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 but, at first, all of her applications were refused until 1939, after the outbreak of World War II, when she was accepted into nursing, trained by the Salvation Army. After a course in tropical medicine she 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, which continues today, in the small village of Kabulamema.
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 grow into 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 continue by the children she raised and the success story of the Home is that some of the children have stayed and when ‘Mama’ was ‘called to her rest’ they were trained, willing, ready and able to continue the running of the Home.
Today the general administration of the Home is undertaken by Simon Samutala who came to the Home as a baby, just two days old and now, in his sixties, oversees the running of the Home and the needs of an ever increasing family, although he is following in Mama Falconer’s footsteps by training some of the children, particularly Elvis, to take over from him.
Now in her forties, Miriam Mulyata, came to the Home at seven days old and, after completing her education and two years nursing training, she is in charge of the family’s welfare and, along with a staff of 25, runs the health centre in the adjacent village.
So, the work that Miss Falconer began in 1947 continues today through her children with her dream being fulfilled and, with approximately 80-100 children in their care, the need remains.
During a visit to the Home in 1999 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 70 years and supports the work financially, through voluntary donations of parcels of clothing and other provisions and, most importantly, in prayer.
Several church members have long-standing, personal, connections with the Home and our link is now maintained by Duncan, Susan, Nicholas and Megan Stansfield (seen here with Simon),who fulfilled a long held dream to visit The Falconer Children’s Home in August 2016 and returned with many happy memories plus many pictures.
It is really Mama Falconer 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 join a mailing list to receive a quarterly newsletter, obtain a copy of the book that tells the full story of Lilias’ adventure, “Mama Ndoma – The Story of Lilias Falconer, The Lady with the Golden Heart” by Pat Webb, or a CD of the children singing