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Sister Mengue Évangéline, CND, The Meyomessala Orchardist

“I am fully committed to liberating education. Every day I live with young people who do not feel appreciated by society because they did not have the chance to go to school. I teach them that working the land can make a person free and independent.”

Mengue Évangeline

Sister Mengue Évangeline, CND, is currently implementing a fruit tree planting project in Meyomessala, on Congrégation de Notre-Dame land. Logging and agriculture have changed the region’s landscape. Because fruit bearing trees are rare, the products are very expensive. Planting fruit trees increases food production for the local community. Also, reforestation helps to maintain the region’s healthy environment.

The project comprises some sixty types of trees: avocado, safou fruit, mango, oranges, tangerines, corossol fruit and grapefruit. Product sales will finance the project.

Sister Évangeline works with young people who have not had the chance to go to school. They are employed on a long-term basis: it will take three to five years before the first harvest and then the trees will need to be cared for.

The team works hard: felling trees, sawing trunks, levelling the area, digging holes, transporting and planting the young trees.

The work is done with respect for everyone’s individuality.

The team also needs to keep the land free from invading plants and parasites. During dry seasons, the team has to go more than 200 metres away to get water.

“I encourage these young people to love working the land and instil in them a love for work well done.”

What is motivating for Sister Évangeline is the pleasant relationships she has with the youth.


This is not Sister Évangeline’s first time helping young people. From 2009 to 2012, she taught Mathematics at the high school. Then she became interested in agriculture and since, has been participating in training sessions.

When the Congregation purchased the land in Meyomessala, the sisters wanted to take advantage of this rural environment to develop agricultural projects. In Montreal, the Greening the Mother House Project had plans to finance a tree-planting project in order to reduce the Congregation’s environmental footprint. Sister Évangeline seized the opportunity; the fruits of her labour will benefit everyone.