YEAR JOINED MKLM: 2003
PROJECT: Books and Learning for AIDS Orphans
PEOPLE SERVED: 60 AIDS orphans and their caregivers
PROJECT GOAL: To provide AIDS orphans and their families with the opportunity to increase and improve their reading.
Kitty and Roger Schiltz came to MKLM in 2003 from Lacey, WA. They were active there in St. Michael Parish, Diocese of Seattle. Roger and Kitty have two grown daughters and bring a wealth of educational experience with them. Kitty is a librarian. She studied at St. Procopius College in IL and Aquinas in MI. Roger has had many roles in the educational system—teacher, custodian, principal. He is also a trained carpenter. Roger studied at Loras College in IA, Grays Harbor College in WA and National College in Evanston, IL.
Kitty and Roger lived and worked in the town of Musoma in Tanzania. AIDS has devastated families in this area. Antiretroviral drugs are not yet available in this region, resulting in children being orphaned at very young ages. Kitty and Roger’s ministry consisted of a “backpack” library for the orphans and their caregivers. Kitty and Roger visited houses and made books available. They also offered their home as a place to receive people and read as well. The library is a valuable contribution to the reading skills, feelings of self-worth, imagination and experiences of the children.
In addition, Roger and Kitty identified orphans who have never had the opportunity to read and write. They helped many children become literate, involving extended family members and neighbors in the process! Orphans also received regular tutoring in math. They have also facilitated opportunities for students to continue their studies beyond elementary school. Several students from the town are continuing to the high school level today.
Kitty’s experience as a librarian combined with Roger’s many educational talents allowed them to provide an extraordinary presence and service in Musoma.
Currently Kitty and Roger are retired and live in Lacey, WA.