Posted on February 23, 2015 by Sister Mary Jo Toll
Spending time with our Sisters in Brazil helped me to better understand province coordination and collaboration of social outreach in various ministries.
Sr. Silvania was kind enough to spend several days acquainting me with an amazing variety of programs coordinated by the Sisters of Passo Fundo province. Bombeiro Mirim works with at risk young men who spend time outside of school learning values and skills by participating with city firemen. Segments of the education include horticulture, music, woodworking, technology, and social and psychological skills. Project Transform Ação emerged from a commitment to care for the world in which we live; this amazing recycling project includes capacity building of numbers of adults. Transportation to the site, accounting, human resource management and work conditions are all a part of two large recycling endeavors initiatives which not only help to lessen the need for landfill, but also provide income for good sized staff. Meetings are held weekly in order to base these projects in principles of sustainability and spirituality.
Santa Cruz retreat center hosts a variety of workshops which provide spiritual, psychological, physical, and professional support for religious and lay ministers. One that was in session during my visit was that of care of the elderly. I joined the group as they culminated their workshop with a visit to Casa Betanía. Here the elder Sisters of the Province are participants in creating their own programs as was evident by their vibrant contributions to the day.
I spent a very full day with Sr. Imelda Jacoby, first at the Passo Fundo prison (built for 150 and holding 600) and the prison for adolescents in the area. I quickly became aware that, like Sr. Silvania, Sr. Imelda is highly respected by municipal colleagues, but must walk a very fine line between critique of the system and cooperation with the authorities in order to help the prisoners as much as possible. Work on social education and restorative justice are two of the capacity building approaches in which Sister has educated herself so that she can educate others. I am also very grateful to the Sisters of the Canoas province for their gracious hospitality during my short stay there.
Filed under: Commissions | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 9, 2015 by Sister Jean Stoner
Which of these Sustainable Development Goals are you working for?
- Dignity: to end poverty and fight inequalities
- People: to ensure healthy lives, knowledge and the inclusion
of women and children
- Prosperity: to grow a strong, inclusive and transformative economy
- Planet: to protect our ecosystems for all societies and our children
- Justice: to promote safe and peaceful societies and strong institutions
- Partnership: to catalyse global solidarity for sustainable development
For more information on the SDGs, read the UN Secretary General’s 2015 Report: The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet http://bit.ly/1EeQpbu
For an interactive description of the SDGs and how they are related to the MDGs: http://bit.ly/1CTD6ME
Filed under: SDGs | Tagged: Sustainable Development | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 2, 2015 by Sister Jean Stoner
We need to be poor with the poor and re-appropriate
a kind and tender relationship with Mother Earth.
Then we will know how to act.
Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN
Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN, posthumously honored in 2008 with the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights, would feel right at home today with the UN’s current efforts to formulate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All of the goal focus areas of Dignity, People, Prosperity, Planet, Justice, and Partnership capture well the energy and commitment she brought to social and ecological change for which she was killed in the Amazon on February 12, 2005.
Today the pastureland where she died holds a simple community center, a community school, a tree nursery, and a small cocoa factory. More than thirty families now live there, collaborating to simultaneously protect the forest and provide a living for the people, ideals for which she gave her life. http://bit.ly/1E24hZp
“When Sr. Dorothy died, there were 35 basic Christian communities; today there are more than 85. Now the people are unafraid in confronting loggers, gunmen, ranchers or local authorities who threaten the planet and the lives of their families. They have learned to do so with strategies and organized strength. The people challenge injustices and sustain a profound and irrepressible hope and belief in the future, their future, a future they remember and reverence as Sr. Dorothy’s legacy to them.”
Jane Dwyer, SNDdeN, Seeds Bear Fruit in Brazil: www.sndden.org/assets/Good-Works/GWNOV2014.pdf
Artwork: Margaret Hoffman, SNDdeN
Filed under: Change, Human Rights | Tagged: Poverty Eradication, Sustainable Development | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 23, 2015 by Sister Jean Stoner
Highlight from previous issue (2012):
In New York, the NGOs (non-governmental organizations) through their Stop Trafficking in Persons Committee are focusing on world sports events where sponsoring businesses can make a big difference in stopping human trafficking. In particular, task force members wrote letters to the London Olympics Organizing Committee and all Olympic sponsors asking them to take a public stand against human trafficking. Companies can prevent human trafficking by evaluating their supply chains in order to end forced labor, child labor, and unscrupulous recruitment practices.
The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, UN.GIFT, has as its mission to promote a global approach to the problem of trafficking in persons. Trafficking criminal networks are so extensive that they cannot be dismantled by governments alone. Trafficking is an organized crime so it must be fought in an organized way. UN.GIFT makes an effort to involve all stakeholders — business, academia, governments, civil society and the media – in partnerships against trafficking. For further details, or to support UN.GIFT, go to
What you do makes a difference,
and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.
Filed under: Human Rights | Tagged: Human Trafficking | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 16, 2015 by Sister Jean Stoner
Uganda Kolping Society helps people support their families by making loans of cows. Families use some of the milk for themselves and sell the rest, giving them a small but steady income and keeping everyone healthy. Loans are paid back by raising the calves for a year and then passing them to other families. Microfinancing Partners in Africa and Heifer International have similar projects.
http://bit.ly/1G5NiDS (choose your language)
Filed under: Change, SDGs | Tagged: Development | Leave a comment »