January 24, 2023

New Years Greetings from the Mercy Global Action Team

Warm New Years greetings from the Mercy Global Action team! We hope you enjoyed a restful and joyful break with family and friends.


Our team has dived into 2023 with renewed energy, which is just as well given a very full MGA advocacy and MELF schedule. Our priority areas remain ‘Degradation of Earth’ and ‘Displacement of People’ and we continue to work within the UN system and with partners across Mercy World for justice on these issues. This year, we have also adopted the priority area of ‘women’s leadership’, which pays homage to the long history of feminist campaigns led by the Sisters of Mercy and aligns naturally with the growth of the Mercy Global Action Emerging Leaders Fellowship. 


Notably, the MGA team is about to welcome the new Water Task Force, which will raise a voice about water ahead of the UN 2023 Conference on Water (taking place from 22-24 March) and provide direction and leadership to the Mercy World on justice issues related to water, as well as recommendations moving forward. If you are interested in following the decisions of the Task Force, or wish to participate in the process, please get in touch with the MGA team at mgaassociate@mercyinternational.ie


Our resident intern, Catherine Edwards, is diligently preparing for the 61st session of the Commission for Social Development (otherwise known as CSoCD). The priority theme for this year’s Commission is ‘creating full and productive employment and decent work for all as a way of overcoming inequalities to accelerate the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. Please look out for ways MGA has participated in this forum, which we will feature on our website/newsletter in the coming weeks. 


In December 2022, we sadly farewelled Siobhan Golden as Program Manager of the MELF Program. Siobhan has returned to Ireland where she continues to be heavily involved in grassroots advocacy on the issue of homelessness (on which Siobhan completed her research project as part of the MELF Program, Cohort 1). In her stead, we are delighted to welcome Marietta (‘Mayet’) Lantonio to the position of Program Manager. Mayet is from the Philippines and was a founding facilitator of MELF. We will feature a formal introduction to Mayet in the forthcoming issue of the MGA newsletter. 


In the first few weeks of her role, Mayet has been reviewing submissions for the third cohort of the MELF Program. We are thrilled to have received a large number of applications from all over the world. One of the strengths of MELF is the diversity of the Fellows’ nationalities, cultures, experiences and interests. This contributes to a rich exchange of ideas on how to create social and environmental change. Cohort 3 of MELF will be announced in the coming months. 


Lastly, Colleen and Jemima (Women’s Leadership Development Associates) have been steadily working on the MELF Impact Report, which is in the final stages of development with MGA’s graphic designer. The report features reflections from around the world on the value of the MELF Program, and includes a series of beautiful custom illustrations created by visual artist and MELF Fellow, Anastasia Freeman. We hope the new MELF Theory of Change and framework for measuring impact against the UN Sustainable Development Goals will provide Mercy World with a rich understanding of how the MELF Program works and how it can grow into the future. Stay tuned!


From all of us here, we wish you a bright and fulfilling 2023.

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