October Appeal 2023

In most societies, women and girls tend to be especially targeted by injustice ranging from discrimination and lack of education to physical abuse…Wherever we serve, the Maryknoll Sisters make it a priority to help them and give them a voice!

This is what Sister Efu Nyaki, MM had in mind in 1998 when she co-founded the Afya Women’s Holistic Healing Center in the city of João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil. The Center focuses on women suffering from abuse or illnesses and gives them the help, support and opportunities that they need to be able to survive.

Afya is a Swahili word meaning “health,” and that is the mission of the Center: to minister to the physical, emotional, spiritual, and social health of women in Brazil who have few other sources of support to turn to.

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Art and creativity are among the ways women find fulfillment at the Afya Center.

“Our mission,” Sister Efu says, “is to develop prevention, healing and educational activities, focusing on the integral health of women and society as a whole, providing quality of life and respecting nature.”

The Center works toward several specific goals:

  • To promote self-knowledge and raise women’s self esteem, valuing and making use of the individual experiences and wisdom that each one has.
  • To offer holistic care to those with physical, mental or emotional illnesses, promoting self-healing and prevention. To supplement standard medical treatment, the Center provides herbal medicine, information on maintaining a natural and healthy diet, bio-energetic health diagnosis, and trauma healing.
  • To create a space that offers freedom for women to enjoy therapies and healing. This includes therapies such as massage, Reiki, and mud therapy.
  • To develop self-sustaining activities through the production of educational materials, healthy diet, and a variety of therapies for integral healing.

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“When we empower a woman we are changing and transforming the entire society,” Sister Efu says.

Through the caring and generosity of friends like you, Sister Efu is able to provide women, their families and their communities with resources and opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise.

We thank you for considering a gift to support our Sisters mission work around the globe!

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