Beneficiaries of the African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC), an initiative that supports the education of religious women across Africa, are creating jobs for thousands of people in Africa through various entrepreneurial projects, officials from the Catholic entity.
“The projects initiated by the former ASEC sisters have created more than 3,800 jobs in underserved rural African communities. The businesses founded and managed by these sisters, who are entrepreneurial and have received an education, have created jobs that reduce poverty within their communities, ”ASEC officials said in the Tuesday February 23 report.
In the report, ASEC leadership highlights the activities of four Catholic nuns who provide employment opportunities to residents of Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana.
In Uganda, an East African country, Sister Maria Teopista Namigga, an ASEC beneficiary, is the manager of the Cabana sisters’ bread bakery which has provided employment opportunities for 30 people, “many of whom are orphans and out-of-school youth who have to provide for their needs “.
A member of the Institute of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Marie Reparatrice (IHMR), Sister Namigga is a former student of ASEC’s Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) program, which provides leadership and technology training to Catholic sisters. from Africa.
She is also a 2016 beneficiary of the Higher Education for Sisters in Africa (HESA) program, an ASEC initiative that offers Catholic sisters the opportunity to study for their diploma, bachelor’s and master’s degree in Africa or online in the States. -United in areas relevant to their respective ministries.
Thanks to HESA, the Ugandan-born nun was able to obtain a diploma in leadership and resource management at Tangaza University College (TUC), the Catholic institution based in Nairobi and jointly owned by 22 religious orders.
Sr Namigga’s education “enabled him to create jobs for his community,” ASEC officials say in the report and add that the bakery produces around 70 to 80 breads per day for the local community, half of which feeds local school children.
The management skills acquired through the degree also enabled the ASEC grantee to run the bakery profitably and provide additional income to her congregation, while also allowing her to save enough to pay for some of the costs of the bakery. employee education.
In addition to providing jobs, the bakery located in the Ugandan diocese of Kiyinda-Mityana also serves as a training venue at the local technical school, where students “can gain hands-on experience in the field”, add officials of the US-based initiative.
In neighboring Tanzania, another former IDSL 2009 student “used her newly acquired skills in administration and project management to take charge of major infrastructure improvement projects” in the country.
Thanks to the initiative of Sister Benedicta Anslem, her congregation, the Evangelizing Sisters of Mary (ESM), organized in one year a seminar which employed 21 people and trained 300 women in house management and autonomy.
The Nairobi religious congregation also facilitated the construction of three classrooms, a venture that employed 24 people and educated 600 children.
That same year, MSE leaders also facilitated the construction of a solar water pumping station that employed 30 people and continues to serve nearly 4,000 people, says the report titled “Unlikely Women Create jobs and reduce poverty in Africa “.
“Not only did these projects provide immediate construction jobs, but when completed they continued to provide meaningful employment to dozens of people across Tanzania,” officials of the 22-year-old Catholic entity say.
In the West African nation of Nigeria, Sr. Helen’s Sewing Center after completing her SLDI program in 2009, with the aim of “specifically employing the poor”.
“Thanks to the budget skills that I acquired through the SLDI program, I was able to control and use our resources very wisely,” said Sister Elom, a member of the Sisters of Jesus the Good Shepherd (SJGS), in The report.
She adds that she has acquired other skills such as leadership, facilitation, team building and assessing personality types and needs, which have strengthened her new apostolate.
Sister Elom used the profits from the Saint Helena Sewing Center to purchase additional materials and open personal savings accounts for her eight employees to help them plan for their future.
“The personal successes of the centre’s employees range from paying off medical debts to completing house improvements and getting their children back to school,” ASEC officials said in the report.
In Ghana, Sister Stephany Ayomah, recipient of IDSL 2009, “improves nutrition, reduces poverty and creates jobs in her local community through multiple human development projects focused on economic empowerment, gender equality and health care, ”says ASEC management.
Sister Ayomah, a member of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate (SMI), works in the rural area of Ordorme, in the Nanumba North district of Ghana, which is “neglected by government aid and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). “.
“Poverty rates are high and the diet is poor in Ordorme, but Sister Stephany is committed to improving the lives of her neighbors through Ordorme’s rural women empowerment project,” say officials of the ASEC in the February 23 report.
They add: “The project started with meetings under a mango tree and has since grown into a meeting room with a capacity of 200 people, funded by a grant obtained by Sister Stephany. Thanks to this group, the women local people can learn a variety of income-generating skills, such as soap-making and farming.
The report also states that Sister Ayomah was awarded a grant to construct a building and purchase an oven for the Ordome bakery, which “not only serves as a source of income for her congregation, but also provides employment for young people, who use their earnings for continue their studies “.
“Now Sister Stephany has plans for a nutritional unit at the clinic that will serve severely malnourished mothers and children and also create more jobs in her community,” officials of the based education initiative say. in Pennsylvania.
“ASEC program participants have applied their education and skills to creating and sustaining jobs. The projects of SLDI and HESA alumni have created thousands of jobs in underserved rural communities in Africa,” says the leadership of the Catholic entity and invites the people of God to support the education of Catholic sisters in Africa.
Created on December 8, 1999 by four Catholic universities in the United States and their respective religious orders, ASEC’s mission is to facilitate access to education for religious women in Africa, with a view to improving and expanding the services they provide in the fields of education, health, economy, social, environment and spirituality.
Over the past 22 years, ASEC has facilitated the education of at least 5,300 sisters in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.