, 29 November, 2020 / 6:48 PM
The leadership of the initiative that facilitates education for women Religious in Africa is appealing to people of good will and well-wishers to facilitate the acquisition of 21 laptops to foster the apostolate of Catholic Sisters working “so hard to support their communities” in Africa, an official of the entity has told ACI Africa.
Officials at the helm of the African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) are making the appeal as part of the GivingTuesday 2020 to be marked December 1, a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.
“ASEC’s appeal for GivingTuesday 2020 is for the people of goodwill and well-wishers to donate 21 computers to support the Catholic Sisters in Africa,” ASEC’s Executive Director, Sr. Draru Mary Cecilia told ACI Africa Wednesday, November 25.
The laptops will enable the beneficiaries to transition their studies and ministries to online platforms so that they continue to better serve their people amid COVID-19 pandemic, the member of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate of Gulu (LSMIG) of Uganda’s Gulu Archdiocese added.
The U.S-based Executive Director of ASEC underscored the need for the laptops saying, “In today’s world, it is virtually impossible to be effective in your work and ministry without using technology at some point.”
Sr. Draru went on to note that the appeal for the 21 laptops is an opportunity for “people of goodwill and well-wishers” to express their appreciation toward Catholic Sisters for their dedication in serving people in the world’s second largest continent, Africa.
“Catholic Sisters offer quality services in schools, clinics, hospitals, and other diverse social ministries. In some very rural areas, the only clinic or outreach healthcare services offered are from the Catholic Sisters who go once a month to serve the people in those villages,” the Ugandan-born Sister told ACI Africa.
Giving back to the Catholic Sisters through ASEC is a way of saying “Thank you,” she added, referencing the appeal that comes days to the December 8 twenty-first anniversary of the founding of ASEC.
In a November 16 Facebook post announcing the start of “early giving” ahead of the December 1 Giving Tuesday event, ASEC’s leadership says, “Most of our scholarship students don’t have personal laptops. They often share computer access with their entire congregations.”
“Many Sisters travel long distances to Internet cafes with the hope that there will be an available computer and stable Internet to complete her online coursework,” ASEC leadership adds in the Facebook post, noting that the laptops will not only help the Catholic Sisters to thrive in their studies but also support their ministry to the poor.
Established on 8 December 1999 by four Catholic universities in the U.S. and their respective Religious Orders, ASEC’s mission is to facilitate access to education for women Religious in Africa, leading to enhancement and expansion of the education, health, economic, social, environmental and spiritual services they provide.
In the last 21 years, ASEC has facilitated the education of at least 5,300 Sisters spread across 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa; beneficiaries who Sr. Draru says are 13% of the number of sisters ministering in the region.
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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa