doctors from the United States, the students will conduct basic dental care, observe medical examinations, and spend time at outreach clinics providing vaccinations in rural areas.

Planning a trip to another continent does not come without weeks of fundraising. In April, Team Mutomo 2019 successfully staged the first ever Team Mutomo garage sale with goods donated by the Visitation community. The garage sale earnings and other sources of funds will be given to the Dominican sisters in Zambia for their community.

Junior Sadie Grunau joined the 2017 Team Mutomo trip and will return to Zambia again this June. Originally drawn to Team Mutomo as a freshman with hopes of stepping out of her comfort zone and discovering for herself why Team Mutomo members before her spoke so highly of their experiences. Sadie now has a new perspective on the importance of this trip. “I am continuing to develop the connections that I made when I was first there with the sisters and girls who made huge impacts on my life,” Sadie said. “In Zambia, I got to see a lot of what the sisters do, which was really inspiring and admirable. They are such empowered women.”

At Vis, students are taught to be strong, independent young women, and even through international travel, Vis values shine through. Team Mutomo is truly an experience of its own because it is not defined by the two-and-a-half weeks the students are in Zambia, as students and advisors work to provide resources to the Ndola community and the Dominican Sisters for the long run.