“Ut filios Dei qui erant dispersi congregaret in unum.” The Gospel of St. John teaches us that the Son of God came on the earth to gather the scattered children of God. Today these words apply mainly to the young, the scattered children of God. Following the mission of the Son of God, Don Bosco gathered the poor, needy and scattered youth of God and formed the oratory and together with his helpers, on 18 December 1859, founded the Salesian Society and called them “SALESIANS” after St. Francis de Sales whom he had always admired for his gentleness, kindness and religious zeal. The congregation was approved in 1869 with the programme expressed in a motto: “Da mihi animas cetera tolle” (Give me souls and take away the rest). The salvation of the young and serving God is done with love, kindness and apostolic enthusiasm following the steps of our father and founder St. John Bosco (1815-1888). The Salesian Spirit shows the style of life and conduct with which a Salesian lives as Son of Don Bosco which is summoned and centered in pastoral charity. Its particular manifestation is the educational system of Don Bosco, called the Preventive System, based on Reason, Religion and Loving Kindness, which is perceived not only as the efficient educational method, but also as an inspiration for the way they live and act.
With the founding of the congregation of Salesian Sisters – Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and Pious Association of Salesian Cooperators in 1872 and 1876 respectively by Don Bosco himself, today, the Salesian Family is a big tree of 33 members spread throughout 134 countries. Don Bosco sent his first missionaries from Italy to Argentina in 1875. Mission Africa was very dear to Don Bosco. In 1886 he wrote, “Missions, especially those in Africa, are very dear to me; … come, let us go to the Cape of Good Hope, Nigeria, … because the air is good there.” Successors of Don Bosco realized his dreams in 1891 in Algeria, 1894 in Tunisia, 1896 in Egypt and Republic of South Africa. Being the growth of Salesian Mission in very nominal, the 21st General Chapter in 1978 emphasized its importance through “The Project Africa”. The Zambian mission was one of the babies of this non-reversible reality of “The Project Africa”. The General Council entrusted the four Polish provinces the evangelization in Zambia. On 12 October 1982, the first Salesian Missionaries from Poland reached Zambia. Now, celebrating 40 years of arrival, the Salesians of the Vice Province of Zambia with its head office in Lusaka has 14 missions and 120 Salesians serving in the countries of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Namibia.