By Sr. Evelyn Yande OSF

I first attended the All-Africa Conference: Sister to Sister programme in Benin City, Edo state in November 2016. I must say I appreciated the concept and I so much admired the generosity of the Religious Sister of Mercy and Partners towards the growth and the welfare of the Religious in Nigeria and African at large. I was impressed and felt challenged.

The AACSS programme has broadened my horizon. The topics have enlightened us on the plight of people living with HIV and AIDS, and helped us to be more available to accept disadvantaged persons, persons infected and affected.

Highly appreciated by all who attend AACSS conferences and workshops are the additional topics such as the care of the earth, accountability, and non-violence.  I remembered my first encounter, I was wondering what business I have with the care of the earth until the presenter explained of our collective responsibility.

In the area of facilitating and coordinating, the sisters are amazing.  Personally, I admire their zeal, commitment, and passion. As regards the attendance, I hope those of us who have attended the programme will continue to spread the good news, and one day all religious in Nigeria will come to appreciate the programme. Having worked with the coordinators closely, I also observed some challenges they encounter. I hope that more sisters will commit to coordinate the AACSS activities in the different zones and organize the programme in new areas.

In conclusion, it is my fervent prayer that God will bless and reward the Congregation immensely. As we continue to struggle with the monster (HIV/AIDS) among our people, may we always look at the face of the suffering Christ and be consoled.  May God teach us new ways to respond and collaborate with the Sisters of Mercy to make a difference in our Society.