ASEC hosts farewell celebration for Nigeria and Kenya Program Coordinators

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

ASEC Staff and Sisters representing several African countries and the U.S. gave a virtual toast to celebrate Sr. Joyce Rita and Sr. Clare as they depart the organization.

Although good-byes are often sad, ASEC Sisters understand well their vows of obedience and living by the will of God. So when it comes time to part ways, farewells have become more of celebrations at ASEC, for the time spent and service given by women religious.

Executive Director Sr. Draru Mary Cecilia reminds us quite often that we must remain focused on the footprints of members of the ASEC staff rather than focusing on how much time they’ve spent here or there. 

In early October, U.S. and Africa staff met via Zoom to celebrate Sr. Clare Abisola Adelakun, DHS, our Programs Coordinator in Nigeria and Sr. Joyce Rita Karambu, NSA, our Programs Coordinator in Kenya, who are leaving the organization to tend to other obligations and needs at this time. We joined in prayer, laughter, dance and shared memories.

Sr. Clare Abisola Adelakun, DHS, graduated from ASEC’s Finance Track SLDI program in 2012. Since then she has been our Programs Coordinator in Nigeria. Sr. Clare is a member of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit (DHS) in the Vice Province of Nigeria. Her prior experience as a member of several finance committee groups in her congregation and diocesan level instilled her with skill sets needed to success - fundraising, budgeting, and building strong relationships in the community. 

Sr. Clare said a few words to thank the ASEC organization and ASEC Sisters, as well as reflect on the ways in which the work done here has been a way for us to celebrate life and God.

“Thank you for your commitment to serving the sisters in Africa. Thank you dear sisters … Thank you to all country directors. I have met all of the country directors … the project coordinators … The sky is our limit and I know the world is often a very small place and so it is great to come together to celebrate life and to celebrate God … Thank you for bringing out the best in me.” 

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Sr. Joyce Rita Karambu, NSA, has been serving as ASEC’s Regional Director for East and Central Africa. She started working with ASEC as a Programs Coordinator in 2017. In her time with ASEC she has provided stories, pictures, and information on ASEC Sisters and their achievements in Africa, giving us content and context for the evolution of our programs. During the farewell meeting, she took time to thank ASEC and the sisters who she describes as “instrumental” in her life:

“Thank you, sisters … I want to appreciate all of the sisters … Thank you for making me who I am … Thank you so sincerely for being so instrumental in my life, supporting me in many areas, especially when we had meetings in different countries. Thank you for being such great mothers to us … and especially for your service to the sisters.”

Sr. Joyce, who will be assigned to a new project by her congregation, explained the value of the skills she learned while with the organization and how they will help her in her new role: 

“It is through ASEC that I have been able to write proposals. I’m starting a new office that doesn’t yet exist. This is my dream. I will take the skills I’ve learned through ASEC.”

Sr. Joyce Rita giving her welcoming remarks at the beginning of Alumnae Workshop, Kenya, 2019.

Sr. Joyce Rita giving her welcoming remarks at the beginning of Alumnae Workshop, Kenya, 2019.

The farewell event, hosted via Zoom, welcomed 34 participants. To celebrate the service of Sr. Joyce and Sr. Clare, ASEC Sisters from numerous African countries planned a tribute that included prayers, hymns, African dancing, and supportive advice for the future. 

At the end participants were encouraged to say supportive words to Sr. Clare and Sr. Joyce. One ASEC Sister, Sr. Marie spoke to the encouragement she received from Sr. Clare in regards to her education, which drew attention to the heart of our mission:

 “You encouraged me to get a masters degree … we will never forget you.” 

ASEC is grateful to have Sr. Clare and Sr. Joyce’s footprints etched into the organization’s heart forever. We wish them well in the next chapter of their journeys. 

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

Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

Sr. Joyce Rita Karambu
Profiled in article - Kenya  

Monica Simon

Monica Simon
Former Web Content Manager - USA  

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