Washington D.C., Mar 7, 2019 / 17:01 pm
An Irish nun who has been working to educate girls in South Sudan for the past eleven years is among the recipients of this year's U.S. State Department International Women of Courage awards.
Orla Treacy, a Loreto sister from Bray, Ireland, was invited in 2006 by the Bishop of Rumbek to open a girls' boarding school. She had joined the Loreto Sisters in 2005, after working for a summer in Kolkata after college and witnessing the dire poverty there.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, along with First Lady Melania Trump, awarded the annual International Women of Courage Awards to ten women from around the world, including Treacy, at the State Department March 7.
Treacy told the Irish Times last year that after she arrived in the region that was then part of Sudan in 2006, it took two years to get their boarding school building actually constructed. The diocese where she arrived, according to a 2017 article from Catholic Ireland, was "the size of Italy but with just two [high] schools."