Lilias Falconer was born on the 15th July 1915 in Manchester. 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. When in 1939 World War 2 came she was accepted into nursing training
by the Salvation Army and after a course in tropical medicine sailed for Africa with
another lady missionary on board a troop ship in 1946, commencing her nursing career
in a leper hospital in Chitokoloki Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) later that year.
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, five more were quickly brought to her and with her six babies Lilias
left Chitokoloki and on her own went further into the bush where she established
her Children’s Home and Orphanage in the small village of Kabulamema in 1947.
Miss Falconer,‘Mama’ to her family died on 6th June 1998. She only came back to
the UK once in the years that she lived at Kabulamema, that was in 1952. During those
years at Kabulamema she saved over 600 babies, that’s an average of one a month for
Today a verse from the Bible is still on the welcome sign in front of the Home -
‘Who so shall receive one such little child in My name, receives Me’. 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.
It was Miss Falconers 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 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 who
came to the Home as a babe just two days old. Now in his fifties 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 over 100 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”.