Your health and safety is of utmost concern for our organization. As the COVID-19 situation rapidly evolves, we are taking steps to protect and uphold our internal team, our external partners and surrounding communities.
COVID-19 Impact in Africa
Sisters from ASEC programs have been sharing their experiences regarding the COVID-19 pandemic across ten countries in Africa we serve. Here are some of their stories:
- The effect of COVID-19 on Nigeria - how sisters are giving back by Sr. Veronica Fatoyinbo, SNDdeN (Nigeria)
- Sister receives grant to fight COVID-19 pandemic in Malawi by Sr. Teresa Mulenga (Malawi)
- Sister teaches young Grace about coronavirus by Sr. Inviolata Kimathy (Tanzania)
- The negative impact of COVID-19 on the education system by Sr. Abigail Mwaka (Zambia)
- Using YouTube videos to repair laptop during COVID-19 by Sr. Gladys Onyonka Moraa (Uganda)
- My achievements during COVID-19 lockdown by Sr. Sabina Tumusiime (Uganda)
- COVID-19 pandemic good and bad experiences by Sr. Auma Catherine (Uganda)
- Dealing with isolation during COVID-19 by Sr. Phoebe Anyango (Kenya)
- COVID-19: Navigating a Global Pandemic Together by Sr. Catherine Muthoki Mutuku (Kenya)
- THE MONSTER (a poem about coronavirus) by Sr. Esther Gitau (Kenya)
- Providing social support to local children during COVID-19 by Sr. Josephine Gitonga (Kenya)
- Salesian Sisters and Solidarity During COVID-19 by Sr. Gisele Ndekezi (Kenya)
- Hope During Coronavirus Quarantine by Sr. Mashauri- Gisèle, FMA (Kenya)
- A PLEA TO GOD (a poem about coronavirus) by Sr. Patricia Daniel Ndanu (Tanzania)
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Events and program delivery
In close coordination with our partners, supporters and beneficiaries, we have converted events, where possible, to virtual operations. We will also be postponing in-person events across the US and Africa as the situation unfolds.
- Due to COVID-19, all US ASEC partner institutions for Higher Education for Sisters in Africa (HESA) and the Scholarship program have closed by government order.
- Universities in the US are expected to open in August, 2020. However, orientation for online/onsite track HESA sisters has been postponed until January, 2021.
- Universities in Africa are working to implement online classes for higher education students. In addition, some universities in Africa are slowly opening up with precautions in place. Many partner colleges and universities are postponing the upcoming fall semester to January, 2021.
- Many in-person events and workshops are taking place as online virtual meetings. Some workshops are able to be held in person.
- If you are a participant in ASEC's HESA or SLDI programs, please consult with your in-country staff for the most up-to-date and accurate information.
Our staff and partners on the ground in Africa will continue to monitor the situation and relay government recommendations to the US office. We look forward to working collaboratively online in the weeks to come and at in-person events once this health threat has passed.
Beginning March 19, 2020, our staff in both US and Africa have been encouraged to work from home, cancel work-related travel and transition to virtual meetings. These recommendations are in place through January 2021, at which time we will review workplace and community safety recommendations from public health officials. Mailings and communications may be delayed as a result of this situation, so we appreciate your patience as we navigate this uncharted territory.
Our staff are currently working our usual hours and can be reached most easily by email. Contact information can be found on the Our Team page.
United in Prayer
We at ASEC are united with the world in prayer; for the safety of all humanity and for all those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The sisters in Africa continue to pray, especially for our partners and supporters.
Above, clockwise from top left:
- SNDdeN sisters praying stations of the cross in Nigeria
- Prayers from the Sisters of St. Ann in Cameroon
- Sisters pray the rosary in Kenya
- Sisters of St. Ann in Cameroon pray for the protection of our benefactors
- Holy Family Sisters of Bordeaux at St Monica's in Lesotho
- HESA students Kenya in prayer and solidarity
Local Community Outreach
Several members of ASEC US staff are volunteering with Friends of the Poor to distribute food to the hungry in our community during COVID-19. To date, Friends of the Poor has fed over 60,000 people in the Scranton, Pennsylvania area via their "drive through" food pantry.
Solidarity Message to Local Community
Staff in the US participated in a solidarity message that was aired on WNEP-TV, the local news station in Scranton, PA, where ASEC US Headquarters is located.
Songs & signs of hope (ASEC message starts at 1:05).
In Memory of ASEC Family Lost
Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions were taken, several ASEC family members still lost their lives to this devastating pandemic. May all the faithful departed rest in eternal peace.
Mother Grace Ngu (April 11, 2020)
Mother Grace was the General Superior of the Sisters of St. Therese of the Child Jesus of Buea (SST), which is the congregation of our ASEC Country Director in Cameroon, Sr. Clarisse Remjika Jaiwo. For women religious, losing the General Superior is similar to losing a parent. We pray for the peace of the Sisters of St. Therese during this difficult time.
Dr. Edward Ddumba (April 11, 2020)
Dr. Ddumba initiated and signed ASEC's first Frame of Reference with HESA Partner St. Francis Nsambya Hospital Training School in Kampala, Uganda. May he rest in eternal peace.
Sr. Irene Lucy Onyai, LSMIG (September 4, 2020)
Sr. Irene is from the congregation Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate of Gulu (LSMIG) in Uganda. She served as the Programs Coordinator for ASEC Uganda until her passing. Sr. Irene is greatly missed by all who were blessed to know her. May she rest in eternal peace.