Where We Are

Africa

 The Democratic Republic of Congo

SND foundation established in 1894

The original community of seven Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur who arrived in Congo from Belgium has grown to over 125 professed sisters, novices and postulants. These sisters come from many different tribes and speak many languages. At present they work mainly in rural areas in the fields of education and health care. Several sisters work directly with the people in the fields, growing crops and raising livestock. Still others prepare children and adults for the sacraments and a few oversee diocesan health and welfare programs

The Country

Most people, including our Sisters, still earn less than $200 a year. This means that even soap, salt, dried fish and meat become luxuries. Many people, especially in the cities, eat once a day. People in rural areas often do not have access to potable water and electricity. One out of three children die before the age of five and many mothers die in childbirth. Malaria, measles and intestinal parasites causing diarrhea and anemia are prevalent. Tuberculosis, diabetes and AIDS are growing health care concerns.

Because of years of neglect, civil war and the continued fighting in the north and east, the whole infrastructure of the country has deteriorated. This is reflected in the general state of disrepair not only of roads, bridges and barges, but also of mission schools, hospitals and dispensaries. Illiteracy, once almost unknown, is rapidly increasing because of rising school fees.

Photovoltaic projects have been installed in Kitenda, Lemfu, Ngidinga and Pelende in order to provide electricity and clean water to the hospitals, clinics, schools, communities in these villages.

In the midst of their daily struggle for survival, our Sisters and the people among whom they work continue with hope, joy and confidence to proclaim the goodness of God and of each other.

 

Ministries in The Democratic Republic of Congo:
  • Education
  • Health Care
  • Social Service
  • Justice, Peace and Community Action
  • Environmental Action
  • Pastoral Service
  • Formation for Religious Life

Visit the website of our Sisters in the Congo.


 Kenya

SND foundation established in 1965

In 1965, the first Sisters of Notre Dame went to Kenya to continue the world-wide vision of St. Julie Billiart, our foundress. Initially the Sisters worked in formal education, preparing women for higher education and both men and women to become teachers in primary and secondary schools throughout the country.

Sisters of Notre Dame have served at all levels of formal education in Kenya: primary, secondary, teacher training and university. As more Kenyans became professionally-qualified educators, the Sisters were able to move into other ministries. Our Sisters work with refugees, street children, city dwellers, and villagers. The aim of our work is to provide Kenyan people with vocational, agricultural, and educational skills so they may be self-reliant.

Ministries in Kenya:
  • Education
  • Health Care
  • Social Service
  • Outreach to Refugees
  • Agricultural Training
  • Pastoral Service

 


 Nigeria

SND foundation established in 1963

When our Sisters first arrived in Edo State in 1963, they worked in a maternity clinic and a girls' secondary school. In 1981, the Sisters of Notre Dame founded a new community in Agenebode, a market town on the River Niger. Our Nigerian community of Sisters continues to grow and so does their primary commitment to education, especially for the youngest and poorest children of the country.

Currently, we have 15 communities throughout Nigeria, where Sisters are involved in education and health clinics.

Our Congregation has developed an ambitious project for solar energy stations to bring clean  water and electricity to the people in some sites. Photovoltaic projects have been installed in Awkunanaw and Fugar where the Sisters and people have access to electricity and clean water in the health clinics, schools, and communities.

 

Ministries in Nigeria

  • Education
  • Health Care
  • Social Service
  • Environmental Action
  • Pastoral Service
  • Formation for Religious Life

 South Sudan

A new Mission opened in November 2011, when one Sister of Notre Dame de Namur joined with 14 other religious congregations in ministering to the people of the new nation of South Sudan. Since 2006, religious congregations have been supporting the efforts of Solidarity with Southern Sudan (SSS). Responding to cries for life and survival in South Sudan, women and men religious have been collaborating through training and education programs in this newly formed African country.  In partnership with the local Church and the people of South Sudan, SSS is improving the country’s basic infrastructure by developing teacher and health training institutes as well as Catholic pastoral services. About 25 religious from 13 nations live in five communities that function as the support bases for training health-care professionals, teachers, pastoral care workers and farmers. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur share now in this collaborative effort.


 South Africa

SND foundation established in 1899

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur arrived in southern Africa in 1899, on their way to what was then Rhodesia. The year 2007 is the 100th anniversary of the first SND foundation in South Africa. There are currently seven Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in this country, where ministries include formation of teachers, skills training and school improvement.

In the 1990s, members of the South African government recognized the Sisters of Notre Dame for their great influence in dismantling the apartheid system through their dedication to education and to materially poor people.

Ministries in South Africa
  • Education
  • Social Service
  • Community Action
  • Skills Training
  • Pastoral Service
  • Vocation Programs

 Zimbabwe

SND Foundation established in 1899

The first Sisters of Notre Dame came to Zimbabwe in 1899 to work with children at Empandeni-Embakwe. Since then, the Sisters have tried to share with their students and friends the wonder of the Gospel message. In Zimbabwe, our teaching ministries are expressed through a variety of channels: formal education, catechesis, pastoral work, and community development. Health care has become an increasingly significant part of the educational ministry because of the AIDS epidemic here.

In Harare, the Sisters run the Tariro Yedu project. This aims at preparing children who have never been in school to enter the school system. Most of the children are orphaned due to AIDS. Many of them have migrated to the urban area of Mbare from the rural areas, or were displaced in the Government “Clean-Up Operation”. In both the Bulawayo communities, Pumula and the Formation House, the Sisters provide vulnerable children with food and educational opportunities.

The Sisters in South Africa and Zimbabwe work closely together and now form the ZimSA Province.