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May 2012 

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In This Issue
Crucial Presence
Buying New Parents?
A Place to Belong
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Sister in Yellow
An entire network of Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur works with impoverished communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Crucial Presence
The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur rescue, protect, educate and comfort lost and abandoned children every day in their work with impoverished communities around the globe. Join in the Sisters' efforts. Without the Sisters' intervention, it is likely that Décision would have been kidnapped, forced into slavery, become a child soldier -- or killed.
The Sisters' willingness to take in Décision without benefit of school fees or compensation for his upkeep saved his life. The Sisters rely on meager finances for their own needs. How many children can they feed and educate before running out of funds?
Young children like Décision cannot imagine what life would be like for them without the Sisters.

Barefoot into the Unknown      

Congolese HousesOne day, Décision, a young boy living in the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo, walked away from the only home he had ever known. His mother and father had both died. He had no extended family, no siblings, no larger community. Where did he belong? He didn't know. During his journey, Décision begged for food and slept at the edge of the forest. Finally, he stumbled upon the compound of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in Pelende -- approximately 50 miles from his home in Kitenda. 
"Where did you come from?" the Sisters asked when they saw his dusty, bare feet, his clothes in rags, his large, brown, hungry eyes.
 "I started walking from Kitenda," Décision said. "And, ended up here."

Where can I buy new parents?        

Young Decision holding guitar in Congo

Décision told the Sisters that, during his journey, he had met a man who played a guitar. Décision had begged the man to show him how to play it. Décision returned to the forest to cut a piece of wood that he could fashion into a guitar-like instrument. Now he tells his story by singing and playing the instrument. He sings: "Where can I find a market where parents are sold? But even if I could find one, I have no money and cannot afford to buy parents." Watch a clip of Décision performing. 

A Place to Belong
Decision singing, men dancing
An impromptu concert by a traveling troubadour.

About the time Décision arrived at their compound, the Sisters began working with U.S. engineers and local contractors to install Pelende's very first photovoltaic system. Pelende would soon have electric lights and purified water as well as a computer café -- all supplied by the power of the sun! Décision was attracted to the daily activity and sat down among the workers to sing and play his guitar. After long, hot days of fatigue and tension, the contractors welcomed him into their midst as they clapped and danced to his music. Décision smiled and sang. He had found a place to belong. 

With great gratitude,
Sister Leonore Coan
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Congregational Mission Office