“God is rich in His mercy”, writes Sister Marta Litawa, of the Pallottine Sisters in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, and she herself bears living witness to this mercy. Along with her fellow Sisters she is there where the need is greatest, especially among the sick and malnourished children including orphans.
The congregation has actually 39 Sisters and carries out various apostolate in health centres and schools, in the Marian sanctuary of Our Lady of Kibeho and among orphaned children.
They receive nearly 40,000 patients per year in each of their 6 health centres (Masaka, Gikon-do, Ruhango, Kibeho in Rwanda, Goma and Rutshuru in DR Congo). Each centre offers service of consultation, a laboratory, injections, dressing of wounds, maternity care, hospitalisation, nutrition programmes, vaccinations, pre-natal consultations and HIV/AIDS treatment. In the nutritional centres, some children arrive in such a state of malnutrition that it takes several weeks to treat them and regain a normal weight. In addition to care, the Sisters organise nutrition classes teaching the parents how to prepare balanced meals using local products and encourage them to create gardens to grow vegetables.
Without education there is no future and here the Sisters try to help too. They run two schools “St Vincent Pallotti” in Masaka and Gikondo (Rwanda). They also provide school education for orphaned children and support the spiritual, moral and school education of street children.
Beside all these different social services the Pallottine Sisters are eager to provide spiritual “nutrition” as well. In Kibeho, the famous African Marian Shrine, the sisters welcome tens of thousands of pilgrims year by year. Today, pilgrims come from all over the world.
For several years now, ACN has been helping the congregation by allocating an “existence help contribution” that allows the sisters to carry out their various apostolate and enables some of them to follow theological and professional studies to improve their knowledge.