Mercy International Association Global Action Programme
The main goal of MIA’s global action is to develop a programme based on the grassroots stories of Mercy work throughout the world, which is firmly rooted in theological reflection for social action and which will develop policy and advocacy positions to influence change though the national and international decision making bodies, primarily the EU and the United Nations.
The Guiding principles underlying the work were highlighted by the Congregations, Institutes and Federations in a Feasibility study which was undertaken for MIA on Global Action last year.
- MIA Global Action will be based on the Mercy charism and theological reflection for social action. MIA’s Global Action Programme will be based on reflection, analysis and action (praxis) and will have a theological underpinning.
- MIA will deliver a clear message in relation to its stand for women, children, people living in poverty and for eco justice. Mercy charism involves working with poor, marginalized people addressing the underlying causes of poverty. The focus of the work will be on alleviating poverty, working for justice through systemic change and promoting ecological sustainability.
- MIA Global Action will emphasise compassion, respect and hospitality in its relationships. MIA will adopt a people-centered approach bringing the human stories of their work into their social analysis and advocacy.MIA Global Action will emphasise interconnectedness and partnership and bringing all aspects of Mercy work together.
- MIA Global Action will support Mercy Congregations and Institutes to work together to strengthen their common work and to do things together which they cannot do alone. They will work in partnership rather than competition with other like minded organisations, religious and lay.
So what has been happening on Global Action at Mercy International Association recently. We conducted a survey of the member Congregations, Institutes and Federation to establish the priority issues for MIA for 2011. The two emerging priority issues that we will engage on this year Trafficking/Prostitution and Cosmology/Environment.
Focus of MIA Global Action
Two working groups have been established working on these two issues and both reporting to an overall network of Mercy Global Action co-ordinators from each Congregation, Institute and Federation. A Theological group has also been established to ensure that the Global Action programme will have a theological underpinning and theologians sit on each of the issue based working groups.
The working groups will ensure that Mercy work at the grassroots is being reflected in the policy and advocacy initiatives taken both at the level of national governments and at the United Nations. In relation to the Cosmology/Environment issue the working group is preparing policy positions and advocacy which will be taken to the UN Rio Conference on sustainable development in 2012. (A separate article will explain this process in more detail in future editions of E news).
With regard to the Trafficking issue the UN has adopted a protocol (known as the Polermo protocol) to prevent human trafficking . The working group will examine this protocol to see if it provides sufficient safeguards against trafficking and to ensure it is ratified and implemented in each of the countries where Mercy works.
The working groups have a large agenda. They will examine what Mercy is doing at the grassroots level on each of our two priority issues, and also what national governments and the UN is doing. We hope to influence the process at all levels and this is where we need the support of all Mercy members and supporters. Over the next few months we will be launching an environmental campaign linked to the Climate Change Conference in Beijing and in preparation for the Rio Conference. We will be asking Mercy supporters to cut their personal consumption of carbon and to reduce emissions. I would like you to write and tell me what you are already doing on the issue of environment, through project or education work or through energy saving initiatives. Similarly if you are doing any education or advocacy work on the issue of Trafficking, please let me know. Through linking our local and Global initiatives, Mercy can have significant impact. Please keep me informed.
Messages to Mary Purcell - Assistant Director Mercy Global Action