International Financial Aid Fund

The Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk U.S. Province is a part of a larger international congregation with provinces in Belgium, India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guyana and Canada. The International Financial Aid Fund was created to assist our international Sisters working in impoverished areas of the world.  We support projects that provide care for the sick, education for the poor, and healthy environments for our Sisters and their students. Our hope is to encourage sustainability, self-sufficiency and empowerment of the poor.

Funds from the Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk are used to support a variety of needs including educating poor children in India. Without our support, they will work in fields, graze cattle or take care of younger siblings. Their parents cannot read or write and cannot pay for them to go to school. Education is the the only way to improve the future of the children and their tribe. Children who have been taught by our Ursuline Sisters have become pillars of their villages and have created self-help groups within their villages, making life much better for the entire community.

IFAF funds also provided for an education project in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the Jesuit Refugee Service volunteers helping traumatized and displaced youth. Our Sisters provided education in the primary and secondary levels and are developing an online university. They have 60 young refugees studying online with emphasis on peace, faith and spirituality.

Sister Esperance Hamuli explains, “To me education is about dignity. It’s about giving children, who have nothing, a way to engage in the society around them and do something with their lives besides contribute to the violence that surrounds them.”

IFAF: Walking With Each Other in 2020

Acting alone will hardly change the state of the world, but walking together
can change everything.

Sisters Jyotsa and Mariam are studying to become doctors
Sisters Jyotsa and Mariam are studying to become doctors
Sewing training in Goma

During the past fifteen years, the Ursuline Sisters, U.S. Province, has been happy to
donate funds to promote the ministries of the Congregation of the Ursuline Sisters.
These funds have been wisely and regularly distributed through the International
Financial Aid Fund (IFAF).

The purpose is to further promulgate the Ursuline mission in all the countries in
which we minister. The projects/programs, to the greatest extent possible, must be
environmentally and economically sustainable in the DRCongo, India, and other
economically disadvantaged areas where an Ursuline Sister may minister. The
economic and social stability of women and children is a priority. We support basic
needs including nutrition, housing, education, medical care, and initial and on-going
formation.

This year IFAF will provide funds to the Vice-Province
of Congo for equipment to begin an apprenticeship for wives
who have been abused and deserted by their husbands. The
wives live in a very poor section of Goma and have come for help and training at our Ursuline
Convent in Goma. The Sisters want to give the women training in sewing, but they have no
equipment. The program will consist of two groups of 30 women each year. Funds are needed to
purchase such items as tables and chairs, cupboards, scissors, a blackboard, ribbon, thread, etc.,
and most of all sewing machines. Sewing machines in Congo can be purchased at $45 each.
With a grant from IFAF, these poor wives, hopefully can again take pride in themselves by
becoming a little self-sufficient and independent.

In India, Gumla Province has asked for financial help for St. Ursula Hospital, Noatoli, which
is owned and run by our Sisters. St. Ursula Hospital is a 70 bed hospital, treating 30 – 40 outpatients
daily and daily admits 20 -25 in-patients. The hospital treats about 9000 patients a year.
Each patient needs to undergo various lab tests for accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Every month 360 – 370 different tests are done in our laboratory. Old methods with worn out
machines are still being used which are time consuming and at times inaccurate. Thus, the patient suffers. For quick and
accurate reports and a timely diagnosis an up-to-date Chemistry Auto Analyzer and Hematology Analyzer are needed
urgently.

Following is a brief update from our two young Sisters from Ranchi Province, India. With the support of IFAF, Sisters
Jyotsna and Mariam, OSU, have been studying medicine at Our Lady of Fatima University, College of Medicine in the
Philippines.

…We have been busy with our studies. We had 15 subjects
in the first semester and we are happy to tell you that we
cleared (passes) all the subjects. Many of our classmates
could not pass, so they must attend remedial classes and
rewrite the exam. Subjects are hard but they are interesting
and we are learning practical things. We just began a new semester
where we have lectures, visit wards in different hospitals and then
give a report. When we go to the hospitals, we deal with the real
patients, do the physical exam, diagnosis the disease, and report that
to the class. We have small tests after the lectures and three major
exams. We will begin our 4th year (clerkship) in July.
The weather here is fine right now. Soon summer will begin.
Once again thank you to all the Sisters for your prayerful support and concern,
and we are praying for all of you. God’s blessings and greetings to all of you over there.
We ask you to continue praying for all of us. Wish you a fruitful Lenten season.
Thank you and much love,
Sisters Jyotsna and Mariam

Thus, we as Ursuline Sisters continue to foster the growth of Christian values in our contemporary world. By helping
people to experience the goodness and love of God we promote the dignity of women and her role in the family, in the
Church, and in society.

Contributions for the 2020 IFAF Appeal may be mailed to:
Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, IFAF Donation, 81-15 Utopia Parkway, Jamaica, NY 11432.

Thank you!