Struggle activist McLaughlin dies Sister Janice McLaughlin

Herald Reporter

AUTHOR of “On the Frontline: Rural Catholic Missions and Zimbabwe’s Liberation War” published by Baobab Books in Harare in 1995, Janice McLaughlin, has died.

Sister Janice, an anti-Rhodesia regime activist, died yesterday morning and the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) has called for the conferment of heroine status on her.

Sister Janice obtained a doctorate in religious studies from the University of Zimbabwe in 1992.

Her thesis, “On the Frontline: Rural Catholic Missions and Zimbabwe’s Liberation War” was published by Baobab Books in Harare in 1995.

Sister Janice co-authored an advocacy training manual used throughout Zimbabwe to train local communities to lobby for changes in policies that affect their lives

She worked with the Washington Office on Africa, a church-based lobby group that helped to educate the American public and Congress about African affairs.

In 1979, Sister Janice became the projects officer for the Zimbabwe Project, a new initiative set up by a consortium of Catholic donors to assist refugees from the war in Rhodesia.

After independence in 1980, Sister Janice was invited by the independent Government of Zimbabwe to work as education consultant in the President’s Office.

In her capacity, she helped to build nine schools for former refugees and war veterans and to develop a new system of education which linked academic subjects to technical training.

In 1985, Sister Janice helped to establish the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Friendship Association to assist displaced people in Mozambique.

In 1991, Sister Janice returned to Maryknoll, New York, to work as communications coordinator for the Maryknoll Sisters and returned to Zimbabwe in 1997 where she worked as a training coordinator for Silveira House.

She chaired the African Forum for Catholic Social Teaching, an association of justice and peace practitioners throughout Africa, and chaired the Counseling Services Unit, a group of doctors and counsellors who assist the victims of violence in Zimbabwe.

In 2008, Sister Janice was elected president of the Maryknoll Sisters at their General Assembly and in October 2015, she returned to Zimbabwe to continue her mission work.

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