In January 1966, two Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Sister Agnes Hunt and Sister Odile OíMahony, left Ferrybank, Waterford, at the invitation of Bishop James Corboy of the Diocese of Monze, Zambia, to open a boarding school for girls. Later that year with the help of two sisters who joined them, they opened a school in Chivuna, a rural area of the diocese. The school flourished and has become known as one of the top academic schools in Zambia. Presently, it has 650 students, mostly boarders who come from rural areas with little transportation.
The sisters were also involved in the Chivuna Rural Health Clinic. The clinic was eventually handed over to the Holy Spirit Sisters, a native congregation trained by the RSHM.
Today the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary in Zambia are present in Lusaka, Choma, and Chivuna. They minister to the physically and mentally disabled and those with HIV/AIDS, and are also involved in pastoral ministry and education.
Sister Edna O'Connor teaching catechism at Choma, Zambia 1999
Zambia and Zimbabwe now comprise the Zambezi Region and have seen a number of young African women enter the congregation.
Sister Marilyn Ficht with children in Chivuna, Zambia