St Margaret's Church

250 Burnage Lane, Burnage

Falconer Home

The Falconer Home came into existence in 1947 established by Lilias Falconer, who was born in Manchester on the 15th July 1915. 


At the age of 15 she was telling her family of the call on her life to go to Africa “to look after babies and children”. In order to fulfil her vision Miss Falconer applied to Medical agencies for the opportunity to train as a nurse. At first all of her applications were refused. In 1939 World War II broke out and she was accepted into nursing, trained by the Salvation Army, and after a course in tropical medicine sailed for Africa. There she saw the plight of little babies left to die when their mothers died in childbirth. After agreeing to care for one such child, Luke Fundulu, five more were quickly brought to her and with her six babies Lilias went further into the bush where she established her Children’s Home and Orphanage in the small village of Kabulamema.


Miss Falconer, ‘Mama’ to her family, died on 6th June 1998, having only returned to the UK once, in 1952, in the intervening years. During her time at Kabulamema she saved over 600 babies, an average of one a month for fifty years.

 

No child was ever refused admission to the Home, and although many arrived sick, undernourished and sometimes on the verge of death, Miss Falconer’s nursing skills saw many of them reared to adulthood. Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first president awarded Miss Falconer ‘The Order of Distinguished Service’ in his Honours List in 1969 and in 1984 Queen Elizabeth II granted her the MBE which was presented to her at Kabulamema by the British High Commissioner for Zambia (Lilias refused to come back to the UK to receive it saying that if they wanted her to have it they better bring it to her – what a lady !!)
Today a verse from the Bible is still on the welcome sign in front of the Home

It was Miss Falconer’s wish that her work would be carried on by her children and the success story of the Home is that some of the children have stayed and that when ‘Mama’ was ‘called to her rest’ they were already trained, willing, able and ready to continue the running of the Home. Today the general administration of the Home is carried out by Simon Samutala (PICTURE) who came to the Home as a baby just two days old. Now in his sixties he oversees the needs of an ever increasing family. Now in her thirties, Miriam Mulyata came at seven days old. After completing her education and two years nursing training she is now in charge of the family’s welfare and with a staff of 25 cares for around 80 children.

The work that Miss Falconer began in 1947 is today being carried on by her children. During a visit to the Home in 1999 by Professor Nkuma Luo, the then Minister of Health in the Zambian Government, said “This Home is a unique place”.

St.Margaret’s Church has been linked with The Falconer Home for more than 50 years and supports the work financially and through the voluntary donation by several members of parcels of provisions and clothing. Several church members have long standing personal connections with the Home and these links have been strengthened further as a result of a visit by Graham Roberts in July 2016 as part of the “Raise the Roof” team (Graham is front row, right in the picture below) which worked on the renovation and development of one of the buildings into a boy’s dormitory

Other church members Duncan, Susan, Nicholas and Megan Stansfield, who have now become the main link with the Home, fulfilled a long held dream to visit The Falconer Children’s Home in August 2016 and have returned with many happy memories plus many pictures some of which are featured on this page.

“In addition to being able to hand deliver 50 kilos of gifts for the 80 or so children who live there we were also able to hand over £600 in cash that Megan raised completing a sponsored 5k colour run,” explains Duncan

“There is so much that we could say about our trip  - the excitement of it, seeing the joy in the faces of the children and the workers/helpers at the home despite their circumstances, experiencing the sights and sounds of this beautiful continent, the feeling that comes from achieving something that we have wanted to do for so long whilst wondering whether we ever would and just enjoying the simple pleasures of blowing bubbles and, of course, the emotion of realising that all of this was started by one woman who dared to believe that she could do it.” 


It is really her and the God she served who should be recognised.

If you would like to know more about this amazing lady and the place she created visit www.thefalconertrust.org where you can also obtain a copy of the book that tells the full story, “Mama Ndoma – The Story of Lilias Falconer, The Lady with the Golden Heart” by Pat Webb.