Monday, 19th June marked Sr Micheline O’Donnell’s final day in Nigeria after 37 years. “It’s a big change, it’s quite emotional,” she said, reflecting back on her life’s work.
When she first missioned to Nigeria, only two health centres were operated by the Religious Sisters of Charity. Since then, three additional centres have opened, all with direct involvement from the Sisters in both administration and healthcare roles.
One of Sr Micheline’s proudest legacies is in healthcare and healthcare education. As recently profiled in an article on ‘International Day of Action For Women’s Health’, there is little national funding for services and the RSC have stepped in to offer affordable healthcare. RSC clinics in Nigeria encourage expectant mothers and young children to be immunised against tetanus shots, hepatitis, TB and polio. Healthcare education involves outlining the importance of health eating and including fruit and veg in diets.
Sr Micheline was stationed in Bomadi, Delta Province, for almost a decade and her years in the local healthcare clinic were some of the happiest of her tenure in Nigeria. As the clinic was quite small and needed hands-on involvement, Sr Micheline could spend a lot of time working in the local community.
Sr Micheline is also passionate about educational issues, and during her time as Regional Leader, she supported Sr Angela and her work as head teacher of Our Lady of the Waters Nursery/Primary School, Bomadi. You can read more about the school in the article ‘Education in Nigeria’.
When Sr Micheline first moved to the Nigerian region, she worked alongside four Nigerian-born Sisters. Almost four decades later, the number of Nigerian-born Sisters has grown to 46 and Sr Micheline’s Regional Team has been succeeded by the first all-Nigerian Regional Team.
We wish Sr Micheline best wishes as she starts on a new chapter.