Euphrasia (Efu) Nyaki was born November 18, 1960 in Moahi, Moahi-Kilimanjaro, Tanzania to Maria Joseph and Joseph Nyaki. She had 1 brother, Blass and 7 sisters: Chrisantha, Magreth, Rebecca, Gudila, Eliakunda, Lucy and Redempter. She graduated from Tambaza High School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Euphrasia (Efu) Nyaki trained as a teacher at Changombe TTC in Dar es Salaam, before joining Maryknoll on August 15,1990 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY . She professed First Vows August 15, 1992 at the Center and Final Vows April 15, 1999 in Brazil. Her first mission assignment was giving Congregational Service in Nursing Services at the Center.
Sister Efu’s first overseas assignment was to Brazil in 1993 with a Mission Unit comprised of the different entities of the Maryknoll family of Sisters, Priests, Brothers and Lay Missioners.
Sister Efu, together with Sister Connie Pospisil and a Brazilian woman leader, Maria du Lyrdes Gomes, established the holistic health center AFYA, meaning ‘health’ in Swahili, the language spoken in Tanzania and parts of East Africa. AFYA offers alternative forms of preventative health care and holistic healing to adult and adolescent women and their impoverished communities in northern Brazil.
AFYA has a particularly empowering effect in that those who have participated in the healing process are encouraged to give of their own time to the center as volunteers. In this way, those who have leadership skills often devote themselves to helping others.
In 2011, Sister Efu spent a month in Haiti helping people overcome trauma following a massive earthquake there that killed hundreds of thousands of people.