The convent and school of the Religious of the Assumption in Zinder, Niger were looted and burned January 16, 2015. The Sisters escaped harm and are temporarily housed where they can be kept safe. They had been targeted once before, but had been able to close the gate of the compound in time.
The parish and rectory were also torched.
The violence is Zinder is believed to be connected to the release of the most recent issue of the magazine Charlie Hebdo in France. Click here to read the article on BBC news regarding the outbreak of violence in Niger.
Please pray for the safety of our Sisters in Zinder and for an end to the violence that is engulfing the country.
WHO ARE THE RELIGIOUS OF THE ASSUMPTION IN ZINDER AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
(Translated from the French by Sr. Nuala Cotter, RA.To view this in its original form, please click here.)
The Religious of the Assumption arrived in Zinder in 1966; Zinder is about 950 km from Niamey, the capital. They began work in the parish of St. Therese of the Child Jesus.
The Sisters invested themselves in the area of Education in all its forms: health, primary and pre-school, and the Center for Human Development.
With respect to health, they are at Kara Kara, a neighborhood initially occupied by people sick with leprosy. Their objective was to get families sick with leprosy back into the society using the following means:
1) The improvement of the overall health of the sick persons.
2) The improvement of their living conditions.
3) Getting their children into school.
4) Professional (or technical) formation of young people.
5) Income-producing projects for women.
The Catholic Mission School of Zinder, commonly known as the Catholic Assumption Mission School, is a school that welcomes children from three and a half to thirteen years of age. This schools objective is to be engaged in the integral education and the success of the student for a world of brotherhood, justice and peace. Thus the teaching staff and the administration has a professional conscience to form a dynamic educational team so as to contribute to the blossoming of each pupil. Today (2014-15) the school boasts a total of 711 students.
At the Center for Human Development, the Assumption Sisters objective is to lead young girls and women whove never been to school to take charge of their own lives through apprenticeship in some of the following skills: knitting (both by hand and by machine), crocheting, embroidery, sewing, literacy and cooking.
The Sisters also work on expanding the womens areas of knowledge, including work on married life, how to live with others, various sicknesses and sensitivity training.