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CRS Congratulates Congolese Nun on UNHCR Award

September 17, 2013 by

Sister Angélique Namaika (center, in black shirt) teaches women to make clothes in the remote town of Dungu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo courtesy of UNHCR/B. Sokol

Sister Angélique Namaika (center, in black shirt) teaches women to make clothes in the remote town of Dungu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo courtesy of UNHCR/B. Sokol

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) offers its heart-felt congratulations to Sister Angélique Namaika, who has been chosen as this year’s UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award laureate for her exceptional work with communities surviving insecurity in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sister Angélique joined the Congregation of the Augustine Sisters of Dungu and Doruma 21 years ago, and for the last decade has been helping displaced women and girls in the remote town of Dungu. Working in the same area as CRS, tackling similar issues, Sister Angélique has helped over 2,000 displaced women and girls who have suffered brutal human rights abuses, including kidnapping and sexual violence.

Sister Angélique Namaika embraces a displaced Congolese child. Photo courtesy of UNHCR/B. Sokol

Sister Angélique Namaika embraces a displaced Congolese child. Photo courtesy of UNHCR/B. Sokol

Often forced from their homes by armed groups, Sister Angélique helps them to pick up the pieces of their lives. Her Centre For Reintegration and Development, set up in 2003, offers basic education and literacy training, psycho-social counseling and work experience for the women.

Adding to the women’s trauma is the fact that many of the survivors are stigmatized because of their experience. In this very remote part of northeastern DRC, Sister Angélique has devoted her life to helping them heal their wounds, become self-sufficient and eventually be re-accepted by their communities.

As UNHCR’s 2013 Nansen Refugee Award laureate, Sister Angélique shows how just one person can make a difference for thousands of displaced women and girls.

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