Home > Audio > A Living Word – Heydi Foster – Being Irish in the 21st Century

Misean Cara CEO Heydi Foster delivered RTÉ Radio 1’s A Living Word programme from 18th March to 22nd March 2019. Heydi highlighted the work of Misean Cara members in Ghana, Haiti, Sierra Leone, and the Lebanon.

In this episode, Heydi speaks about the ‘greening’ of the world as started by Irish missionaries when they travelled far and wide.


A Living Word – Heydi Foster – Being Irish in the 21st Century

This episode was aired on RTÉ Radio 1 on Monday 18th March 2019.

In 2016, there was a new record number of applications for Irish passports. In 2017 and 2018, the number increased again and again. While this recent trend can be linked to Brexit, it got me thinking about the place of this small island in the wider world. You might have thought of this yourself over the weekend, with the coverage in the media about monuments around the world going green for St. Patrick’s Day. But another “greening” of the world started many, many years ago, as Irish Missionaries travelled far and wide, bringing development, education and health care and starting a tradition that continues to this day. As CEO of Misean Cara, I have had the privilege of seeing first-hand the work of these extraordinary men and women in Latin America, Asia Africa, and the Middle East.

But as well as people from Ireland going out into the world, people from all over the world are now coming to Ireland. More and more people, born elsewhere, secure Irish citizenship and identify with this country. I am one of those. My story did not start here, but I’ve been here for 15 years now. I hold an Irish passport and I call Ireland “home”. And my story is also linked to that other “greening” of the world. Both of my parents – my mother who is from Belize and my father who is from Guatemala were taught by Irish Missionaries and I am proud today to work with another generation of those wonderful, courageous people. You could say the wheel has come full circle.

You can listen to the other A Living Word episodes on the Audio Page of our website. 

Featured Image: A collage of photos highlighting the work of missionaries around the world. Photos: Misean Cara, Lar Boland, Sam Whelan-Curtin.