Annalena Tonelli was born at Forli, Italy on April 2 1943. She graduated in law and became a lawyer. After some years, she became a lay missionary to Kenya where she spent more than ten years at Wajir, serving the destitute and the sick. When the Kenyan government refused to extend her work permit because she had strongly protested the violence used by the soldiers against the Wajir population in the 1980s she went to Merca, Somalia (ex-Italian) and then to Somaliland (ex-British). There, in the isolated town of Borama, she devoted herself to the welfare of the people, building a hospital where she took care of the people suffering from tuberculosis. It was in Borama that she was murdered on October 5, 2003.
This article, received in 2005, was reprinted with permission from Christianity among the Nomads: The Catholic Church in Northern Kenya, by Paul Tablino, © copyright 2004 by St. Paul Communications / Daughters of St. Paul, Nairobi, Kenya.