Photo Credit: Friends in Solidarity
Our Global Ministries is proud to work with nurses in Peru, Haiti and South Sudan. Through community health and clinical delivery programs, we have funded, partnered and empowered nurses providing direct care to those who are most vulnerable.
“It’s a very different reality [in South Sudan],” Camille Grippon, our system director of global ministries, says.
When the country gained its independence for the Republic of Sudan in 2011, there were just 83 registered nurses and 19 registered midwives serving the country’s population of 9.8 million. Most people in that region historically have not been able to get the education they need to become health care workers, either because there is no access to training, or the cost is prohibitive. Continuous civil unrest has led to widespread poverty and hunger.
Through an entity called Friends in Solidarity, our ministry is a cornerstone partner providing fundraising support for the Catholic Health Training Institute (CHTI) in Wau, Sudan. The funds support general operations and student scholarships. Our support of this work not only reflects our Catholic identity, it helps us fulfill our mission to bring good help to those in need, especially those who are poor and underserved.
The CHTI has 131 students on campus with over 40 percent being women. This is a great increase over the 20 percent of women students present on campus when the program was initiated in 2011. Solidarity places a priority on having women students at CHTI, especially in midwifery.
Forty-one students matriculated in June of 2021 and 39 are expected to graduate mid-2022. Each year, two promising graduates are offered a scholarship for further studies. Two graduates of nursing schools in Kenya have returned with Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees to assume teaching positions at the CHTI.
Since its opening in 2010, CHTI has trained young adults continuously, despite societal disruptions, earning it considerable respect in the community. After graduation, these nurses and midwives typically find work in hospitals or pursue additional training in nearby nations.
By supporting CHTI, Friends in Solidarity has helped address the lack of professional nurses and midwives in the region by creating a pipeline of health workers they would not otherwise have. At the same time, it lifts up families by empowering the students, especially young women.
“When they can be trained for health care, that translates to income for their family and the whole family progresses,” Camille explains. “It brings pride to the tribal leadership.”
It’s also important that the work promotes peace and care of the vulnerable.
“What we’re able to do in supporting [CHTI] is a peace-building process. We’re very proud of that,” Camille shares.
This story was developed in collaboration with Sister Joan Mumaw.
On this International Nurses Day, we honor the work of Global Ministries and the countless nurses living out our compassionate ministry of Jesus.
Join us in thanking our nurses this week! Use #BonSecoursNursesWeek on social media to share your “thank you” messages.
Also, read more stories about our amazing nurses.