- Sister of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus Eunice Onuoha is involved in a wonderful « Bolgatanga Donkey and Cart Project.» The sisters or a donor donate a donkey and cart to a group of about 16 women who do various services for a village. They carry food, water, building materials or other necessities, and people pay them for jobs. With the money they earn they can pay for children’s school fees, health insurance…The donation also includes weaving materials, which they convert into crafts and use the donkey to take them to market. The older women especially appreciate their new conveyance. The pictures Mary Akinwale SHCJ sent were lovely, but—sorry—are not in a form that we can copy.
- We continue to reflect on the stories sent us from Aleppo by the Religious of Jesus and Mary in Syria. Many of the stories reflect the reality of the continued siege and its effect on women. They tell us that many men take advantage of the war conditions to abuse women and girls, like Mr. G, who beats his schizophrenic wife—not acknowledging her illness—and has fathered a son with a Muslim woman. When he is drunk he rapes one of his teenage daughters. The sisters try to intervene with him, to get the wife medicine, and to protect the three children.
- The Congregation of Our Lady of Sion in Canada are signing petitions, writing letters, having prayer services, and demonstrating outside government buildings to ask the Canadian government to send aid to Syria, and to simplify the application process for refugee status. An elder of a First People’s tribe proclaimed that Syrian refugees were welcome to his territory, as the whole crowd chanted « Welcome. »
Thank you to all who have been sending pictures; we are using them in our new brochures and other publications!
- In India, Sister Rekha of the Carmelite Sisters of Charity Vedruna led a one-day women’s training seminar on violence against women and children, for a group of 130 women from four villages. There was a sumptuous meal in the forest, and the women were educated on various issues, like domestic violence, abuse, witchcraft, and rape. The women shared their own experiences, on issues ranging from lack of potable water to alcoholism. There was speaker on child rights and issues like child marriages and orphans; and another on ecological topics like biodiversity. The women went home with the message that women are the channels of peace and healthy living in society.