Our fight against extreme poverty happens in the most vulnerable communities across Africa. Sisters serve in areas that are geographically difficult to reach, lack adequate infrastructure and suffer from harsh climates, war, natural disasters, disease and violence. Catholic sisters courageously seek out the overlooked and advocate for the underserved. They are called to go to the hard places. We are called to give them the tools to make a bigger impact.
Programs of African Sisters Education Collaborative, or ASEC (AYE-sek), are always evolving; molding to fit the specific needs of sisters serving in the rural and poor communities of sub-Saharan Africa.
Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI)
SLDI (ES-elle-dee-eye) provides sisters with technology, administration and finance training through three one-month workshops over three years. Through SLDI, sisters gain the practical skills and confidence to build strong networks and take up leadership roles in their congregations and communities. Since 2007
Higher Education for Sisters in Africa (HESA)
HESA (HESS-uh) provides opportunities for sisters to access higher education (diploma, undergraduate and master’s degrees). HESA is delivered through partnerships with higher education institutions in Africa and online in the U.S. Since 2013
The Scholarship Program
The Scholarship Program bridges the gap to higher education for sisters by providing two-year scholarships to complete secondary school or higher education credentials relevant to their ministries. Many of our scholarship recipients then continue their education through the HESA program. Since 2012
Students and sisters from ASEC founding institutions participate in annual service trips to Africa. Accompanied by mentors, U.S. participants travel to Africa for three weeks and are immersed in a wide range of volunteer opportunities, serving side-by-side with African sisters. Since 2008
The Research Initiative aims to promote research on Catholic sisters in Africa, increase African women religious’ research skills, provide opportunities for them to engage in research projects and develop ASEC as a central repository of data related to women religious in Africa. Since 2010
Institutional Capacity Building (ICB)
Housed under SLDI, ICB (EYE-see-bee) supports the internal strength and the external service of national conferences/associations and congregations in Africa as they strive to positively impact human development. The goal of ICB is to strengthen systems and improve the vitality and vibrancy of African women religious. Since 2019