Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Put Systems in Place to Increase Life Expectancy

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur have always cared for orphans. By installing electricity, water filtration systems and medical equipment in the Congo, Sisters hope to improve communal health, keep families intact and reduce the number of orphans.
A Sister feeds an orphaned infant in one of the Sisters' Congolese clinics.
A Sister feeds an orphaned infant in one of the Sisters' Congolese clinics.
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Communal Health
Notre Dame Sisters
African Orphans
Democratic Republic Congo


Ipswich - Massachusetts - US

IPSWICH, Mass. - Aug. 7, 2013 - PRLog -- Chances for longevity are slim in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this country of debilitating poverty and social chaos, life expectancy hovers around age 50 – if, that is, a child manages to survive beyond the perilous first five years of life.

“Disease, poor nutrition, lack of quality medical care, unsanitary conditions, ignorance and social unrest all conspire against people living in poverty,” says Sister Leonore Coan, Director of the Congregation’s Mission Support Office. “It’s a prescription for disaster when it comes to a nation’s public health and the welfare of its children.”

No children are as vulnerable as those who are orphaned, especially in countries such as the Congo, where impoverished women all too frequently die in childbirth and families are forced apart by economic straits. Without state-sponsored social services, orphans routinely end up on the streets, where they are preyed upon, trafficked and brutalized. Whether a child is abandoned or orphaned, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur are in the frontlines of caring for them. In nine Congolese villages within the past two years, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur have assumed responsibility for more than 50 children.

The international Congregation is taking actions that it hopes will reverse this trend. The Sisters’ recent installation of photovoltaic systems and resulting electricity at some of its Congolese missions means that their clinics and hospitals can now support advanced life-saving medical equipment. It also means that clean drinking water is readily available through the use of electrical filtration devices. With the installation of photovoltaic systems, entire populations are becoming healthier and more productive. All of this leads to improved public health, increased economic activity and community investment in the welfare of children.

For more stories and photos of the Sisters’ work with Congolese orphans, visit:

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:Photovoltaics, Communal Health, Notre Dame Sisters, African Orphans, Democratic Republic Congo
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