The Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo

Kamba village, Varap post, shahad, Kalyan west,
Thane Dist, Maharashtra, India - 421103

It was in the year 2001, Srs.Victoria, Celine and Sagaya got the news that Franciscan sisters of Germany at Mbeya were looking for a group of sisters to continue the mission of running St. Francis Girls’ Sec school, which was started by them about forty years ago. Sr. Victoria in charge of the Region expressed her desire to start a school at Mabibo to Rev. Fr. Victor S. J the Head of Loyola High school. Fr. Victor suggested to contact Sr. Inge the Regional superior of St. Francis Girls’ Sec school and he made an appointment with Sr. Inge to meet Srs. of St. Charles Borromeo at Loyola. Srs. Victoria, Celine D’ souza, Jansi Joy and Sagaya met Sr. Inge at Loyola, Dar es salaam.  After the meeting Srs. Victoria and Celine made their first visit to Mbeya and gathered the information and it was informed to Rev. Mother General Benedicta Lobo.

After studying the situation Srs. Lilly and Sagaya were asked to take up the mission on contract basis. 15th January 2002 the Fransiscan sisters Inge, Gemma, Rupert and Maritta welcomed them and were taken to the teacher’s quarters where their living apartment was well set for their stay.

20th January 2002 Sr.Sagayam was employed as a biology teacher and Sr. Lilly as the assistant matron, and both signed two years contract. They were set on their mission of learning the responsibilities with the view to take up the management of the school in the course of time.

15th June 2002 Rev. Mother Benedicta lobo and Sr. Elaine along with Srs. Victoria,Lilly and Sagaya met the Bishop  Everisto Chengula IMC and Fr. Kelly the administrator of the diocese.

After a brief talk Bishop Chengula assured Rev. Mother to have full autonomy to run the school and there will not be any interference from the diocese.Rev Mother General requested him to give time so that our sisters will be competent to take the management of the school within two  years. 23rd December 2002 Sr. Ann David joined the community and made a contract at Francis girls’ Sec school on 5th Jan2003 as a physics teacher. Due to the ill health her service contract was terminated. In 2004 the community increased with 5 sisters. Sr.Philo, Asst matron. Sr. Juliana asst.Headmistress, Sr. Sagaya assistant academic mistress and sr. Jansi as administrator of the school and they signed their contract on 9th Jan.2004.

On 31st Dec 2004, Franciscan sisters left for Germany. 1st Jan 2005 Srs. of St. Charles took over the management and from then onwards they are successfully carry out the school with academic excellency standing No 1 in the Nation.

Before leaving the Franciscan sisters registered 6 acres of land as a gift to St. Charles sisters fencing the place with one small gate to access to church and a big gate to the outside. when they handed the certificate of Title to lease hold land (6 acres) sisters had no words to express their gratitude. This land was made use to build St. Charles Borromeo Pre and Primary school in 2017.

The sisters were urged to do more for the people of locality who were very poor and they were depending solely on the cultivation for their livelihood. Proper medical care was totally unavailable many were dying of Malaria. This has left many orphans and semi orphans under the care of relatives/ grandparents. Sisters were moved with compassion and decided to help them positively by taking care of them.

2006 January community decided to help the orphan’s children of the locality to begin with 10 orphans and semi orphans were helped with school fees, uniform and stationery. Some students were sent to the boarding school. In the course of time the members increased to 20. We are happy one of them completed post-graduation in medicine, diploma in Engineering and one is iii year of civil engineering. the others completed form vi and they are working.

The condition of the Government school education was not up to the mark. The school did not have proper infrastructure and sufficient books in the library to cater to the needs of the students. Text books were not in the reach of ordinary people to buy. They were rather costly and it was available only in the cities. The students were finding very hard to complete form 4. Sisters studied the situation and started library on 1st June 2007 for the poor and the marginalized students of Government school.

30 students of Government secondary school benefit from it. St. Francis students render their service on Saturday and Sunday. A teacher is appointed to supervise their studies. St. Francis students generously gave their notes to help them to be interested in education.

Challenges faced

1st January 2005 Srs . of St. Charles Borromeo had taken the charge of St. Francis Girl’s Sec school 30th April Mponzi Teva student of form iii died in fire accident in the cookery lab.

18th August 2005. The school fence got fire at 3.00 p.m. and it was beyond control. All the students, sisters, teachers and fire fighters brought the fire and brought it to control. It took 5 – 6 hours to put off the fire. In those anguish moments parents, well-wishers and priests came to greet and showed their solidarity. Franciscan sisters who left to Germany came to know the news and they helped us with 10,000 Euros to construct a compound well.

In the same year Needle work lab assistant died due to complication in child’s birth. Few days’ later chemistry teacher too died.

August 2006 there was sudden hike in teacher’s salary. It was not possible to run the school with such a hike salary and the school fees that was collected. Sisters were ready to sacrifice a part of their salary but were not willing to raise the fees of the student. The board members and the teachers could not understand the struggle and they could not arrive at the conclusion. We wanted to change the contract but the teachers were stubborn and were not willing to sign. In the beginning Bishop too didn’t understand and was not ready to listen to the sisters. Sisters went through lots of struggle and restless nights with this problem.

Finally, the Bishop and the diocese understood the games played by the teachers and decided to put them out and locked their houses of staff quarters. They broke open the door and destroyed so many articles and we have to select new teachers within 15 days. Almost all the teachers left demanding so many millions to pay them. The sisters had very hard time. It took some time to settle down. We felt the hand of God always guiding and leading us. in spite of all these problems we were able to keep up the academic excellency of St. Francis and achieved our goal.


It was the vision and the inspiration of our sisters to start pre and primary school in Mbeya region. Education is the key to success, happiness and peace. The number of pre and primary schools in Mbeya region is incredibly small. The catholic children have no opportunity for Christian education since there was only two primary schools while the diocese is too large and there are huge number of children who are in need of primary education for their further studies.

After working in St.Francis Girls’ sec School for 13 years our sisters realized the importance and the urgency in starting pre and primary school in Manjelwa where Catholics are highly populated. It also goes with our charism to give Christian education for all people especially the poor and the marginalized.

21st September 2015 Sr. Sagaya Mary Raju Regional Superior with her councilors and sisters of Mbeya community decided to construct St. Charles Borromeo Pre and Primary school in the land given by the Franciscan sisters.

21st March 2016 Sr. Jansi the Regional superior, Srs. Celine D’souza and Litty George had discussion with contractors about BOQ for the proposed St. Charles Borromeo Pre and Primary school.Sr Jansi took all the necessary step, planned the construction of school went to the municipal office to get the building permit.

14th September 2016 the contract of construction was signed between the registered trustees of St. Charles Borromeo and Inter Frema company Ltd. The client authorized representative were Srs. Jansi and Celine D’souza. The contractor authorized representatives were Mr. Fred Mwampegama and Pastor Ezekiel Robert Mwakyamibiki.

16th September 2016 with the help of the community sisters of Mbeya, Srs. Celine D’souza, Flossy and Litty George the forest was cleared. The ground was ready for construction.

23rd September 2016 foundation stone was laid by Rev. Sr. Jansi the Regional Superior. Rev. Fr. Gabriel Mwakasita parish priest of Manjelwa blessed the foundation. The construction was in full swing and the sisters were taking turn to supervise the construction.

17th October 2016 Sr. Celine D’souza started issuing the application forms for the new school. Information about the starting of St. Charles Borromeo Pre Primary school was announced in the neighboring parishes and a notice board was placed at St. Francis school gate.Sr. Jansi visited many schools to get more ideas about the infra structure and selected the uniform material and the pattern of the dress for the new school.

5th November 2016 interview was conducted to the students of future St. Charles Borromeo Preprimary students. Sr. Litty George and teacher Neema Kimani were the key persons for the interviews. Celine issued the admission forms. Temporary shed was put in front of the convent and the admission went on for two days. About 170 students were admitted.Sr. Jansi went to the inspectorate to get necessary permission for the registration.

16th January 2017 Yes, indeed a remarkable and a memorable day for the sisters of St. Charles, particularly our region the long awaited dream to have a school of our own in Mbeya had come to reality. The school building for preprimary Nursery, L.K.G. and U.K.G. with toilet block was completed. We had the opening of St. Charles Borromeo school. Rev. Bishop Everisto Chengula IMC was not able to attend the function due to sudden programme he had to attend some where else. Rev. Fr. Gabriel Mwakasita parish priest of Manjelwa blessed the school building, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Meza, Administrator of Mbeya Diocese, Srs of St. Charles from other communities, sancta Maria sisters, Vincentian sisters, OCD fathers, well-wishers, Contractor Freddy Mwampegma supervisor Ezekiel Robert Mwakyambiki, all the workers 78 parents with their children were present and made the day a colorful and joyful one. After the blessings all were served delicious breakfast. Sr. Anto. A, The Headmistress of this school welcomed the parents and briefly explained to the parents about the timing of the school, uniform, books and other necessary information. Srs sunita and Mangala too spoke to the parents to clear their doubts.

17th January 2017.St. Charles Preprimary school officially opened. There were 130 students on the first day itself. The number of students increased day by day and at the end of January the strength reached 168.

18th January 2017 We had the inspection of our new school. Three personnel had come to inspect and to give the report whether our school could be given permission to run the school. They were happy to see the building, the students and the teachers. However, they brought to our notice that we lack office room, staff room, store room, medical facility room, kitchen and toilet for invalid students. They advised us to complete these requirements and to call them for further evaluation.  We requested them to give just two days to complete their request.

19th January 2017 One of the class room was modified into 4 small rooms by keeping partition. The toilet for the invalid was constructed.

20th January 2017 Inspectors once again visited our school and was happy to see that everything was ready as they have mentioned and we were happy to continue the school.

23rd January 2017 After a week test was conducted and categorized the students according to their ability, nursery, L.K.G. and U.K.G. 24th January 2017 Srs. Sunita and Flossy had been to the deputy Inspector’s office to get permission to get registration for our school. Again we were very much disappointed to know that we need to have a hall, library and classrooms for Std. 1 so that they could give permission for pre and primary at a stretch. They were very positive and recognized our service and encouraged us to do the needful provided we fulfill all the requirements needed for the school.

3rd February2017 Srs. Sunita and Anto. A. met the commissioner regarding our school. He was pleased about our starting primary school to give good foundation to the students and gave some valuable suggestion for the smooth running of our school.

4th February 2017 School uniforms, notebooks and text books were distributed to the students. We held first parents’ meeting 125 parents participated in it. They gave full cooperation to continue the school.

23rd March 2017 New construction of Primary school contract was signed and started construction of 4 class rooms, atrium and toilet blocks. It was completed in June 2018. At once 30th July 2018 first floor (4 class rooms) were started and completed in February 2019. 11th March 2019 kitchen and store rooms were constructed and it was completed in April 2019. October 2019 we started the construction of another 8 class rooms and it was completed in March 2020. Due to financial problem we were constructing the building part by part. Yet we need to construct the administrative block and a hall. It’s true that Rome is not built on a day. With the able guidance of Sr. Jansy the regional superior we were able to construct and complete the buildings. Divine Providence will continue to support us in all our undertakings.

Challenge: We started the school the parents, students and the public were happy about it. But we were not able to fulfill the requirements of the government to get the registration. We were at the mercy of the authorities requesting them to give time to fulfill it. With much difficulty on 28th February 2018 St. Charles Borromeo Pre and Primary school was officially registered and we got the registration number 17588, for only one stream. On 28th November we got permission to have two streams.     

The number of students increased year by year.

2017168     Nursery,L.K.G.and U.K.G.
2018275Pre-primary and Class 1
2019385Preprimary, class 1 and 2
2020 490          Preprimary, Class 1,2 and 3.

With the able administration of Sr. Anto.A. as Head of the school it has a name in the surrounding and the parents are eager to admit the students in our school.