For children across Africa everyday is a struggle to survive. So much so that education is the last thing on their minds. In Uganda, the Pontifical Missionary Children (PMC) are working to change this unfortunate reality. However, to help keep the organization afloat they rely on many religious sisters who have not been given the opportunity to receive a proper education themselves. Sr. Agnes Manzede Freda of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in South Sudan was once one of those sisters.
When she began her ministry work with the PMC she was amazed by everything that they do to help the children of the area. She was so impressed that she was driven to do all she could to help. However, there was one major issue. Sr. Agnes took over for the sister that was the bursar for the organization and Sr. Agnes lacked proper knowledge in finance.
“I had no knowledge on how to spend, account for and keep the money,” said Sr. Agnes.
However, one day Sr. Agnes’s superior told her that she would be able to study finance through an ASEC sponsored program. Through ASEC's Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) program she was was introduced to accounting. She also learned how to use a petty cash book, a balance sheet, a cash book and how to keep records. Sr. Agnes said the course was very empowering.
“The course has empowered me with a lot of knowledge,” said Sr. Agnes. “I can now keep records, give accountability and do resource mobilization for the PMC and the youth in the parish.”
As a result of Sr. Agnes’s newfound financial knowledge, the organization has been able to do a wide variety of projects which includes selling booklets of Sunday readings, selling PMC uniforms to fellow children and making rosaries to be sold. The course has also helped to empower Sr. Agnes to follow a career path in finance.
“I would like to continue studying accounting and finance as this will help me in my ministry to serve people of God and my congregation in a better way,” said Sr. Agnes.
Sr. Agnes said every day she thinks about ASEC and all the opportunities it has given her to further her knowledge of finance. She hopes and prays that ASEC supporters and donors will continue to help empower and inspire congregations of religious sisters across Africa.
Thanks to all the work Sr. Agnes has done more children in South Sudan are able to receive a quality education. None of this would have been possible if Sr. Agnes had not received a quality education in finance through ASEC. If more religious sisters across Africa had the same opportunity just imagine how many young minds they could help mold and nurture.