We are an international community founded in Algeria in 1939 by Magdeleine Hutin.  She was born in 1898 in a small village on the French-German border, the youngest of six children.  By 1925 she was the sole support of her mother, having lost the rest of her immediate family to war or illness.

Growing up along a border which was constantly in question and having been displaced by war, the pain of divisions left a deep imprint upon her spirituality.  Magdeleine wanted her life to somehow reach across that which separates people from one another, to be a sign of love to those who were rejected by others.
While she desired to be a religious, due to poor health none of the orders she knew of would accept her.
Magdeleine waited 20 years for some kind of sign that she should go to North Africa to follow in the footsteps of Charles de Foucauld.

Her dreams were considered foolishness.  The hoped for sign finally came in the form of a potentially crippling bout of rheumatism when her doctor advised her to go somewhere where it never rained…

She immediately left for Algeria (1936) with her mother and one companion, Anne, who eventually left.  After two years of intense work, she asked to spent time in the novitiate of the Sisters of Africa (the White Sisters as they were known) where, at the urging of the Bishop, she wrote her Constitutions and made her first vows on Sept. 29, 1939.
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With her mother circa 1940
As World War II was breaking out ls Magdeleine was forced to return to France.  She used that time to share her dream with anyone who would listen to her.  Soon others began joining her.  
It began as a small group geared only to presence among the nomads of the Sahara Desert and in the midst of Islam.
In order to be able to visit the nomadic people who lived in tents outside of the villages, they asked their first friends in Algeria to teach them how to ride.
LS Magdeleine (center) with an early group of little sisters at the first mother house in France. 
Early nomad community in Algeria with “neighbors.”  
The “top” on their tent designated their belonging to the particular clan that “adopted” them.  
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