Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Awarded Grant for Innovative Business Model

Alliance for Global Good recently recognized the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur for their vision, innovation and enterprising efforts to lift Congolese communities from devastating poverty.
Sisters using Cyber Café.
Sisters using Cyber Café.
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Alliance for Global Good
Innovation Fund Award
Poverty Eradication


Ipswich - Massachusetts - US


Oct. 3, 2012 - PRLog -- Ipswich, MA  –  The philanthropic organization Alliance for Global Good (AFGG) recently awarded $20,000 to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The award recognizes the Congregation’s innovative and sustainable business operations providing economic and educational possibilities for Congolese communities living in poverty.
“We are extremely grateful that our hard work and vision for improving the lives of some of the world’s most abandoned and impoverished people has been recognized,” said Sister Leonore Coan, the Congregation’s Director of Mission Support. “We are honored to be one of the recipients of AFGG’s first  Innovation Fund award.”
AFGG chose the grantees based on their vision, viable business plans, understanding of markets, strategic thinking and management infrastructure.  Including the Sisters, AFGG recently bestowed cash awards on a total of four nonprofits culled from approximately 50 applicants.  According to Susan Raymond, Executive Vice President of Changing Our World and consultant to AFGG, the Alliance for Global Good placed its four inaugural grants “where they can do the most good.”
For the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, that means using the $20,000 to expand and maintain the Congregation’s cyber cafés at four rural Congolese ministry sites. All of the cafés, which are currently open to the public just three hours a day, use electricity supplied by photovoltaic systems installed by the Sisters only four years ago. AFGG grant monies will be used to purchase additional computers and printers for the cyber cafés, increase hours of operation and secure greater bandwidth necessary to access the Internet in these remote locations of Congo.
“Installing electricity and making computers available to impoverished, marginalized villagers has increased economic opportunity, expanded educational possibilities and fostered hope,” said Sister Lorraine Connell, the Congregation’s General Treasurer and mastermind behind the Cyber Café Project.  “Impoverished communities have catapulted from the Stone Age to the Information Age. It is our goal to continue to provide them the means to participate more fully in the commerce, culture and communication of the 21st century.”
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:
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Tags:Alliance for Global Good, Innovation Fund Award, Poverty Eradication
Industry:Computers, Non-profit
Location:Ipswich - Massachusetts - United States
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