Limerick missionary Sr Bernadette Nealon with Lillian Dajoh, who have both won awards for their efforts in Kenya
A LIMERICK missionary has received an award for her sterling work in the developing world.
Sr Bernadette Nealon has been presented by Wired international with its health education champion award for outstanding leadership in the community health education programme she is serving in western Kenya.
Wired – or World Information Resources for Education and Development – is a US-based non-profit organisation been delivering medical and health education to conflict-affected and under-developed regions since 1997.
Sr Bernadette has been based in Kenya since 1998, and has overseen the growth of the programme there.
She said: “I came to work in the Archdiocese of Kisumu. I was shocked at the living conditions of the people, but I was overjoyed at their joyfulness, spontaneity and the care they gave to those in need from the little they had.”
In 2002, a Community Health Information Centre was established in the area placing a focus on HIV/AIDS, and has expanded to a broad health education programme on a wide range of critical topics.
Sr Bernadette uses Wired’s health education programmes to train community health workers, who, in turn, train community members in home-based care for bed-ridden clients and also trains people who are caring for children at home.
Wired executive director Prof Gary Selnow said: “She is a blessing to the Kenyan people and a testament to the extraordinary impact one person can have on the lives of so many disadvantaged folks. In addition to the larger impact she has had by way of the Pandi organization, she has demonstrated the power of helping people one-to-one.”
“Our programme in Kisumu would never have materialised or expanded without Sr Bernadette and her team. They have made it a success beyond our imagination.”