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April, May, June, July 2017

Issue 114
Misean Cara Website

Welcome to our quarterly issue of MissionAid!

A message from our CEO

Welcome to the second quarterly issue of MissionAid!

These last 4 months culminated in some key events and milestones for Misean Cara. We completed our new Strategy 2017-2021 for the next five years. Our Strategy has a rights focus, and embraces the missionary approach to development while also encompassing our four sectors of education, health, sustainable livelihoods and human rights. It also highlights a particular concern for women and children, refugees or displaced people, and the disabled.
This was a family effort, and would not have been possible without the amazing global consultation that many of you participated in, gathering feedback from over a thousand beneficiaries in more than 10 countries. I'm sure you will agree the 2017-2021 Strategy is a powerful roadmap that we all can be very proud of.

Our new Strategy marks a major milestone in our wonderful organisation. During the Strategy launch in the Wood Quay Venue, Misean Cara Chairperson Lucy Franks and I set out the great need in our world today where more than 120 million children still do not go to school. Our Strategy responds to this great need and more. Check out our Strategy below, and familiarise yourself with our strategic objectives. 

The launch of our Strategy was very well timed to coincide with my visit to Rome to meet with some of our members based there, and other faith-based organisations including the Justice and Peace communications team for the International Unions of Superiors General (USG/UISG), the board of the UISG – Union of global sister congregations, Caritas Internationalis and many more! I was very pleased to promote our new Strategy when I spoke to Philippa Hitchen from Vatican Radio for a podcast. Please listen to the podcast below from that interview recorded at the Vatican Communications Secretariat. 

During May we hosted our first Learning Event of the year on 'Learning and Effectiveness'. This event shared experience of using an Effectiveness Review methodology for project monitoring, evaluation and learning.   This well-attended event included consultants and NGO staff from the Irish development sector, with close to 50 participants from 16 development organisations including Misean Cara member organisations, other key Irish sector organisations, some independent development consultants and the Misean Cara team.  Participants heard feedback, and gathered learning from a number of Misean Cara projects reviewed during 2015 and 2016.

I was very proud to cheer on Mission Development Officer Sr. Margaret Lynch with the Good Shepherd Sisters (GSS) as she represented Misean Cara in an important sector-profiling event for Oireachtas members.   Sr. Margaret presentation to the Oireachtas on 31st May 2017 focused on the impact of a Misean Cara funded GSS project that supports the artisanal mining community in Kolwezi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in their struggle for human rights, democracy building, and accountability. Her speech and video presentation were very well received.  

During my recent trip to Peru and Colombia in June, I had the privilege of visiting a number of projects that are making a difference in so many people’s lives. In Lima, the Columban Fathers ‘Sí, Da Vida’ project is giving life to people living with HIV and AIDS in the urban slums of Lima. Their slogan of “Vida larga, vida plena, vida digna, vida feliz” – “A long life, a full life, a life of dignity, and a happy life” is a rallying call that is inspiring people to make changes in their lives.

While in Colombia, I also visited a project supported by the Little Sisters of the Assumption that is supporting the peace initiative between the government and FARC rebels. The project trains and empowers women from remote war-ravaged communities to become peace-builders and human rights defenders. This is an amazing feat, and Irish missionaries deserve to be credited for their substantial contribution to making the world a better place. Thank you to all of our members - the Columban Fathers, Presentation Sisters, Little Sisters of the Assumption, and the Salvatorians in Peru and Colombia for facilitating my visit.
I hope you enjoy this issue of MissionAid with stories from Tunisia, Ireland, Italy, and Kenya.
Yours in solidarity,
Connect with me on Twitter! @HeydiFoster
LIKE our Facebook Page for all of the latest news and updates.

We Want To Promote The Wonderful Work You Do!

We want to help showcase the wonderful work you do by sharing stories; updates; photos; and videos of on our website, Facebook and LinkedIn Pages, Twitter account, and in our monthly e-newsletter MissionAid.

If you have a story, update, photo, or video to share then please email our Communications Officer Tara Finglas

Connect with Misean Cara




Listen to Misean Cara CEO Heydi Foster talk to Philippa Hitchen from Vatican Radio

During the launch of the new Misean Cara Strategy 2017-2021, CEO Heydi Foster spoke to Philippa Hitchen from Vatican Radio about the mammoth global consultation with over a thousand beneficiaries in more than ten countries that took place to craft the document, and how it highlights a particular concern for women and children, refugees or displaced people, and the disabled. Listen now.

Check out our 2017 AGM Photo Gallery!

This year may have been our best AGM yet. Click here to relive the fun, achievements and smiles of the day by checking out our photo gallery!

Read our 2016 Annual Report!

Stories of Change

Civil Society Plays A Major Role At EU-Africa Forum

Earlier this month, Misean Cara Project Officer Don Lucey represented Ireland and Misean Cara at the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) Civil Society Forum in Tunisia.

The forum is a key activity towards promoting effective and relevant civil society participation in the JAES and strengthening civil society contribution to the policy making process. The forum formally enables African and European civil society organisations to formulate joint statements to JAES decision makers. The forum was well represented with 80 civil society organisations attending from EU countries and African Union countries.
Read now.

Irish Missionaries Transformed Over 1.4 million Lives Last year

Today Misean Cara launches its 2016 Annual Report, and new Strategy 2017-2021 at its AGM in All Hallows College in Dublin. Over 100 missionaries will attend, representing organisations with a combined membership of tens of thousands, working in over 60 countries. This is the global reach of the missionary movement.

The report launch culminates in the news that last year 55 member organisations working in 45 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia transformed the lives of over 1.4 million people through a series of development projects focused on education, health, sustainable livelihoods, human rights, and humanitarian emergencies.
Read now.

Speech By Misean Cara CEO Heydi Foster Launching The New Strategy 2017-2021

Good morning friends.

Thank you [Chairperson] Lucy [Franks]. Thanks to you and the board for all your support and investment in shaping this plan. A little part of me can’t help thinking – It’s so good to be here. Today marks a milestone in a long but very rewarding process.

Thank you to all of you have who have come here this morning. We are so glad you are here. This is a special day in the life of Misean Cara.
Read now.

Speech By Misean Cara Chairperson Lucy Franks Launching The New Strategy 2017-2021

Good morning and a warm welcome to you all – especially to those of you who have travelled from outside Dublin and indeed the country to be here today. It is great to see everyone and I hope we can all share some time together after the speeches over a cup of coffee.

I can see you all have copies of our Strategy – Walking Together to Transform Lives – and would urge you to take more copies as you leave for distribution in your congregations, churches, and faith centres and anywhere else you think people might pick it up and read it. And if you are on social media, make sure you tweet or post the link to the document on our website when you next log in. Read now.

Irish Missionaries “Together We Can Change the World”

Today Misean Cara launches its much anticipated new Strategy 2017-2021. With a global missionary movement of 90 member organisations spanning over 50 countries, the new Strategy cements Misean Cara’s position in the international development sector as one of the top faith-based organisations worldwide.

“Irish missionaries are a beacon of hope during these challenging times. Over 1.5 million lives were transformed last year,” says Misean Cara, CEO Heydi Foster. “Our members are extraordinary – providing food, shelter, medicines and helping communities to rebuild lives every day.”
Read now.

Missionaries Initiate Peace Building & Democracy Planning Ahead Of Kenyan Elections

With the upcoming Kenyan General elections scheduled for this August 2017, Misean Cara’s Development Mentor Paul Gichuki and Human Rights Project Officer Ivanna Youtchak, in collaboration with Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation-Franciscans Africa hosted a two-day peace building event. Held at the Franciscan Centre in Nairobi, the event brought together missionaries working on peace in Kenya. 34 people attended, including 24 projects and members funded by Misean Cara.

The event was focused on creating a platform for projects and members to share and deliberate on some of the practical actions being undertaken to promote peace building and democracy in Kenya and possible ways forward. The workshop was driven by the urge and need to address the gap in promoting peace in the upcoming general elections, in relation to ongoing issues and mapped hotspots of conflict around the country.
Read now.

Global Conference Debates How Climate-Smart Agriculture Can Ensure Global Food Security

Over 150 of the world’s leading experts on climate change, agriculture and food security met in Galway for the International Conference ‘Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security – Where is the cutting edge?’ The conference was hosted by the NUI Galway Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Centre, which is a key strategic partner in the global Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security research program. Read now.

Irish Missionary Fr. Shay Cullen Announced As This Year’s Martin Buber Award Recipient

It has just been announced that Irish Columban missionary Fr. Shay Cullen is this year’s recipient of the Martin Buber Award in recognition of his extraordinary commitment in the field of peace and human rights through the PREDA Foundation in the Philippines. He will be presented with the award in Kerkrade in the Netherlands in November during the annual International Festival of Dialogue – EURIADE.

Born in Dublin, 27 March 1943, educated at Presentation College, Glasthule, Co. Dublin Fr. Shay completed his college education at St. Columban’s, Dalgan Park, Navan, and was ordained in April 1969. He was subsequently assigned to parishes in Zambales and Olongapo City, Subic Bay, on the main Philippines island of Luzon.
Read now.

Connect with us on Twitter!

Follow Misean Cara @miseancara or check out
for updates.
Follow our CEO Heydi Foster @HeydiFoster or check out for updates.

Read the NEW Misean Cara Strategy 2017-2021

Other News Stories

Adolescents Are Citizens Of Today

Women & Girls: It’s Time To Act Against Child Marriage

Three2Six: Children’s Refugee Education Project

Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me”

Presidential Decree Marks Justice Milestone For El Mozote

Making Rights Work For People Living In Extreme Poverty

2017 German Shalom Award given to Irish Columban Missionary Fr. Shay Cullen and the Preda Foundation in the Philippines

Children Celebrate Their First Legal Acknowledgement

Safe Places For Children

Test For HIV. Together We Can Build An Aids-Free World!


Upcoming Events & Training Courses 

Save The Date: Afternoon Tea Wednesday 26th July 2017

It's that time of the year again! We would like to invite you to our annual Afternoon Tea event in the Misean Cara office on Wednesday, 26th July 2017 from 1.00pm - 4.00pm. Members who are based in Ireland or visiting for the summer break are very welcome to attend. We also encourage you to invite any missionaries who may be visiting Ireland and/or returning to Ireland full time. We will provide some light refreshments including our fantastic chocolate fountain for all of the 'chocoholics' amongst us, and tea and coffee so that you can catch up with friends from other member organisations as well as with Misean Cara staff. If you would like to attend this special event please email Tara Finglas at to register by Tuesday, 25th July so that we can make catering arrangements.
Misean Cara is a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital. It is registered in Dublin, Ireland, No: 381117. Its registered office is: 563 South Circular, Kilmainham, Dublin 8. It has been granted tax exemption by the Revenue Commissioners in Ireland and has a charitable tax exemption number: CHY15772.

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Misean Cara · 1st Floor, 563 South Circular Road, Kilmainham, · Dublin 8, · Ireland