South Sudan

Mercy at a Glance

South Sudan was formed in 2011 when it gained its independence from Sudan following a referendum. It is landlocked country in northeastern Africa that has suffered internal conflict since its independence. It ranks highest among all sovereign countries on the Fragile States Index, a report that uses twelve indicators to assess a country’s risk to experience violence or collapse.

At the moment, there are four Sisters of Mercy working in and for South Sudan, three of whom live there year round.

Marilyn Lacey rsm, from the Institute of the Americas, started work in South Sudan in 1992. She is the co-founder and executive director of Mercy Beyond Borders, a California-based non-profit group that provides education and health care resources for women and children in sub-Saharan Africa. It employs three strategies to alleviate poverty in South Sudan: education of women and girls, providing seed capital to women, and promotion of maternal and child health. Marilyn travels to Mercy colleges, universities and high schools in the US and beyond to educate people on what is happening in South Sudan and outline how they can help.

The three Sisters of Mercy living and ministering in South Sudan are:

  • Maureen Limer rsm from the Federation of Sisters of Mercy of Great Britain who works in education.
  • Ailish O’Brien rsm from the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, Ireland, who teaches in a teacher training college in Yambio.
  • Rosario Staunton rsm from the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy (Great Britain) who works in Yambio in the Philosophy Seminary. She teaches English to the seminarians and also provides pastoral care to displaced persons living in the area.