The congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Apostles (Soeurs de Notre Dame des Apôtres) was established in 1876 in Lyons in France. The sisters work in many different fields, including education, catechesis, healthcare and the formation of catechists. At the same time they also care for children from deprived backgrounds. The congregation is present today in more than twenty countries and on all five continents.
Among these are six of the Francophone countries of West Africa, where the congregation is currently enjoying plenty of new vocations. At present there are twenty young women in their main formation house in Ivory Coast who are preparing for a future life of service within the congregation, for God and their fellow men.
The regional province for Burkina Faso and Niger is still relatively new, although the sisters have been present in Niger since 1950. At present the province has twenty-nine sisters working in seven different communities in various parts of Niger and neighbouring Burkina Faso. Both these countries lie partly within the Sahel region, and Niger, according to the UN‘s Human Development Index, is the poorest and most underdeveloped country in the world. Burkina Faso is not far behind, lying in eighth place among the poorest countries of the world. In both these countries the sisters have a great deal to do and in the most difficult of circumstances. For they are there to help all who turn to them, regardless of religious faith.
Until recently one of their biggest problems was the fact that they did not even have a car! And this despite the fact that the Mother House is almost 850 miles (1350 km) from the furthest community. But now, thanks to the help of our generous benefactors, we were able to give them the 21,700 Euros they needed to purchase a vehicle strong enough to cope with the challenging road conditions. Their heartfelt thanks to all of you for your help!