Irish nun receives global courage award

Irish nun receives global courage award Photo by Don MacMonagle: Sr Orla with the 2017 Hugh O'Flaherty Humanitarian Award at the O'Flaherty Memorial Killarney

A well-known Irish nun has received a renowned international award for her work in empowering young women in the one of the world’s most volatile countries.

Wicklow-born Sr Orla Treacy, of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the Loreto Sisters, has received the “International Women of Courage Award” for her outreach work and educational mission in South Sudan.

As principal of Loreto Secondary School in Rumbek in Lake States, considered the premier girls’ school in the impoverished country, Sr Treacy has spent well over a decade empowering thousands of pupils through education, despite ongoing civil conflict and discrimination against young women, such as forced marriage.

Now in its 13th year, the US State Department’s ‘International Women of Courage Award’ recognises women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk and sacrifice.

Since the inception of this award in March 2007, the State Department has recognised more than 120 women from more than 65 different countries. US diplomatic missions overseas nominate one woman of courage from their respective host countries. The finalists are selected and approved by senior Department officials.

Today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presented the award to Sr Treacy for her crucial and life-changing work.

In our recent Consecrated Life supplement, we briefly covered Sr Orla’s work in South Sudan.