Sister Christine Laure, Sister Hospitaller, and companion of Sister Angela. She has been working in the mission dedicated to the mentally ill in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since 2005. She works as a neuropsychiatric nurse and is currently the Director of the Telema Center.
What does it mean to you that Sister Angela has been nominated for such an important and honorary award as the Princess of Asturias Award for Concord 2020?
For me, Sister Angela has been proposed for this great and honorary award for the acts and gestures that she leaves everywhere she goes. Sister Angela, silently, does exactly like Jesus, who went from city to city healing the sick and doing good without expecting reward. It is so extraordinary that he could not finish describing all the acts of mercy and compassion that he has been leaving around him since 1989.
What is working with her for you? What do you learn daily from her work and dedication?
Working with Sister Angela is for me an initiation to missionary and religious life. With her I have learned what it means to have a spirit of sacrifice, to have the initiative to know how to act at the right time, her courage and her ability to relate to others, her humility to call where necessary and where she believes she could get something for him to do.
How did your journey start at the TELEMA center? What do you do in your job? How is your day?
In 2005, my Superior sent me on a mission to the Telema Center. I did not hesitate to accept this mission but the first moments were not very easy because I had to learn the cultural customs of the country and, above all, its language. Day after day I received the support and advice of the oldest, collaborators and friends. The integration has been easy and I have been able to live my mission with great enthusiasm and dedication throughout the years.
As the person in charge of the center for the past year, my job is to coordinate the activities of the center, make sure that all the staff are in place and that nothing is missing for the proper functioning of the center. My job is also to listen to the sick and their families who need to speak to a sister.
What is the feeling of dedicating yourself professionally to helping the integration and improvement of the quality of life of so many people?
I have feelings of joy when we manage to help those who suffer, just as when they are happy, our joy is immense. Professionally, as the word “TELEMA” indicates, which in the local language –lingala- means “to raise a person”, when we managed to restore dignity to the person who had lost it, to those who were marginalized, we felt happy and encouraged to continue.
And finally, how important would it be for the center and for all of us if Sister Angela was chosen as the winner of the award?
The center will once again have a reason to thank the work of Sister Angela, who is first of all one of the founders of the Telema Center. Furthermore, it will be a source of encouragement and support for all the staff of the Center, for the entire hospital community, for the entire Democratic Republic of the Congo, and for the entire Congregation.