HistoryOur mission is to break the silence surrounding HIV/AIDS.
All-Africa Conference: Sister to Sister (AAC:SS) was formed in 2002 following a meeting between a group of African women theologians and ethicist Margaret Farley, RSM, a professor at the Yale School of Divinity, and Sister Eileen Hogan, RSM. The women discussed the HIV/AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa and ways the Catholic Church could respond to the widespread human suffering.
Participants concluded that breaking the silence and ending the fear and shame associated with HIV/AIDS were urgent priorities in reducing the incidence of new cases. They stressed that treatment and prevention are only possible when people are comfortable enough to ask for help.
With the support of the Sisters of Mercy, the women agreed to meet again in Africa later that year to form the All-Africa Conference: Sister to Sister (AAC:SS). They identified three key goals:
- empower women religious through education to provide exceptional care-giving and counseling to those living with HIV/AIDS.
- build trust for sisters serving the HIV/AIDS community so that patients are comfortable being treated without fear or shame.
- grow a network of women religious who provide comfort to one another as well as spiritual and professional support.
Sr. Margaret and Sr. Eileen spent 15 years meeting with and listening to African women religious, assisting them in hosting conferences and workshops to address their needs in training and education.
Currently, AAC:SS is administered by Sr. Rosemary Jeffries, RSM along with Sr. Mayon Sylvain, M.M. and supported by many volunteers both lay and religious.
Where we serve today. Sister to Sister operates in six sub-Saharan nations: Uganda, Malawi, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Our impact. Since our founding, over 6,000 sisters have participated in AAC:SS programs. Over 500,000 individuals living with HIV/AIDS have benefited from our sisters increased skill and knowledge.