All-Africa Conference: Sister to Sister (AACSS) invited to Mercy High School (Americas)
In order to cap a week of study and fundraising that was focused on a major challenge in the Republic of Uganda, the students at Mercy High School in Middletown, Connecticut, U.S.A., invited the Directors of All-Africa Conference: Sister to Sister (Sisters Margaret Farley, Eileen Hogan and Mayon Sylvain) to spend a morning with them. The broad focus was the complex realities of poverty, violence, and HIV and AIDS. Moving stories about the suffering and hope of individuals striving to rebuild a community focused specifically upon the work of women religious ministering in northern Uganda with people ravaged by civil war.
During their week of study the students obtained information on the burden of HIV and AIDS, and on recent estimates of the incidence and prevalence of HIV. They wanted to respond in union with people -- especially teenagers -- who had suffered such profound terror and were struggling with such hope.
The Middletown students decided to raise funds for the people of the Lango Tribe in Lira who need chairs and basic furniture for a small Counseling Center that local Sisters recently built with AACSS assistance. The center offers individual counseling, group sessions and days for community building. They also offer people opportunities to learn about basic agriculture, raising chickens, egg production and sewing clothing.
Our day together began when the students greeted us with a rousing rendition of music from the Lion King which expressed the same spirit of life and joy that the young women of Lira shared with AACSS Sisters at the Center’s grand opening.
That the young of Middletown are bonding with the young of Lira fulfills a core goal of AACSS: to bring new hope to the people of sub-Saharan Africa. Certainly the young of Middletown have filled us with joy and hope --- and gratitude for and to them.
Eileen Hogan rsm - AACSS
Mary McCarthy rsm - Pricipal, Mercy High School