Yesterday Misean Cara launched its 2015 Annual Report at its AGM in All Hallows College in Dublin. Over 120 missionaries attended from Ireland, the UK, Australia, Uganda, and Ethiopia showing the wide reach of the global missionary movement. The report launch culminated in the news that last year 55 member organisations working in 53 countries transformed the lives of over 2.5 million people through a series of development projects focused on education, health, income generation and livelihoods and human rights.
“Our 2015 Annual Report clearly shows the pivotal role missionaries play in international development. Our members are part of a missionary movement that spans the globe regardless of borders,” says Misean Cara CEO Heydi Foster.
“Missionaries are incredible and they achieve so much on so little. With so many difficult situations going on in our world today, never was there a more pressing need for the work of missionaries.”
“During the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, communities relied on missionaries for spiritual guidance in rebuilding their livesand for life-saving support like shelter, food and access to health care.”
The Philippines is just one example of many where missionaries have transformed lives and communities.
“In Zambia, I saw the work of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection led by Fr. Leonard Chitti. I met Fr. Leonard and I was impressed to see the reach of the Jesuit Centre’s advocacy work,” says Ms. Foster. “It advocates for the political, social and economic rights of the people. The work of Fr. Leonard and his colleagues has ensured local communities were part of the recent Constitution-making process in Zambia.”
“While in Haiti I was moved to see the work of Sr. Christiane Gervais from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny. At the Rosalie Javouhey school many of the schoolgirls are ‘restavek’ or domestic servants living in the slums. I was astonished to see how the quality education provided by the sisters is opening up life opportunities for these girls.”
2015 was a monumental year for the global development community with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. The time to act is now to change the future of the world. Our actions today can eliminate poverty; provide universal access to education; end war; prevent future conflicts; and make the world a better place to live.
“Successful achievement of the 17 goals and 169 targets will ensure that no one is left behind. Missionaries have always had the unique foresight and commitment to target the world’s most difficult challenges. It is no surprise that missionaries are central to the achievement of the goals,” says Ms. Foster, “the goals affirm the key role missionaries have to play, so watch this space there’s so much more to come.”
Photo caption: Chairperson Lucy Franks, CEO Heydi Foster and Vice-Chairperson Fr. John Guiney launch the 2015 Misean Cara Annual Report. Photo: Naoise Culhane.