The Congolese nun became a legend in Africa and also in the rest of the world. She received last September the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) prestigious Nansen prize. “I was surprised because I worked without having the idea that one day I could be recognized for this work I have been doing in our country.”
Sister Angélique is responsible for reinstatement and development Center at Dungu in Oriental Province. She supports thousands of displaced women and children and victims of LRA rebels.
For years, she has been helping and fighting for women displaced by the bloody Ugandan LRA rebellion.
Sister Angléique lives in Dungu, a city of 73 000 inhabitants, situated in Oriental Province, in the northeast of Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC). At the age of 46 years, she, every day, attends the mass of 6:30 am.
She was born in the village of Kembisa, in the South of Oriental Province. She came from a family of six children. Her parents are modest farmers. Her very religious grandmother raised her for a great part. From the age of 9 years, Angélique decided to devote her life to God, inspired by the “German sister, Tonne”.
Angélique was trained in Doruma where she lived twelve years. In 2003, after one year and half in Bangadi, Sister Angélique left for Dungu where she started supporting women in need.
“I worked with a group of vulnerable women who could neither read nor write and who were jobless”
In October 2009, displaced people arrived at Dungu, escaping away from Ugandan LRA rebellion (Lord’s Résistance Army). Sister Angélique took major risks in order to defend others. She had to leave her nunnery and took refuge at Franciscan sisters’, then in deep bush. She could find back her nunnery only in January 2010.
“She makes jokes; she is easily accessible, underlined priest Rémi. She knows how to approach women, to make them comfortable.”
Since 2003, sister Angélique has helped “more than 2 000 women” in majority, direct or indirect victims of LRA. About her initiative, she said: “All these trainings that I give, it is for their social reinstatement; these trainings also prevent them from being traumatized, help them resuming life as it was previously, these trainings also help them to become autonomous in order to be capable of assuring medical care of their children, schooling their children and also providing food and leisure to the family.”
The Congolese religious, Sister Angélique Namaika, met Pope Benoit XVI in Vatican after having received Nansen Prize awarded by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
“Benoit XVI laid hands upon me while telling me that he already knew the situation and… that I can continue to help refugees and displaced people (…) I asked for a special blessing so that I can always continue to do this work”.