Religious Sisters in South Africa Thank You for the Car for Their Work with Refugees

Success Story

"Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for the great support you have given us in obtaining a vehicle that will help our community in our work for the migrants and refugees." So write the Missionary Sisters of Saint Charles Borromeo, who have been working since 1998 in Johannesburg, providing pastoral care for refugees and migrants. Success Story

Since 2001 they have been running a home for refugee women and their children which they call "Bienvenu Shelter." This was an urgent necessity: until then the only shelters available were for native South African women and their children who were suffering from domestic violence and abuse.

The refugee and migrant women were forced to sleep in parks, on railway stations, or even on the streets, where they were easy victims for criminals who roamed the suburbs, bringing violence and insecurity. As a result, these women, many of whom are already victims of violence and war in their own countries, have to endure yet more trauma.

In their despair, many of these refugee women have also resorted to things they would never normally have done, such as selling their bodies for a little food for their children, for a place to sleep, or a little money. As a result, many are dangerously exposed to the risk of AIDS and other diseases. At the shelter run by the sisters they can at least find safe emergency accommodation and kind people who are willing to support them with help and advice.

The Sisters urgently needed a vehicle for their work. Getting around Johannesburg using public transportation is very difficult and restricting, while travelling on foot is slow, and above all dangerous, since there are many violent robberies. One of their Sisters had already been robbed earlier.

The Sisters appealed to ACN for help. Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we were able to provide them with the $13,500 they needed for a car. Now they can now get around much more quickly and easily, wherever their help is needed. They also promised us, "We include every single one of you in our daily prayers and we ask that God may bless you and your families."

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