Sr. Regina Toomey from the Presentation Sisters and members of ADSOPUR visit a hydroponic vegetable production unit in San Juan de Lurigancho, Lima. Migrants from rural areas of the country live in houses that cling to the steep hillsides, constantly threatened by landslides. The area is densely populated, and people have no access to land on which to cultivate food. ADSOPUR introduced the technology of hydroponics, where vegetables can be cultivated without soil in small greenhouses which require little land. A pilot project proved hugely successful, and the project has been expanded to target 1,050 people living in the area. The objective is that people will be able to produce enough vegetables for their own consumption, with the surplus being marketed through a co-operative. Photo: ADSOPUR.
Welcome to our third MissionAid of the year. This year Misean Cara is 15 years old and it marks a year of reflection as we celebrate this important milestone in our organisation's history. We have several upcoming projects coming to fruition to acknowledge the contribution of our members' work in the international development sector. One of these projects is the RTE Televised Mass on Sunday 17th November 2019 at 11.00am, which we are hosting to mark Pope Francis' International Day of the Poor. Full details are below and you can tune in and join us wherever you are in the world via the RTE Player.
In this issue we are also pleased to highlight some of our Stories of Change to show you some of the impact and life-changing transformation taking place.
Sustainable Management of Land and Forest Resources in Malawi: Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world with 50.7 % of its 17.5 million population living below the poverty line. Its economy is based around agriculture with 80% of its population depending on agriculture for survival. However, the focus on agriculture is having detrimental effects on livelihoods – diminishing incomes and purchasing power that has a knock-on effect of plunging people into food and nutrition insecurity in a state of perpetual poverty. Malawi has lost and continues to lose fertile soils and forest cover. Most of this erosion is due to slash and burn agriculture that results in soil erosion and increases carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Recent trends show people are moving into village forest areas and clearing them to reclaim land. St. Patrick’s Missionary Society designed a Sustainable Management of Land and Forest Resources project based on the Catholic Development Commission’s (CADECOM’s) strategic objective that climate change and deforestation should be tackled at local level. The project mobilises communities into local institutions and building their capacity in natural resources management to reverse the adverse effects of climate change and restore their livelihoods.
A New Generation of Educated Girls in South Sudan: There is no history of secondary education for girls in South Sudan. All girls in South Sudan culture are marginalised. According to local culture they are the property of their extended families. Educating a girl is not seen as a value. Their cultural practices for marriage exacerbate the poverty of families and the ravages of war all militate against a girl’s education. The Loreto Girls Secondary School offers access to education to girls who otherwise would be unable to attend school. While tribal and clan disagreements often escalate to violence, girls and women can be caught in the crossfire. With its dormitory accommodation for students, the Loreto Secondary School is a safe haven for its students removing the constant threat to them as they walk to and from school each day. Attitudes are slowly changing in South Sudan and more and more families see the value in educating their girls.
Continue reading about these transformative Stories of Change below.
Finally, I just want to thank you for subscribing to MissionAid, and taking the time to read about the inspirational projects we support. If would like to help, you can donate online at www.miseancara.ie/donate.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of Misean Cara. We will be highlighting some of the amazing transformative work of our members in the coming weeks so please stay tuned to our website and social media.
Join us for the RTE Televised Mass on Sunday 17th November 2019
We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting the RTE Televised Mass on Sunday 17th November 2019 at 11.00am. Our Mass will highlight the 'International Day of the Poor' and pay homage to the transformative missionary development work done by our members over the past 15 years. Our members are organising the Mass to showcase the global reach and scale of the missionary approach to development. The Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Cornelius Nwaogwugwu from the Vincentian Fathers and Fr. Paddy Moran from the Spiritans. Watch LIVE on RTE1 and the RTE Player. A recording of the Mass will be available afterwards on the RTE Player and Misean Cara website.
Misean Cara is 15 Years Old Graphic
Since its foundation in 2004 as the Irish Missionary Resource Service, Misean Cara has supported the work of its members in 94 countries around the world. From Albania to Zimbabwe, in different locations, using different languages, working with different cultures, thousands of life-changing projects have been implemented with one common thread: one of Misean Cara’s members was working in solidarity with a community to address a real and immediate need. We created this graphic to highlight a sample of the type of transformative work our members have done during the last 15 years.
Click here to view a large version of the graphic.
There is no history of secondary education for girls in South Sudan. In South Sudan culture girls are marginalised. According to local culture they are the property of their extended families. Educating a girl is not valued. These cultural practices for marriage exacerbate the poverty of families and the ravages of war all militate against a girl’s education. The Loreto Girls Secondary School offers access to education to girls who otherwise would be unable to attend school.
Girls' Education Facts
South Sudan has one of the world’s highest rates of maternal mortality.
53% of girls in South Sudan are married by the age of 18, while nearly one in ten are married by age 15.
76% of girls do not receive an education – the highest in the world.
“I am a 2016 graduate of the Loreto Girls’ Secondary School and I now work as laboratory assistant and stationery manager,” said past student Mary Alual Adeel, “I was brought up in a family where education was not valued and it was very hard for me to study. My father is a polygamist who is too deeply rooted in the culture.”
Sustainable Management of Land and Forest Resources in Malawi
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world with 50.7 % of its 17.5 million population living below the poverty line.
Its economy is based around agriculture with 80% of its population depending on agriculture for survival. However, the focus on agriculture is having detrimental effects on livelihoods – diminishing incomes and purchasing power that has a knock-on effect of plunging people into food and nutrition insecurity in a state of perpetual poverty. This is exacerbated by several other issues like land tenure and ownership of land, policy implementation failure, lack of political will, a laissez-faire approach to land and forest management, poor governance at local level, and inadequate funding for land and forest initiatives.
Malawi has lost and continues to lose fertile soils and forest cover. Studies show that 40% of the country’s forest was lost between 1972 and 1990 and anecdotal evidence increases that figure today. Most of this erosion is due to slash and burn agriculture that results in soil erosion and increases carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Recent trends show people are moving into village forest areas and clearing them to reclaim land.
St. Patrick’s Missionary Society designed a Sustainable Management of Land and Forest Resources project based on the Catholic Development Commission’s (CADECOM’s) strategic objective that climate change and deforestation should be tackled at local level. The project mobilises communities into local institutions to build their capacity in natural resources management to reverse the adverse effects of climate change and restore their livelihoods.
Sr Brigid makes strong Misean Cara case for Girls Education at Oireachtas Committee
On the 17th of October 2019, the Dóchas Education Group made a submission to the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs & Trade & Defence (JFATD) on inclusive and equitable education. Misean Cara member Sr Brigid Tunney from the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto) highlighted the importance of girls’ education to sustainable development. Misean Cara’s Project Officer Eamonn Casey shares some of the key highlights from the day. Read Eamonn’s blog below.
Sr Brigid Tunney, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto) and Misean Cara staff took part in a Dóchas member briefing to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence on Thursday, presenting the vital importance of girls’ education to sustainable human development in the Global South.
Propitiously marking International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17 October, Misean Cara joined Dóchas education working group colleagues to address the many and intersecting barriers to girls’ education.
However, echoing the UN’s theme for 17 October this year – empowering children, families and communities to end poverty – they also pointed to the transformational impact that inclusive and equitable quality education (SDG4) has for educated girls, their families, communities and societies.
This year’s High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) [9th - 18th July 2019] was a great opportunity to draw attention to shrinking civil society space.
Misean Cara’s Project Officer Éamonn Casey highlights the international delegation meeting with UN Secretary-General António Guterres where they asked for his support to safeguard civil society space. Read Éamonn's blog below.
Civil society activists from around the world met UN Secretary-General António Guterres during the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) that took place from the 9th – 18th July 2019 assessing progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This was also a good opportunity to highlight the Belgrade Call to Action to tackle severely shrinking civic space across many countries, which is threatening democratic participation and the achievement of the SDGs.
Irish civil society activist and Misean Cara Project Officer Éamonn Casey, represented Dóchas (a Belgrade Call to Action Signatory) and Advocacy Coordinator Deirdre de Búrca represented FORUS, a global network of national NGO platforms and regional coalitions.
The delegation sought the meeting to elicit the UN Secretary-General’s support for civic actors across many sectors who are being threatened, persecuted and killed worldwide – including those supporting and representing rural communities, indigenous peoples, trade unions, women’s rights activists, youths, people living with disabilities, and environmentalists.
Misean Cara at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade (JCFATD)
One billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. Prevalence is significantly higher in low-income countries, fragile states and humanitarian settings.
On the 2nd of July 2019, the Dóchas Disability in International Development Working Group (DDIDWG) made a submission to the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs & Trade & Defence (JFATD) on disability inclusion and international development issues. Misean Cara’s Project Officer Mary O’Connell highlights some of the key highlights from the day. Read Mary’s blog below.
Persons with disabilities, on average, are more likely to experience adverse socio-economic outcomes than persons without disabilities, such as less education, poorer health outcomes, lower levels of employment, and higher poverty rates.
People with disabilities are a particular target group of Misean Cara and we support the work of our member organisations across Africa, Asia and the Americas in direct services provision for people with disabilities, and their families, who are key to the care of people who are living with disabilities.
Our members also provide capacity development through specialised professionals and therapists, who provide critical service, while working alongside and supporting skills development for project staff, assuring ongoing professional development and systems strengthening, where skills training and systems need support and strengthening.
High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
The annual High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) was held from Tuesday, 9 July, to Thursday, 18 July 2019 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, USA and attracted more than 2,000 participants from civil society from around the world, including staff members from the UN and other multilateral organisations (e.g. International Organisation for Migration, International Labour Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and some 100 ministers.
Over 40 countries presented their voluntary national reviews (VNR). This article is adapted from a piece written by Jakeline Magalhães.
The HLPF is the main UN platform for follow-up and reviewing the progress towards the 2030 Agenda, consisting of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in 2015.
At the HLPF, Misean Cara hosted side events with the Salesians, supported panel and side events involving other members (Franciscans International, Presentations International, the Daughters of Charity, Little Sisters of the Assumption, and the Jesuits for example), and joined a Coalition2030 briefing with Minister of State Sean Canney, who has responsibility for leading Ireland’s SDG implementation. Misean Cara also linked with missionary advocates at the UN, helped connect grassroots speakers with different networks and delegations, and discussed potential advocacy collaborations on strategic priority areas with faith organisations.
“Missionaries are everywhere” says incoming Misean Cara Chairperson Justin Kilcullen
“You can meet an Irish missionary almost anywhere in the world”. These are the words of Justin Kilcullen, speaking in the wake of his appointment as Chairperson of Misean Cara.
Misean Cara is an Irish-based international missionary development movement consisting of 91 member organisations working with communities in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. In 2018, 52 of those members implemented 265 projects across 61 countries, working to transform the lives of over 1.4 million people.
An architect with a keen interest in human settlements, Mr. Kilcullen is no stranger to the work of Irish missionaries, having spent 20 years as Director of Trócaire. There is also a close family connection: his uncle Canice, a Jesuit priest, spent many years as a missionary in China.
“He incurred the displeasure of the authorities due to his speaking out on behalf of marginalised people, and was deported to Hong Kong in the 1950s,” explains Mr. Kilcullen. “His visits home were always a highlight in our family.”
“I love learning, and I wanted at an early age to become a teacher myself, to help remove illiteracy from my community” - Basamat Alnoor, Kaya Refugee Camp, South Sudan.
Basamat teaches school in the Kaya Refugee Camp in Maban County, South Sudan. The camp is home to 130,000 refugees from conflict in Sudan. The Jesuit Refugee Service, with support from Misean Cara and the Irish Jesuit Missions, provides education and psycho-social support services to both refugees and the host community.
Invest in the future of thousands of children in the Global South. Your belief in them will equip them with the knowledge needed to find new routes out of poverty.
Our members have a strong track record in providing quality education to generations of children in the Global South. Misean Cara’s Education Fund allows our members to educate children every day, while also strengthening education systems now and for the future.
In 2018, a total of almost €3.9 million was allocated to 76 education projects implemented by 38 members in 29 countries, with a target population of over 77,500. Article 26 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts the right to education for all. A child’s right to education is further endorsed in the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Misean Cara member organisations, convinced of the transformative impact of education on a person’s life, have been educating people in countries North and South for generations.
In 2018, Misean Cara supported 52 health projects implemented by 27 members in 22 countries to a value of over €3.3 million, with a target population of almost 825,000 direct beneficiaries. Missionaries have an extensive track record in implementing health care projects in developing countries. In some cases, projects involve stand-alone health interventions while, in others,health care is delivered as part of an integrated approach that can involve activities in livelihoods, nutrition, income generation, education or human rights.
In 2018, Misean Cara allocated over €2.4 million to 39 livelihoods projects in 18 countries, implemented by 24 members, with a total target population of over 89,000 direct beneficiaries. Building resilience against the climate crisis is a key feature of the work supported. Twenty-five projects applied technologies aimed at adapting to the effects of climate change and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2018, Misean Cara supported 20 member organisations in 43 human rights projects in 36 countries to a value of over €2.8 million. The target population came to almost 418,000 people. Our members work in many countries where substantial rule of law challenges are identified in the 2018 Rule of Law Index. They also work in others for which World Justice Project researchers were unable to gather data, but are known to have distinct challenges, such as Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and South Sudan.
In 2018, Misean Cara reviewed a total of 46 evaluations of member projects that had been carried out in the period 2011-2018. The meta-evaluation highlighted the value of the missionary approach to development.
Click here to read the Learning Brief on Facilitating the Journey to Transformation: Findings and Lessons from a Meta-Evaluation of Misean Cara Project Evaluations.
2018 Annual Report
Welcome to our 2018 Annual Report, which highlights the transformative power of our members' work in education, health, livelihoods, human rights and humanitarian response.
The 2018 Misean Cara Annual Report was launched on Wednesday 26th June 2019 at our AGM in Wynn's Hotel, Dublin. The report shares the compelling stories of the individuals and communities who have benefited from the dedication and skills of Irish missionaries.
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Misean Cara is a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital.
Registered in Dublin, Ireland, No: 381117. Registered office: 563 South Circular, Kilmainham, Dublin 8.
Granted tax exemption by the Revenue Commissioners in Ireland.
Charitable tax exemption number: CHY15772.