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February 2012 

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In This Issue
NGO Status at U.N.
Achieving Goals Together
Sisters Advise U.N. Reps
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Sisters' NGO Status at United Nations
It's been more than ten years since the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur gained status as an accredited  Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) at the United Nations.The Sisters' "boots on the ground" experience on five continents has provided unparalleled insight into the needs of impoverished communities across the globe. Serving in an official advisory capacity at the U.N. is as natural for the international Congregation as constructing clinics and classrooms in the world's most abandoned places. As professional women religious committed to serving those living and working in poverty, the Sisters speak with informed understanding, recognized credibility and passion.
Sister Jean Stoner
Sister Jean Stoner represents the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at the U.N.
Congolese Sisters Share Spotlight at U.N.

In early February, Congolese Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Claudine Dumbi and Lucie Kima traveled eight-thousand miles to deliver a joint presentation at the United Nations. Their message? That the Sisters' African Photovoltaic Project is transforming primitive, impoverished villages into healthier, more hopeful communities. Improvements as a result of this initiative have made entire communities better able to participate in 21st-century commerce and communication. 
The project, first established in a remote Congolese village in 2008, is operational at six sites in Nigeria and Congo. With the resulting solar-powered energy, all of these sites have access to electricity, clean water and the World Wide Web. The Sisters' African Photovoltaic Project is a significant step forward in attaining the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. To promote understanding of this vast undertaking, the Sisters have designed online teaching tools for classroom and independent use.
What are the U.N. Millennium Development Goals?
Sister Claudine feeding chickens
Sister Claudine Dumbi, a professor of agricultural science in the Democratic Republic of Congo, oversees a food initiative that provides eggs and poultry to an impoverished population.
 At the U.N. Millennium Summit in September 2000, more than 
180 countries resolved to rid the world of extreme poverty by 2015. 
The Summit identified eight primary goals to be accomplished  in the intervening 15 years. Living and working alongside impoverished people in 17  countries, the Sisters of Notre  Dame de Namur are in a unique  position to aid in this massive  effort. In Africa, the Sisters launched many initiatives to  increase literacy and combat  illness and hunger. As Sisters  Claudine and Lucie stated in their  recent presentation at the U.N.,  the Congregation's most  ambitious undertaking to date has been the African Photovoltaic Project. Another successful initiative is Sister Claudine's Chicken Project
, a program designed to introduce more nutrition into the Congolese diet and to provide business opportunities to struggling farmers and destitute widows.    
Sisters Provide Insight for U.N. Commission
Sisters speak with attendee at U.N. presentation
Sister Lucie (left) and Sister Claudine speak with interested attendee at their recent U.N. presentation.
Various commissions at the U.N. study issues affecting world health, economic stability and international security. NGO committees support their efforts by providing first-hand information at workshops called parallel events. The 
African Photovoltaic Project parallel event was one of 28 held in conjunction with the 50th Session of the Commission for Social Development focusing on poverty eradication across the globe.