July 14, 2023

View MGA Emerging Leaders Fellows Research Presentations, 13 July 2023

Mercy Global Action Emerging Leaders Fellows (Cohort Two 2022-2023) have prepared extensive research presentations on various Mercy justice issues. These research presentations were presented during a hybrid event at Baggot Street and via Zoom on 13 July, 2023.

The program includes a schedule of the research presentations, names of the presenting Fellows and a description of each research project. 

Download the program

Messages to: Colleen Swain - Leadership Development and Advocacy Associate MIA-MGA

Research Presentations on 13 July 2023

Presenter: Gabriella Kinsman (Australia)


Learning Beyond Borders: How can we pave pathways to lifelong learning for forcibly displaced people?


Higher education offers undeniable benefits to individuals and communities, but it remains an unattainable dream for many forcibly displaced people. This research project examines the significant challenges faced by refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people on their path to university. Focusing on the inalienable right to higher education, the project highlights global and national barriers, using the Australian context as a case study. It provides examples of effective strategies for advocacy and action to improve educational access and promote inclusive higher education environments.

The culmination of this research is a dynamic workshop to be implemented in schools. The workshop addresses the root causes of forced displacement and response to this issue by the Mercy community, the importance of education and how to overcome barriers to access. Through impactful audio-visual storytelling by those with lived experience and interactive activities, the workshop cultivates empathy and encourages young people to be advocates for positive change.

Download the Research Project here

Presenter: Stellah Mathe (Kenya)

Influence of Food for Education(FFE) Program on Needy Children in Pulic Primary Schools within Mukuru Slums, Nairobi

Food for Education Program as a social safety net has been popular in developing countries as an instrument for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). These programs are also advocated as important interventions for improving the human capital of school-aged children. The Food for Education program is critical to provide a balanced diet to poor and needy school going children which would in turn enable them to increase their attention span hence better academic achievement. The Food for Education (FFE) program is a crucial component in the development of a holistic child. The effect of under nutrition on young children aged 0-13 years can be devastating and enduring. Good nutrition is the first line of defense against numerous childhood diseases, which can leave their mark on a child for life. The objective of the study was to find out how Food for Education program has influenced needy children in public primary schools within Mukuru slums, Nairobi County. Three research objectives included finding out the effect of FFE on enrolment, attendance and involvement in learning activities of children in public primary schools within the Mukuru slums. The researcher employed the use of descriptive survey design. The target population of the study comprised primary school teachers and headteachers teachers and needy primary school children. Data was collected using questionnaires, interview schedules. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Data was presented in graphs by tales. The findings from the study highlighted that food for education program played a positive role in increasing enrolment, attendance and promoting active involvement in learning activities by needy children in public primary schools within Mukuru slums. In conclusion school meals enhance involvement in learning activities of children in primary schools. The researcher made some of the following recommendations, county and national government need to initiate the school feeding programs and sustainability of the programs is vital to increase the transition rate to secondary level. There is need to conduct a study on school dropout, looking at the determinants of this factors.

This guide offers an introduction to the emerging ‘Impact Economy’, and puts forward a decision-making framework for members of the Mercy community to use when considering ways to invest, save and purchase intentionally within this new system.

Download the Research Project here Download the research project powerpoint here

Presenter: Derby Mercado rsm (Philippines)

Public Branding of Church Leaders in Active Community Service: Role of the Church

This research project seeks to present the situation of some of the Church leaders in the Philippines. Despite the many challenges, it is interesting to know how they eagerly sustain the fire within them whilst serving the Church. How do Religious Brothers and Sisters continue to persevere their commitment in spite of the experiences they encounter in serving the community? This project offers a plan of action after hearing their stories and reading reliable sources.


As a Religious Sister and ministering in the peripheries, I feel the importance of understanding and presenting this kind of research to others. We can work together to understand the role of the larger Church within society and move forward as a community.


To access Derby's presentation and training materials please email MELF Programme Manager, Marietta Latonio, at mariettalatonio@mercyinternational.ie

Presenter: Magdalene Musau rsm (Kenya)

SUICIDE: The Silence We Share

 This research paper is based on my book entitled ‘Suicide: The Silence We Share’ - a Mercy Emerging Leaders' Fellowship project. It is born from my journey of searching for answers in an effort to understand, accept and heal from the deaths through suicide by people in my life. Therefore, I shall define, discuss the causes of suicide, its impact on individuals and their relations, how we can control it and break the silence wrapped in stigma.


In this paper I use organic inquiry research method which is process-oriented, relational, collaborative and which involves perspectives that are both subjective and objective. In this type of research the experiences of the writer are as key as those of the participant and the reader.

As the reader interacts with this paper, it helps them break the silence about the effects of suicide and find tools for self-healing, challenge their beliefs and find hope in a merciful God

Download the Research project here Download Research Project Powerpoint here

Presenter: Rebecca Rathbone (Canada)

Translating Mental Health Treatment

This project explores the challenge of providing Psychological First Aid (PFA) in humanitarian responses that take place in contexts where mental health is considered a taboo subject.

PFA provides an excellent entry point for community members to actively participate in humanitarian responses, and it is widely accepted by psychologists and humanitarians alike that empowering community members to be mental health first responders is an effective way to provide this intervention to more people. This becomes complicated, however, when mental health interventions are unwelcome in the affected community.

The fruit of this Research Project is a ‘Reflection Guide for Mental Health First Responders’, which helps trusted community members who have received PFA training to streamline their identity as a mental health first responder with their identity as a community member. The goal is that they use their community influence to provide PFA in a way that is both effective and non-threatening.

Download the Research Project powerpoint here Download Rebecca's Reflection Guide Here Download the Research Report Here

Presenter: Michelle Gorman rsm (United States of America)

Big Rivers: Metaphors for the World we Live in

The world’s big rivers and their floodplains have been central to the evolution of humankind and are now home to 2.7 billion people (more than 25% of the world’s population). They constitute some of the most diverse habitats on earth; however, a large number of anthropogenic stressors challenge their integrity and future as never before, including population growth, pollution, hydrological changes, large-scale damming, and of course, the climate crisis. The rapidity and extent of the stressors is so great that sooner than later, ecosystem collapse is highly possible (probable) in some big rivers and throughout the whole of our planet.

But more devastating than the physical degradation possible on earth is the impact on the indigenous populations whose identity and spirituality remains connected to the natural world to this day. Until all humans embrace the fundamental reality of our interconnectedness with all of creation, including the whole cosmos, we will not be able to withstand the addiction to treating the earth as a commodity to be used for profit and rampant consumption. The scientist and priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “By virtue of creation…nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see; on the contrary, everything is sacred.” Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have accelerated the profanation of the earth. The more we grow to love and appreciate the sacredness of creation, the more we will make the changes necessary to allow our earth to be the physical manifestation of God’s presence and perhaps once again return to a state where life can flourish for all. That is why Mercy Emerging Leaders Fellows commit to participating in Mercy Global Action and why our rivers call us to the deepest recesses of our souls.

Download the Research Project here Download the Research Project powerpoint here

Presenter: Paula Anamani Alipia rsm (Aotearoa New Zealand)


Women at the Forefront of Climate Change


Pacific women are paddling their canoes further afield. Casting their nets into the deep oceans of world leaders. As indigenous women of the moana, they are fearless of the deep ocean. Navigating by the spirit of their ancestors, they keep on paddling their fight against climate change. No more time to waste or waiting for prayers to be answered. Now is the time to put those words into action. Their identity and traditional values are at risk. The land, the ocean and rivers are all connected.

What happens when their lands, rivers and oceans disappear?

Download the research presentation here Download Research presentation powerpoint here

Presenter: Dominique Marendy (Australia)

Harvesting Solutions: Examining the Relationship between Population Growth and Sustainable Food Systems

"Harvesting Solutions: Examining the Relationship between Population Growth and Sustainable Food Systems" is an introductory guide that explores the challenges arising from global population growth and the necessity for sustainable food systems. With the expanding world population straining resources, particularly in food production and consumption, this guide sheds light on the intricate interplay between population growth and food sustainability. It showcases inspiring examples of how individuals, communities, and governments can address these complex issues.

The guide delves into the multifaceted nature of global population growth, examining its impact on agricultural practices, land use, water resources, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, climate change, and social equity. It highlights the crucial role of women in sustainable farming, conservation, and community resilience. Drawing from diverse perspectives, the guide offers practical examples and recommendations to reduce food waste, promote agroecology, implement inclusive policies, foster innovation, and strengthen local food systems.

Inspired by Catherine McAuley's spirit of mercy and compassion, "Harvesting Solutions" aims to empower readers to become catalysts for change. It emphasizes the interconnectedness of population growth and sustainable food systems, urging collective action for a more equitable, resilient, and nourished world.

Download the Research presentation here Download the research presentation powerpoint here

Presenter: Sarah Brown (United States)


Nonviolent Practice as Love, Honoring Dignity and Interconnectedness of Each and All

Nonviolence has an innate, amplifying power to beneficially influence personal and communal lives. This reference paper aims to demystify “nonviolence” with options for accessible, manageable steps in personal practice and advocacy. It begins by exploring definitions and context of violence and nonviolence to provide a common background. With that foundation, it provides potential reasons to strive for nonviolent practice. Building on that premise, it shares evidence and several stories on ways nonviolence inspires hope in big and small personal and communal successes. It then suggests resources in navigating and finding workable solutions within nonviolent practice. Finally, it offers potential actions and advocacy one can engage in to enhance the healing reach of nonviolence along with a list of resources. The goal is to inspire, support, and encourage readers in growing hope and capacity for living out boundless love, honoring dignity, and interconnectedness in ways that align with the readers’ authenticity.

Download the Research Presentation here Download Research PowerPoint here
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