Peru: One Sister's Story
Sister Marleny Bardales Raymundo spends her days among the children of Peru. As the superintendent of a school system known as Fe Y Alegria (Spanish for "Faith and Happiness") comprised of 31 schools scattered throughout 15 remote villages, Sister Marleny is constantly on the road. Whether she is lurching over dirt roadways in a pickup truck to an elementary school in the mountains or traveling by boat up the country's back waterways to visit the teacher and students of a "one-teacher school," Sister Marleny's goal is the same: to ensure the highest quality education and opportunity possible for the children in her charge.Read more about Sister Marleny's work in Good Works magazine.
|Sister Marleny (standing center front) with rural school children in Peru.|
|Students at St. Peter Claver School process in front of school's crumbling foundation.|
Investing in South Africa's Future
For more than a century, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur have coped with shifting political realities. During South Africa's decades of apartheid, we operated schools that educated wealthy white students while using a portion of those schools' revenues to educate children living in segregated impoverished black communities. Now that apartheid is officially ended, our work has only increased. We have established adult educational centers in various impoverished townships in order to educate an entire generation of adult South Africans who have never before attended school. One of these adult educational centers is located in a former "whites only" boarding school in the transitional neighborhood of Kroonstad. After years of neglect during political unrest, the building is in drastic need of repair and support.
Another school needing immediate repair is our St. Peter Claver School for elementary children in a nearby impoverished township. Originally built of sub-standard materials during apartheid, the school is decaying. Notre Dame Mission Volunteer Sarah Moran has spent the last year teaching children in one of the school's decrepit classrooms. Despite their physical surroundings, Sarah and the children have accomplished amazing results. An excerpt from Sarah's blog provides a fascinating account of her experiences and hope for the future. Read more on our web site about the creative ways the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur live out our mission in South Africa.