During the 2019 Lenten season, we’ll share the work of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur from around the world. We hope you in turn will share their work with your family, friends, students and faculty by email or by posting each Lenten Snapshot on a bulletin board or social media.
It wasn’t so long ago that Nigerian Sister Fidelia Chukwu’s daily chore was collecting water from the local stream on her way to school. You see, as a young girl, there was no running water at Sister Fidelia’s home or in her village in Nigeria. Diseases, such as diarrhea and cholera contracted from dirty water, were commonplace and life threatening and if you got sick, healthcare was very far away.
Recently, the struggle for clean water has improved in rural Nigerian villages. In certain areas boreholes have been dug and solar energy systems pump water and bring electricity. Where there is water and solar power, living conditions have improved and opportunities are being realized. However, having enough water continues to be a frustration and concern for the Sisters, postulates, schools, medical facilities and local communities.
This week’s Lenten Snapshot highlights the work of our Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in Nigeria. We’ll share the progress being made in the villages where our Sisters live and care for the local communities. In these areas, access to clean water and photovoltaic solar systems are transforming lives.
In Abeokuta, Kontagora, Awkunanaw and Amoyo our Sisters manage and serve in four secondary schools. Boarding facilities are available in the schools owned by SNDdeN in Awkunanaw and Amoyo.
In Awkunanaw, the Nursery/Primary School and Notre Dame Academy share the same site. Here they enjoy clean water and electrical power from the Photovoltaic project. With electrical power, staff and pupils are able to use computers and appliances. The first class graduated from the Secondary School in 2018. Situated in a rural area, the Academy in Amoyo is an all girls’ day and boarding school. A third Secondary School, being built in Kuje, will soon welcome girls to a secondary education with the Sisters of Notre Dame.
Health ministry has always been a part of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur holistic work. Currently, Sisters are working in two diocesan hospitals in Abeokuta and in Makurdi where the administrator is a SNDdeN. Makurdi has the highest incidence of HIV/AIDs in the country. The Sisters and staff provide education and care for people suffering from this disease. Special priority is given to vulnerable children and women.
A small clinic in Lagos, which has recently been transferred to our Sisters, is expanding into a small hospital. The Sisters minister in obstetrics, pediatrics and maternity care as well as offer family planning for young couples. In Amoyo, a small healthcare facility on the school campus serves villagers and the student population.
Justice and Peace Ministry
In Auchi diocese, Sisters work with prisoners, as one Sister does in Abuja. In the Ilorin diocese, Sisters are involved in Justice and Peace work by combating micro-credit finance schemes. In Enugu, two Sisters organize programs to alleviate poverty, injustices and inequality, and promote good governance. One Sister is secretary to the Ecclesiastical Justice and Peace Network; another is program officer, directing a Catholic Social Teaching program for the laity of the diocese at the Catholic Institute for Development of Justice and Peace.
Sisters are studying to upgrade qualifications and be better prepared for ministries. Two Nigerian Sisters are now serving in South Africa.
A mother with her new baby thanks Sister Prisca Igbozulike for the medical care she received in Lagos.
Students at Notre Dame Girls Academy in Kuje, Nigeria examine photovoltaic materials.
During the Lenten season, we are most grateful for your support in helping our Sisters in Nigeria provide clean water and educate for life.