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Food Security Crucial for Student Success, Say Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur teach persistently hungry and malnourished children. A plan is underway to increase food production in the region in order to improve the diet and health of their students.
“Hungry children cannot learn,” said Sister Leonore Coan, director of Mission Support for the Congregation. “And, because they are malnourished, they are alarmingly susceptible to illness and infection.”
No matter where they serve, the Sisters make it a priority to improve public health through sustainable solutions. One of these solutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo is to make Congregation-
“The manpower is there,” said Sister Leonore. “The necessary tools and equipment are not. We can’t help increase food production without tools.”
All of which is why the Sisters are once again partnering with the Massachusetts-
Throughout Africa and Latin America, the Sisters make it a practice to work in the fields alongside people with whom they live and serve.
“We cannot ask people to plant if they do not see us planting,” said Sister Therese Divavu, who helps oversee the Sisters’ farmlands in Congo.
According to Sister Therese, even Sisters who are highly trained as doctors and nurses spend one day a week outside the clinic to work in the fields. The goal of the Sisters is to increase irrigation and fertilization efficiency as well as crop variety. The manioc plant, a starch indigenous to the tropics, is the mainstay of the peoples’ meager diet in Congo.
For more information about how the Sisters plan to help increase food production in the Democratic Republic of Congo, please visit: http://archive.constantcontact.com/
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur are an international Congregation of women religious, founded by St. Julie Billiart (1751-1816) in Amiens, France in 1804. The Congregation is committed to making known God’s goodness through education in a variety of ministries. Sisters serve on five continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America, and work to change lives by a “fundamental commitment to stand with our sisters and brothers who live in poverty and accompany them in their struggle.” Offices/centers are located in Rome, ITALY, Namur, BELGIUM and Ipswich, MA, USA. Visit our web site at: http://www.sndden.org.