Yambio, South Sudan, May 4, 2019 / 04:00 am
They were founded three decades ago in southern Sudan, and named the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But in a region dramatically affected by the South Sudanese civil war, they are usually known by the bright color of their habits. To most who know them, they are the "Blue Sisters."
In the South Sudanese Diocese of Tombura Yambio, Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala has tasked them with providing permanent assistance to the many women, including young girls and teenagers, who have been raped, abused or abandoned amid the violent conflicts that have plagued the region for years.
"There is a major stigma that falls over these mostly young women who are victims of the violence of war," said Sister Ester, local superior for the small community of the four "Blue Sisters" who help with the recovery of some 100 women in a facility in the town of Yambio, next to the diocesan chancery.
"The sisters are an incredible blessing," Bishop Hiiboro Kussala told CNA. "They were founded by my predecessor, Bishop Joseph Abangite Gasi upon the request of the Sudanese bishops, who realized that a community of African sisters was sorely needed."