ASEC News

8 Ways ASEC Sisters Are Fighting For Social Justice in Africa

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

Photos from Mama Kevina Hope Center for Children with Disabilities in Tanzania, provided by Sr. Swai (pictured left).


Each ASEC Sister brings a unique purpose to their communities as a result of their education and leadership training, empowering them to fight for social justice as exemplified in these eight projects.

Being a sister takes a lot of courage, especially when tackling some of society’s deepest social justice issues. Each ASEC Sister in Africa brings a unique purpose and perspective to their communities and congregations as a result of their education and leadership training. Here are eight times women religious have fought for social justice in Africa. 

1. Helping physically and mentally disabled children get the early intervention services they need

Sr. Elisabeth Didas Swai, LSOSF, earned her Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology degree at the University of Kisubi in Entebbe in Uganda as a part of ASEC’s Higher Education for Sisters in Africa program. She is now Center Director at Mama Kevina where she provides therapeutic services to about 600 children with special needs and their parents.

As of 2017, there were only 278 mental health professionals working in Tanzania. Sr. Swai recognizes the overwhelming importance of mental health resources and counseling support for communities. 

You can read more about her work in Tanzania here.

Will you become a Ray of Hope? With your donation of...

πŸ’œ $3 = You help train a religious Sister for 1 day
πŸ’œ $20 = You help train a Sister for 1 week
πŸ’œ $85 = You help train a Sister for 1 month
πŸ’œ $250 = You help train a Sister for 3 months
πŸ’œ $500 = You provide training to a Sister for 6 months
πŸ’œ $1,000 = You provide training to a Sister for 1 year

Will you join us and give a gift of education? Donate today and make a difference for years to come. Your impact is a great blessing πŸ’œ

Donate
SLDI participants in Ghana visiting the University of Cape Coast Agriculture and Research Farm.

SLDI participants in Ghana visiting the University of Cape Coast Agriculture and Research Farm.

2. Using crop and animal farming to sustainably support their local communities

In sub-Saharan Africa, farming and animal keeping are key to helping communities escape poverty. After learning about organic farming on a field trip to Kasisi Organic Farming Project, Sr. Veronica Nyambe, HBVM, immediately went back to her community and started her own. Now she grows a variety of vegetables and raises hundreds of chickens, quails, peking ducks and guinea fowls. 

Click here to learn more about her farm as well as other similar projects.

3. Using financial and leadership training to help those displaced by war and violence

Sub-Saharan Africa in particular hosts more than 26% of the world’s refugee population, with Cameroon among the highest of African nations. Sr. Veronica Dinla Jumfongai, HHCJ, traveled to the Diocese of Mamfe to experience firsthand what the refugees witnessed – gunfire and harassment from patrolling military personnel during mass. Using her grant writing and financial management training from SLDI training, she plans to raise enough funds to build single rooms for each displaced family to start their lives again. 

Read more about her work here.

4. Providing solutions to a war-torn South Sudan 

South Sudan faces an overwhelming number of humanitarian emergencies, including a “nation-wide political and security crisis” according to the United Nations. These crises have had long-lasting impacts on the country’s infrastructure – more than two-thirds of the population needs assistance from food insecurity, displacement, sexual violence and lack of education. Rather than leaving, Sr. Mary Faida, SHS, stays in South Sudan to make astonishing impacts on her local community, including securing grants to help trauma-informed formation, pay for medical bills and provide clean water. 

To learn more about how she is using her education to help South Sudan, click here. 

Sr. Faida is able to provide both stability and hope amidst the chaos of a war-torn nation thanks to the skills and confidence she gained through ASEC’s SLDI program.

Sr. Faida is able to provide both stability and hope amidst the chaos of a war-torn nation thanks to the skills and confidence she gained through ASEC’s SLDI program.

5. Reducing the spread and stigma of HIV/AIDs in Kenya 

Kenya is home to the third largest HIV epidemic in the world. Sr. Mercelyne Norah Nyausi, FMSJ, began working with people living with AIDs after completing ASEC’s Sisters Leadership Development Initiative. Using the leadership, technology and finance training she gained through SLDI, she secured a grant to build the new Baringo Maternity Wing specifically to reduce and prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS. 

You can read more about her life changing work here. 

6. Helping survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Uganda

Sr. Judith Athieno, SHS, is a survivor of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), which is why she made it a life goal to use her ASEC training secure a grant to start the Capacitar Trauma Healing project. Founded in response to the effects of war crimes and cultural acceptance of SGBV in Northern Uganda, the project engages the services of local health departments, hospitals, social workers and counselors, lawyers and police to provide critical public health and survivor services. 

To learn more about this program and similar projects, click here.

In January, 2020, HESA alumna Sr. Winnie Mutuku (top left), founded Upendo Street Children (USC), an organization that serves homeless boys in Kitale, Kenya.

In January, 2020, HESA alumna Sr. Winnie Mutuku (top left), founded Upendo Street Children (USC), an organization that serves homeless boys in Kitale, Kenya.

7. Providing food, shelter and a new chance at life to underserved street boys of Kenya

In Kenya culture, circumcision marks a boy’s transition from boyhood to manhood and is typically carried out around age 13. Afterwards the boy is considered a man and therefore not allowed to continue to sleep under the same roof as their parents. As a result, many boys are left homeless as they have nowhere else to go. ASEC alumna Sr. Winnie Mutuku founded her own organization, Upendo Street Children (USC) to try to help this vulnerable population of boys. 

To learn more about how she is helping, click here.  

8. Providing healthcare services to patients who would have limited or no access to medical care in Zambia

In Zambia there is a lack of qualified medical professionals, especially in rural areas, leading to a shortage of healthcare services to patients who need them. Sr. Anastasia M. Kalingeme, Sisters of Mercy (SOM), endeavors to assist in providing obstetric, gynecological, and surgical treatment to patients who would otherwise have limited to no access to medical care. 

Read more about her life saving work here. 

Being a leader isn’t easy, especially in places where resources are limited, which is why ASEC sisters in Africa are truly transforming their communities for the better. Through grant writing, securing funding, feeding the hungry and protecting vulnerable populations, ASEC sisters are committed to carrying out service wherever it is needed most. 



Be a Ray of Hope

Communities across Africa are counting on Catholic Sisters, but 71% lack the education needed to carry out their important mission work. You can be a Ray of Hope for a Sister who needs you by donating to her education today.

Donate Now Β»

This article is addressing the following UN Sustainable Development Goal(s):

Reduce inequality within and among countries Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies
Monica Simon

Monica Simon
Author
Web Content Manager  

Leave a comment Β»

Keep Reading...

Protecting the Planet: How ASEC Sisters have honored Mother Earth

β€œIn 2010-2019 average annual global greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest levels in human history, but the rate of growth has slowed.” - IPCC Report on climate change.

A Few of the Many Times ASEC Sisters Fought for Education in Africa

Everyday ASEC Sisters are fighting hard for education in Africa through their congregations and mission work.

Providing Nutritional Support to HIV/AIDS Patients in Tanzania

When basic survival needs such as food and shelter are in jeopardy, education falls lower on the priority list.

Back to news Β»