• Misean Cara Annual Report 2018
  • Misean Cara Annual Report 2018
    Esther, from the village of Makere in Wenje, eastern Kenya, collecting vegetables from her irrigated plot. Wenje receives little rainfall and, like most farmers in the area, Esther relied on the seasonal flooding of the Tana river to grow her crops, planting seeds as the flood waters receded. This approach became highly unreliable as rainfall patterns became increasingly erratic. Thanks to an irrigation project implemented by Misean Cara member the Spiritans, Esther and others in her community can now produce vegetables throughout the year. Photo: Stewart Gee, C12.
  • Misean Cara Annual Report 2018
    Pwint Nadi Kyaw, from Myanmar, in the library at the Good Shepherd Centre for Women and Children in Phuket, Thailand. Pwint’s parents are among the many from Myanmar who come to Thailand looking for work. Because they cannot speak Thai and assert their basic rights, the migrants are especially vulnerable to accepting poorly paid jobs that are difficult and dangerous. With support from Misean Cara, the Good Shepherd Sisters work to improve their situation by empowering them with knowledge of labour, child and human rights, while also providing access to health care and education. Photo: Good Shepherd Sisters.
  • Misean Cara Annual Report 2018
    Basamat Alnoor carries water to her home in the Kaya Refugee Camp in Maban County, South Sudan, where she is a primary school teacher. Kaya is one of four camps in Maban that together shelter more than 130,000 refugees from the Blue Nile and South Kordofan region of Sudan. The Irish Jesuit Missions, through the Jesuit Refugee Service, provides educational and psycho-social services to both refugees in the camps and the host community. Photo: Paul Jeffrey.

Between them, Misean Cara’s 91 members have centuries of experience in education, health care, water supply, sanitation, livelihoods, income generation, human rights and humanitarian work in poor and marginalised communities across the Global South. The strength of the movement derives from the deep sense of commitment which members have to creating opportunities that will lead to better lives for the communities they serve. Allied to this commitment are an expertise in the different technical areas and the Missionary Approach to Development, which encompasses a long-term commitment, a prophetic vision, a holistic approach, a sense of personal witness and a willingness to cross boundaries.

GOAL 1: uphold the right to quality education

Learning to Walk in Lesotho

Children and staff gather to welcome Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso of Lesotho to the Ferrando Resource Centre Special School for the Disabled in Maputsoe, Lesotho. The Centre is run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and provides physiotherapy and rehabilitation carefor children with disabilities. Reitumetsi Memane is one of the many beneficiaries of the Centre.

Photo: The Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

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In 2018, 38 Misean Cara member organisations implemented 76 education projects in 29 countries, to a value of €3,877,623 million with a target population of 77,500 people.

Article 26 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts the right to an 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.
An external effectiveness review of a number of Misean Cara education projects, carried out in 2018, identified some simple and practical approaches that could be replicated by other actors involved in delivering quality education to refugee, migrant and displaced communities.

Examples include effective approaches to integrating pupils, using highly mobile and adaptable “school-in-a-trunk” resources (allowing classes to be taught almost anywhere), teaching local languages, addressing trauma through psychosocial and complementary therapies, and expediting the acquisition of essential documentation so that children can establish their identity and register within the school system.

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GOAL 2: uphold the right to better health, clean water & sanitation

Living Positively in Tanzania

Eliwaja Samwell speaking to villagers as part of the outreach work of theFaraja Centre. She visits villages, hospitals and schools to encourage people to ascertain their HIV status so that, if they are living with HIV, they can access treatment and counselling to continue positively with their lives. Run by the Medical Missionaries of Mary, Faraja is considered by the Tanzanian government to be a centre of excellence in HIV treatment and prevention.

Photo: The Faraja Centre

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In 2018, 27 Misean Cara member organisations implemented 52 livelihoods projects in 22 countries, to a value of €3,354,654 million with a target population of 825,000 people.

Many Misean Cara member organisations have an extensive track record in implementing health care projects in developing countries. In some cases, projects involve stand-alone health care 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.
A long-term community presence, coupled with a strong health education initiative, can bring about achange in attitude and behaviour on the part of individuals and communities regardingpreventive health measures.

In Kajiado, Kenya, for example, a health project run by Misean Cara member the Society of the Divine Saviour is working to overcome vaccination hesitancy through immunisation campaigns. Through family outreach and antenatal care, the project is also educating women on the importance of delivery in the presence of skilled health professionals. Such developments can contribute to improved health outcomes and reduce the future burden on public health systems.

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GOAL 3: uphold the right to sustainable livelihoods

Hydroponics on the Hillsides in Peru

In the barrio of San Juan de Lurigancho in the Peruvian capital, 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. Sr. Regina Toomey and members of ADSOPUR visit a hydroponic vegetable production unit. The system uses an ingenious technology to produce vegetables without the need for soil.


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In 2018, 24 Misean Cara member organisations implemented 39 livelihoods projects in 18 countries, to a value of €2,441,426 million with a target population of 89,000 people.

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. An external evaluation of a number of projects aimed at developing resilience found that “Misean Cara is currently supporting projects that are helping communities adapt to climate change by offering alternative livelihood strategies… In many cases, these interventions have helped to improve the lives of people who are living under immense strain.” In Indore, India, the Society of the Divine Word works with 1,500 Dalit men and women.

Many of the women earned a precarious living by scavenging informally in the city’s domestic waste dumps. Changes at national level to the way solid waste is managed required the formal involvement of local municipal authorities and threatened that source of livelihood. The project adapted to the changing circumstances and helped over 700 women to secure a labour card, allowing them to continue to work under the auspices of the local authority. Those who did not wish to continue working with waste, or who were displaced by the new policy, were provided with alternative skills and options.

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GOAL 4: uphold and advocate for human rights

Aishwarya’s journey: from New Delhi to the United Nations

17-year-old Aishwarya from New Delhi, India, with Kate Gilmore, Deputy United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, at a session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva, Switzerland. At home in New Delhi, Aishwarya became involved in advocacy for human rights through the work of Edmund Rice Development. Aishwarya proved an enthusiastic participant, leading to her selection for the visit to Geneva, where she co-moderated one of the session debates on defending children’s rights in online spaces.

Photo: Edmund Rice Development.

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In 2018, 20 Misean Cara member organisations implemented 43 human rights projects in 36 countries, to a value of over €2,835,811 million with a target population of 418,000 people.

Misean Cara believes that increasing awareness of human rights, increasing access to basic rights and mobilisation for equality and social justice can bring about powerful change at local, national and international levels. Misean Cara funds many grassroots human rights projects, but also initiatives that link grassroots to international SDG and human rights processes. These projects also capture lessons and good practice on mobilisation for rights by diverse groups, such as women, children, farmers, service users, people affected by violence, indigenous and tribal groups, and human rights defenders.

The Franciscan Missionary Union works with Franciscans International (FI) which has an office in Geneva and engages with human rights work at a global level. FI’s expertise on business and human rights issues, informed and enabled by its project work, has been recognised in its being asked to provide expert opinion to UNdiscussions on a new treaty on business and human rights.

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GOAL 5: enhance & promote the missionary approach to development

In Nigeria, [L-R] Sisters Henrietta Eziashi, Anne Mogaji, Louise Orji, Rosemary Mbah and Ann Uba from the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception discuss key issues in project cycle management, during a workshop facilitated by Misean Cara Development Mentor Michael Nkrumah.

Photo: Misean Cara.

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In 2018, 16 Misean Cara member organisations implemented 21 member capacity development projects in 33 countries, to a value of €427,265.

Misean Cara’s purpose is to enable missionaries to facilitate effective development work. It supports member organisations to reflect upon how they approach their work, and on how they can set themselves up for success in the projects they undertake. Strong and clear organisational structures and processes are major factors in implementing quality projects that create lasting change in people’s lives. Capacity development initiatives contribute towards our Strategic Goal 5 by strengthening the capabilities of member organisations and their project teams, as well as the systems and structures within which they work.

The benefits of this support are two-fold. In the first place, members are enabled to implement effective projects, bringing both immediate and longer-term benefits to communities. Secondly, the ability and professionalism of project teams are enhanced, thus building up the capacity of civil society in the country in general.

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Total Funds 2018

The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Accounting and Reporting by Charities: Statement of Recommended Practice applicable to charities preparing their accounts in accordance with the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland (effective 1 January 2015) – (Charities SORP (FRS102)), and the Companies Act 2014.

Misean Cara received the majority of its income in 2018 from Irish Aid (€15.5 million) with the remainder coming from interest earned on its bank deposits (€3,627) and fundraising (€112,329). 

The cost of generating funds in 2018 was €174,020 (€134,262 in direct costs and €39,758 in support costs).  This included direct publicity costs, media visits, and allocated support costs.

Governance costs for the year amounted to €232,153 (€175,830 in direct costs and €56,323 in support costs). Governance costs relate to the strategic management of the organisation and compliance with statutory requirements. This includes the costs of Board and member meetings, the AGM, secretarial, legal and audit costs.

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Misean Cara gratefully acknowledges the funding support of: