Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 27 November |
The Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
home iconNews
line break icon

Irish nun receives international courage award for devotion to girls

ORLA TREACY

AFP

J-P Mauro - published on 03/08/19

Sister Orla Treacy has been empowering young women in South Sudan with education for over a decade.

The US State Department issued its International Women of Courage Award to a well-known Irish nun for her exceptional devotion to her vocation.  Sr. Orla Treacy, of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (also known as the Loreto Sisters), was honored with the award after well over a decade of work educating young women in South Sudan.

One of the most volatile countries in Africa, South Sudan is not generous to their girls and the vast majority are never afforded the opportunity for an education. Sister Treacy’s outreach work and educational mission is an outstretched arm offering empowerment to thousands of pupils through education.

At Loreto Secondary School in Rumbek in Lake States, considered the premier girls’ school in the impoverished country, Sister Treacy serves as principal. She works daily to protect her students from the ongoing civil conflict and from discriminatory practices such as forced marriages.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Sister Treacy spoke about some of the difficulties she faces from her students’ parents, who are not easily convinced that their daughters need an education. Many Sudanese families value their daughters’ worth solely by how many cows her marriage dowry could provide. Sister Treacy said the school has found a way to work with the local community to keep the girls in school:

“One of the things we’ve had to do get them to sign an agreement with the school. We asked for an elder within the family to come with the girl, to sign an agreement with the school that if she comes to the school she will not be forced out over the four years. It usually works, but sadly we lose about 2% every year.”

The US State Department’s International Women of Courage Award, now in its 13th year, is awarded to women all over the world who demonstrate exceptional leadership and courage in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment. Recipients have held firm to their mission, often even at great personal risk and sacrifice.

Irish Catholic notes that since 2007, when the award was established, the State Department has recognized more than 120 women from more than 65 different countries. US diplomatic overseas missions provide nominations of women of courage from their respective host countries. The finalists are selected and approved by senior department officials.

Tags:
VocationWomen
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
FIRST CENTURY HOUSE AT THE SISTERS OF NAZARETH SITE
John Burger
British archaeologist confident he has found ...
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio's favorite prayer of petition
CHRIST THE KING
Edifa
Why do we say that "Christ is King"?
VATICAN POPE GOOD FRIDAY COLOSSEUM
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Learn to pray with the early Church and to di...
Miguel Pro
Philip Kosloski
How Bl. Miguel Pro served his people during c...
CHRISTMAS,ADVENT WREATH,FAMILY
Theresa Civantos Barber
7 Advent traditions that are easy to do at ho...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.