The above photo, featured in our 2018 Annual Report, shows Eliwaja Samwell Andalu, a community health worker with the Faraja Centre in Singida,Tanzania conducting an HIV awareness camp with women in the local community. The project was recently featured in a Distance Monitoring visit by Misean Cara staff (see story below). Photo: Medical Missionaries of Mary
Welcome to our final issue of MissionAid for 2020.
With 2020 coming rapidly to a close, we at Misean Cara find ourselves reflecting on both the challenges and successes of this unprecedented year.
Amidst the upheaval and uncertainty brought about by COVID-19, our member organisations inspired us all with their resourcefulness during the pandemic. With great speed and efficiency, they reacted with solutions to help maintain day-to-day living for the people they serve.
In a normal year, Misean Cara staff and consultants conduct approximately 80 on-site visits to monitor, evaluate, or audit member projects, all in addition to the evaluation and audit work done by or on behalf of our members themselves. However, 2020 has been different. With this edition of MissionAid we focus on the new Distance Monitoring programme that we have developed this year as an alternative during the pandemic.
Read below for highlights of six projects that were part of this year’s Distance Monitoring visits.
This issue also includes a spotlight on the inaugural Misean Cara Climate Action Award, which was presented virtually to three member projects, in recognition of their efforts to address the impact of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss in their communities.
Finally, I would like to take a moment to thank you for subscribing to MissionAid and taking the time to read about the inspirational projects that we support.
For updates throughout the year, please follow @MiseanCara on Twitter, and like /MiseanCaraIreland on Facebook to keep up with developments in Misean Cara's network around the globe.
I look forward to staying in touch with you during 2021 and sharing more of the work of our members. In the meantime, I leave you all with best wishes for a very Happy Christmas!
Participants of an indigenous human rights project in Paraguay. One of the participants is being interviewed via Zoom on a laptop during the Distance Monitoring process earlier this year. Photo: Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit
Distance Monitoring & Evaluation during COVID-19
Misean Cara is committed to continuously accompanying and supporting its members. As part of this commitment, we participate in a robust Monitoring & Evaluation process of our members’ projects, typically with visits to between 60 - 70 Misean Cara funded projects per year. Through these visits we seek to learn from good examples and best practice and also to better understand the specific challenges and needs of the project teams.
In response to the travel restrictions triggered by the global COVID-19 pandemic, Misean Cara designed a Distance Monitoring process to monitor projects remotely. This process incorporates all elements of a traditional monitoring visit, including document reviews, virtual conversations with project beneficiaries and participants, and key informant interviews. In addition, a self-assessment tool has been developed, which helps project teams to strategically prepare for their distance monitoring ‘visit’ by Misean Cara staff, enabling them to capture project results achieved to date and evaluate their approach.
In July and August this year, we successfully conducted a pilot phase with 15 projects across 9 countries. Based on the learnings from this process, we were able to further refine and adapt our process, which we are now successfully implementing on a wider basis. By the end of the 2020, we will have made virtual visits to 49 projects, implemented by 29 member organizations across 15 countries, including 6 projects in one country alone.
Distance Monitoring may not allow for the same degree of insights and understanding of projects as a physical visit would provide, but so far it has proved to be a viable alternative while travel continues to be restricted. It has also allowed us to visit projects that we might usually not visit due to security concerns or logistical challenges. Our members and their beneficiaries alike have appreciated the continuous support throughout these already challenging times. With this in mind, we have also developed a set of tools for our members, to support them in conducting their own Distance Monitoring.
Below you will find a selection of projects that received virtual visits by Misean Cara staff over the past several months. Click on the links for the expanded stories.
For the children of the rural Chaco region of Paraguay, a boarding school provides essential access to quality education and has become a home-away-from home for students and teachers alike. Read more here.
Read here about the impressive progress being made by the Marist Asia Foundation’s HIV & AIDS project in Ranong, Thailand, as uncovered during the recent Distance Monitoring visit by Misean Cara staff. Photo: Marist Asia Foundation
With the support of a Viatores Christi volunteer placed at the office of Caritas Kampala, the KADCOS Nsambya Cooperative has been bringing economic cooperative programmes to life for thousands of participants, empowering the development and growth of self-reliable and self-sustainable societies. Read about the most recent capacity building successes of this project.
Misean Cara Climate Action Award-winner Ms Dinah Chenangat (second from left) with participants of the Chepnyal Development Project.
No corner of the globe is immune from the consequences of climate change.
For many people living in the Global South, the effects of climate change are proving especially devastating, with environmental degradation and weather extremes having a dire impact on livelihoods, health & wellbeing, security of housing and education.
Many Misean Cara members are working hard to alleviate the impact of climate change, and associated biodiversity loss, on the communities they serve.
In an effort to highlight these projects and the people leading them, Misean Cara has this year launched a new Climate Action Award. Entries were received from projects in Kenya, Malawi, Peru, South Sudan and Zambia. The winners of the inaugural Awards were announced on 19th November at the second Misean Cara Members’ Meeting of 2020. Three member recipients were selected to receive the Individual Award and two Project Awards. Read more here.
Learning from an Evaluation of Health Projects in Kenya
This Learning Brief captures insights gained from evaluating the projects of six Misean Cara member organisations in Kenya that work to improve healthcare for vulnerable groups in different parts of the country, in both rural and urban areas.
Misean Cara receives generous donation from Ornua Co-operative Limited
In October of this year, employees of Ornua Co-operative Limited made a generous donation to Misean Cara from their Empowered Fund. The €11,000 gift will be distributed equally across two of our member projects with an education focus, and which were selected by Ornua as being in alignment with the giving focus of the Empowered Fund, whereby employees of Ornua make contributions to a payroll deduction scheme. The two member projects are the ‘Hands of Care and Hope’ St. Francis of Assisi Secondary School in Nairobi, Kenya (a project of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa) and the ‘Quality Education and Livelihood Opportunities for Young People’ project of the Salesian Sisters in Dilla, Ethiopia.
Ornua (formerly the Irish Dairy Board) is a great Irish success story. Misean Cara extends its sincere gratitude to the employees of Ornua for this gift, which will provide essential support to our members’ work on these two projects.
Misean Cara Welcomes Three New Board Members
Misean Cara is pleased to welcome three new members to its Board of Directors. Fr David Kenneally, a member of the Missionary Society of St Columban, was elected to the Board at the Misean Cara AGM in June 2020. In November, Ms Marie Mulvey and Mr Charlie Lamson were co-opted to the Board. Read more here.
Maynooth University online MA in International Development
Are you considering a career in international development, or interested in earning a Master’s to advance your career? Maynooth University, Ireland is now offering its MA in International Development programme online with a twice-yearly intake in March (1st February deadline to apply) and September (31st July deadline to apply). Click herefor full programme and application details.
Esther, a young student, is dressed up by her classmates in exam papers as is the custom to mark the end of exam time in Ndeini Primary School in Kenya. Misean Cara member Edmund Rice Development has been instrumental in ensuring students receive a nutritious meal every day in school by mobilising parents of students to contribute maize and beans, and fulfilling shortfalls of supplies for students whose families cannot afford the extra expense. The project has also planted fruit trees around the school grounds, which offer additional food for students, and provided large rainwater collection tanks to water the trees. Photo: Lar Boland.
Transform Lives: Support Girls' Education
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the world into the deepest global recession in living memory, which will have lasting effects on economies, public financing and the developing world’s ability to protect and maintain funding for education.
Now is the time for Misean Cara to increase its support for education, especially for young girls and women who are the most at risk of not returning to school after the pandemic.
With your support, girls will remain in and complete their secondary education and will go on to further study or to find meaningful employment. With the knowledge and confidence acquired through education, girls will be able to assert their rights and demand a better life for themselves. In the future, their children will benefit from improved household income, better health care and nutrition, and will themselves complete their education. Click below to donate.
Misean Cara is a Company Limited By Guarantee. Registered in Ireland No. 381117. Charity Registration No. 20055325.
Revenue CHY No. 15772. Registered Office at 563 South Circular Road, Kilmainham, Dublin D08 EP8E, Ireland.
Subscribe to MissionAid This newsletter provides information on Misean Cara organisational updates, Misean Cara Member's projects and news, education and employment opportunities and other international development news.
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.