April 19, 2021

Mercy Global Action Emerging Leaders Fellowship (MELF) Making Strides Towards Carbon Neutrality

In the research of Jemima Welsh, graduate of the inaugural Mercy Global Action Emerging Leaders Fellowship (MELF) we are encouraged to envision ways in which the Mercy community can meaningfully contribute to the impact economy. She states, “Simply put, where traditional capitalism puts the attainment of profit before all else, the impact economy represents those emerging financial structures and institutions that also take into account the social and environmental impacts of their transactions. This economy places values not just on productivity and growth but also on sustainability and wellbeing. It relies on, and allows, each one of us to be purposeful in our decisions – to see ourselves as agents of change with our money.”

In the spirit of using Money as Mercy, as Jemima coins, Mercy Global Action has purchased strategic carbon offsets to reduce the carbon footprint of the inaugural Mercy Global Action Emerging Leaders Fellowship.

The inaugural group has made a significant contribution to the Glor Na Mara Bundoran Community Garden in County Donegal, Ireland. The Glor Na Mara Bundoran Community garden has transformed the land into an organic community garden, absorbing carbon into the soil and aiding the reduction of carbon emissions. It is an abundant space that provides food for the local community in their homes and restaurants. In addition, they have a butterfly and bee garden, as well as hens to provide eggs to the community.

The Glor Na Mara Bundoran Community Garden continues to offer courses to the local people on the New Cosmology, biodiversity, energy, organic growing, cooking, herbs, health, spirituality, ritual and sustainable lifestyle choices. They share visions of reclaiming the connection with the natural world by promoting a sense of place and belonging with a profound sense of the Sacred in all of it, in the context of the unfolding story of the universe.

Other areas of involvement for the ministry include:

  • School environmental projects
  • School gardens
  • Part-time Resource teaching in the local Primary School
  • Workshops provincially and nationally in the context of the Universe Story
  • Provincial Retreat days on the New Cosmology
  • Collaboration with the Western Province in writing/developing retreat days on the New Cosmology for leaving Cert students
  • Writing introductory sessions on the Universe Story as the context for the ‘Lifestart’ Programme (for parents of 0-4 year olds)

As we know, there is no fixed price on carbon and the cost of an offset varies from project to project. Critiques of purchasing carbon offsets include the support and extension of oppressive colonial and capitalist systems. However, through impact investing with a heart of Mercy, purchasing carbon offsets can reduce the carbon footprint of the program by investing in communities and emission reducing projects that make positive impacts on the environment. It is our hope that future MELF programs will be fully carbon neutral. We continue to support sustainable solutions that center on the well-being of people and planet including: traditional knowledge, carbon reducing programs, energy efficient initiatives, renewable energy, zero waste efforts and more.

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

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