- Doris Testa CSB, a Brigidine sister from Australia, came for an intensive two-week experience at the UN. She made good use of her limited time, learning how the UN works and how
UNANIMA fits into it, and networking with other people and groups in her areas of interest. Doris serves on her community leadership team and is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Victoria University. She is very involved in justice issues in Australia.
- Our Religious of Jesus and Mary (RJM) sisters sent detailed information about what it is like for them, still living with the Syrian people in Aleppo. Since the beginning of the crisis five years ago they have helped families—750 families between Aleppo and Alhassakeh—thanks to the support of their community and various charities. They are trying to stay in contact with displaced families whose homes have been destroyed. Winters are harsh, and the price of fuel is high so the people burn plastic and wet wood—even chopping up their furniture—to keep warm, and the fumes make them sick. They can’t afford to eat or cook because of electricity and water shortages. Many parts of the city have had no water for a long time, meaning no baths, and sometimes contaminated drinking water. The sisters are buying food, water, fuel, and clothing for those in need. They order clothes from small factories to provide work for the employees. Some of the women are forced to sell themselves in order to feed their families. The sisters are trying to help girls studying in the university so they can stay in school. So many sad stories! We will be using the individual stories in subsequent Updates to remind us to keep praying for that wounded country and its suffering people,
- At the opposite end of the Syrian refugee crisis stand the Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion (NDS) in Halle, Germany, who are volunteering at one of the refugee welcoming stations, translating, providing financial assistance, helping the children get in school, learn the language, and become integrated into new homes and social life. One of the sisters said that the whole country is thinking about the actions of its government 70 years ago, and is determined to welcome the estimated one million people coming in by the end of the year.
- UNANIMA Assistant Tori was invited to write a column for the Global Sisters Report.! This is a project of the National Catholic Reporter Online, and it’s the third thing they have asked us to be involved in. Here it is: (sorry no translation…it is delightful) globalsistersreport.org/node/32886
and their corresponding march pages –