From: Al Jazeera Close Up

Sister Angelique ‘The hand of God’ | Close Up

In DRC, Sister Angelique has been transforming the lives of thousands of Congolese women and children.

In 2013, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) awarded the Nansen Refugee Award to Sister Angelique Namaika. The award recognised the Roman Catholic nun’s extensive work with more than 2,000 women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Many of these women are survivors of rape and abuse by fighters of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

The prize came with an award of $100,000, allowing her to expand her Centre for Reintegration and Development, in Dungu.

”Even though I can’t end poverty, everyone does what they can. Even if you save one life, it’s still a life,” says Sister Angelique.

First, she opened a bakery that employs 50 women who earn an income baking and selling bread.

In 2015, she started a primary school for children whose families could not afford education fees. The centre has now expanded to include a kindergarten and a secondary school with more than 1,500 children enrolled.

The Centre for Reintegration and Development also includes a paediatric clinic where more than 14,000 patients have received treatment since it opened in October 2014. The centre houses an orphanage that now cares for 57 children.

”The world is made of ups and downs. Somewhere as someone cries, someone else dances. It’s life in this world”, she says.

To date, she has helped to transform the lives of more than 22,500 people.

Director: Rayan Hindi

Camera: Rayan Hindi and Thomas Freteur

Field Producer: Carlinda Lopes

Editor: Hasham Cheema

Translation: Jean-Claude Mbalamosi

Producer: Ala Alhussan

Executive Producer: Andrew James Phillips

Executive Producers UNHCR: Michelle Hoffman, Linda Muriuki, Andreas Kirchhof


All footage courtesy of UNHCR.