Foreword by the Chairperson


At the close of my second year as Chair of the Misean Cara Board, I reflect yet again on the valuable contribution that Irish missionaries have made and continue to make to international development. Misean Cara has always been about supporting our members to deliver their life-transforming projects on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable and excluded, through their unique approach to development interventions.

Missionaries really do bring something special to their work. We see this continuously in the results that Misean Cara members deliver from the projects they implement with our support. We see it particularly in the lifelong commitment they make to the communities they serve, especially in the most challenging of environments. The imprint they have left is indeed remarkable. Throughout my career, I have always felt that being Irish has been an advantage when working overseas. The welcome that Irish people have received when working in developing countries is due to no small degree to the good will generated by successive Irish missionaries in their adopted countries. 

2022 was an important year for Misean Cara in renewing that commitment through the launch of our new organisational strategy for the next five years. As Board Chair, it was my privilege to launch the Strategy at our AGM in June 2022. We are very grateful to all those who contributed to this process. 

In developing the new strategy, we recognised the need to embrace change. We intend to become even more efficient in the way we support our members to deliver their services, reducing time and costs for both the members and Misean Cara staff. We will further diversify our funding sources. We will also continue strengthening the capacity of our members in adapting their work to changing development contexts, and in advancing localisation processes. Our support to development interventions will focus more on addressing the climate crisis. You can read more about the strategy on page 9 of this report.

Thanks to the combined effort of our members over the last year, we can report that in 2022, nearly 71,000 people now have improved food security and better nutrition, and almost 15,000 households have enhanced livelihoods and incomes. 

Another important highlight this year was the successful introduction of the member contribution scheme. This very welcome support will enable us to increase our investment in a number of critical areas across the organisation, especially fundraising. 

Irish missionaries have continued to distinguish themselves as members of the Irish diaspora and for their impact on international development. This year, we were delighted to see Fr. Dick O’Riordan honoured with a Presidential Distinguished Service Award by President Michael D. Higgins for his peace, reconciliation and development work in South Africa.

As the number of Irish missionaries serving overseas continues to decline, our members are engaged in a planned transition to locally led development. Non-Irish missionaries are now rightly assuming more leadership positions in their congregations, motivated by the charism of their founders in delivering concrete development outcomes. This is very encouraging and Misean Cara will fully support them in this transition. 

Sadly, we also continued to lose a number of Irish missionaries in 2022 who had devoted their lives to service overseas. They have all been great ambassadors for Ireland. May they rest in peace. Among those who died in 2022 was Salesian Father Pat Naughton who was a visionary and a driving force at the Salesian Institute Youth Projects in Cape Town, South Africa. 

I would like to express my gratitude to my fellow Board members for their commitment and engagement throughout the year. This year, we bade farewell to two departing members, Larry O’Loughlin and Dr. Lance O’Brien whose presence and insights will be missed. We offer our thanks to Larry and Lance for their contributions to Misean Cara. I also want to express my sincere appreciation to our CEO John Moffett, the hard-working staff of Misean Cara, and all our members for the energy and commitment they bring to their work every day. 

With our new strategy firmly under way, we look forward in the coming years to continue delivering on our commitment to improving the lives of those we serve.


Kevin Carroll

For further information about our work or to comment on this report, please contact:

Misean Cara
4th Floor, Callaghan House,
13-16 Dame Street, Dublin 2,
D02 HX67, Ireland

Tel: +353 (0) 1 405 5028
Facebook: /MiseanCaraIreland
Twitter: @miseancara

©2023 Misean Cara

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Misean Cara gratefully acknowledges the funding support of Irish Aid.


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Misean Cara gratefully acknowledges the funding support of GHR Foundation.


Misean Cara gratefully acknowledges the funding support of ESB Electric Aid.


Misean Cara gratefully acknowledges the funding support of Americares.

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