SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME de NAMUR: WORKING WITH OTHERS, TRANSFORMING LIVES

Picture 4Evalyne Aseyo, SNDdeN, teaches in the Community Health and Development department of the Tropical Institute of Community Health and Development in Kisumu, Kenya. Her work at the institute also includes community service and research.

Sister Evalyne’s research work involves working with others in the local communities to monitor and follow up on vital health indicators. They collect data, analyze the data, and share results in different forums to inform decisions within the health sector. She is part of a team involved in research aimed at designing and testing a novel child hygiene intervention in collaboration with other stakeholders, such as caregivers and health extension workers. This intervention targets children’s caregivers with the aim of changing key behaviors. Community Health Volunteers will deliver the intervention.

In her community service role, Sr. Evalyne reaches out to vulnerable communities in

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Sr. Evalyne in class with students

collaboration with a network of community organizations. Her current project is composed of a team of members from Community Health Extension Workers, Community Health Volunteers, and Community Units. Their projects take place within a community situated in an informal settlement in the  Western part of Kenya.  Sr. Evalyne joins force with the                   aforementioned community partners to enhance community participation in health care service delivery.

 #17 development goalAt the Tropical Institute of Community Health and Development, partnership is defined as working together (individuals/institutions) in sharing resources, ideas, and experiences to support and enrich the work of each contributor with the objective of reaching increased valued and quality outcomes for all parties involved. Together, with other stakeholders, the team mobilizes and organizes communities into ‘Community Units’ with the aim of ensuring that communities are linked to the health sector at the centre, in order to generate informed dialogue, referrals and feedback mechanisms. Together with these partners, they collect data and follow up on indicators such as: immunization coverage, Ante Natal Care (ANC), use of insecticide treated nets for mothers and children under the age of 5, safe water, Vitamin A intake, health facility delivery, and many more. The results of these indicators are noted on community notice boards that are often located in central places within the community. The data on the notice board is usually discussed during forums scheduled for community dialogue. These forums, in turn, generate community action days to address health initiatives.  Sr. Evalyne participates in the community dialogue and action days, whenever possible.

 

 

THE UNITED NATIONS: BRINGING PEOPLE AND ISSUES TOGETHER TO PROMOTE COLLECTIVE ACTION FOR A SUSTAINABLE WORLD

Picture 1Leonore Coan, SNDdeN; SNDatUN Delegate for the 55th Commission for Social Development: Early February (1-10, 2017), the United Nations hosted the 55th session of the Commission on Social Development. Priority theme for the 2017-2018 review and policy cycle of the Commission for Social Development would be “Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all” The aggressive goal for the Commission is to eradicate extreme poverty by the year 2030.

The Commission plenary sessions and side events planned by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) in collaboration with members of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) presented information to effect policy development for the Sustainable Development Goals and suggested strategies for implementation by UN member states.

Having an opportunity to attend sessions of the Commission for the first few days of the meeting was a privilege.  I was honored to attend a few of the side events and two plenary sessions addressing the issues of youth and people with disabilities.

 The meetings I attended during my few days addressed the inclusion of youth especially Picture 2
girls in planning programs and strategy sessions. Including youth in development programs will impact continued future development. I interpreted this to suggest that women attending planning sessions and program developments in their respective communities to bring youth, especially girls, to the meetings. They are not too young to learn. This concept was promoted at a side event on “Women as agents of change in building a shared society” sponsored by Club de Madrid/UN Women/ UNDESA/DSPD.

On Friday morning I observed the plenary session where representatives from several countries presented prepared statements committing their respective member states to inclusion of persons with disabilities into the mainstream of decision making for the development of good solid communities.  At the end of the scheduled presentations, a member of the CSO asked to speak.  This individual was observably disabled. His oral presentation was hesitant because of limited verbal articulation. What he asked of the Member States was “a place at the table” for these planning sessions for inclusion. In all Member States presentations, he heard the promise of fiscal and humanitarian inclusion through budget and programming but no mention of physical inclusion in decision making. His statement was clearly heard.

Picture 3My time was limited but the Agenda of the 55th session of the Commission was and is extensive.  As time passes the Agenda expands.  Addressing the issues presented with the 17 Sustainable Goals is a lifetime work for everyone.  In promoting the work of the Goals, the UN is hoping to achieve successful implementation by the year 2030.

Read more:  55th Commission on Social Development; http://bit.ly/2j9xFIM                        Civil Society Declaration: Social Protection Floors as the Preeminent Strategy for eradicating poverty.

THE NINTH UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL: MR. ANTONIO GUTERRES ASSUMES NEW ROLE

Mr. Antonipic-3o Guterres began his new mandate as the ninth United Nations Secretary General on January 1st.  Speaking shortly after he took the oath of office on December 12, 2016, Mr. Guterres commended his immediate predecessor, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, for his leadership in charting out the future of the UN with the Sustainable Development Goals. He also highlighted the strategic priorities of the UN as; working for peace, supporting sustainable development, and reforming its internal management. Mr. Guterres stressed among other things, his desire to work with Member States on structural, legal, and operational measures to make the zero-tolerance policy a reality as he pledged to make human dignity the core of his work as the UN Secretary General.

On December 15, Mr. Guterres fulfilled one of his pledges; “to respect gender parity and geographical diversity,” by appointing three women as core members of his team. These team members and their respective appointments are; Ms. Amina Mohammed of Nigeria who is the deputy Secretary General, Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil and Ms. Kyung-wha Kang of the Republic of Korea as his Chef de Cabinet and Special Advisor on Policy.

As he assumed office on January 1, Mr. Guterres pledged to make 2017 a year for peace.

Watch Mr. Guterres: https://youtu.be/fIErDYzxfps

 

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Amina Mohammed of Nigeria.  UN Photo

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Enter a captionMaria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil

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Kyung-wha Kang of the Rep. of Korea.  UN Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME: 2016 GLOBAL REPORT ON TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

The pic-2United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), launched its 2016 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons at the UN Headquarter in New York, on December 22, 2016. The following are some of the issues highlighted in the report; no country is immune from trafficking in persons, trafficking in persons has changed in recent years, victims and traffickers often have the same background, people are trafficked for many exploitative purposes, cross-border trafficking flows often resembles regular migration flows, conflict can help drive trafficking in persons, and often the most vulnerable, children, are trafficked. The report also noted that that even with solid legislative progress mad thus far, there are still very few convictions of perpetrators.

Click here to download this very informative UNDOC report
Read more: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; http://bit.ly/1RaFYPz
UN Security Council on Human Trafficking; http://bit.ly/2hSwB9x

 

NOTRE DAME VIRTUAL SCHOOL: SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME de NAMUR EDUCATING FOR LIFE

pic-1Sister Kristin Hokanson, Principal, Notre Dame Virtual School: The Notre Dame Virtual School, which was founded in 2001, was inspired by St. Julie’s quote: “In the schools teach whatever is necessary for life.”  In today’s world, a solid understanding of technology and how to use technological resources is absolutely necessary for life.   The virtual school continues to update its mission by educating students and Sisters with the latest trends in technology. NDVS uses technology to further the Mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in new and diverse ways in their schools. A special focus of the virtual school is Digital Citizenship, and NDVS uses the resources of the International Society of Technology in Education to implement the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship organized by the principles of respect, educate, and protect.

Each week, NDVS sends a mailing to schools with a wide variety of resources on technology, prayer and liturgy, and Catholic social teaching.  A prominent focus this year is the Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations.  Each month a Global Goal is selected as a focus, and resources are available on Notre Dame Online.

NDVS networks the Notre Dame Schools through a variety of ways which includewordpress-1 videoconferencing, coordinating web exchanges, using social media, professional development and participating in Notre Dame sponsored conferences.  Through this networking, schools and sponsored ministries share with each other the ways in which they live the Notre Dame charism, and a virtual community is created.                            2016 GPS Participants

wordpress-2Notre Dame Virtual School has assisted Notre Dame Academy (NDA) in Worcester, Massachusetts with the coordination of two special programs: the Global Perspective Studies (GPS) program and the Digital Citizenship programs. Through the World Language Department, GPS offers NDA students an opportunity to expand their knowledge of world cultures. The aspects of this program are: world language study, connection with other Notre Dame schools foreign and domestic, cultural contact, curriculum integration, service, travel, and a summative portfolio/reflection. Students who fulfill the requirements of the program receive a certificate upon graduation, which is noted on the final transcript.

NDA’s Digital Citizenship Program is required of all first-year students and teaches the worldpress-3nine elements of digital citizenship: Access, Commerce, Communication, Etiquette, Law, Rights and Responsibilities, Health and Wellness, and Security.  Students learn detailed issues in technology that are important for them to be global citizens.  At the completion of the program, students earn a Digital Citizenship Certificate, demonstrating competency in the appropriate and responsible use of technology.  Some students also go on to earn their Digital Citizenship Driver’s License, which indicates an advanced level of knowledge about these important issues.

Through both of these program, NDA Worcester and NDVS prepare students to become more aware of the challenges of our constantly evolving world.

 

 

FOR GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING, EDUCATION AND TREATMENT ARE ESSENTIAL

11-16-5By Rose Ndianefo, SNDdeN: Notre Dame Medical Center in Amoyo, Nigeria, provides antenatal care and delivery and child welfare services, including the following: counseling on the benefit of exclusive breast feeding; education on proper nutrition for pregnant women and children under the age of five; nutritional supplements for pregnant women and children; health education on malaria and Hepatitis B prevention, tests, and immunization program for infants; vaccination of children and adults against Hepatitis B and meningitis; treatment for diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, urinary tract infection, malaria, typhoid fever, and many more as the situation arises. Staffed by doctors, nurses, midwives, Community Health Extension Workers, and laboratory technicians, the Center serves about 230 women, 200 infants and children under the age of five, and 350 teenagers and adults, including orphaned and vulnerable children.

NOTRE DAME EDUCATION CENTER, LAWRENCE, MA: SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF IMMIGRANTS

By Sister Eileen Burns, Executive Director, NDEC-L: In 1996, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur established Notre Dame Education Center-Lawrence (NDEC-L) on the former St. Mary’s High School site. Today 7 Sisters minister at NDEC-L with 6 more on our corporation and board of directors.

At the Center, Low-income, under educated adults are empowered to improve and enrich

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Sr. Kathleen Murphy with students

their lives and the lives of their families in an environment that is welcoming, respectful and dignified. Through access to quality direct services, collaboration, and advocacy for positive change, NDEC provides goal-oriented education, skills
training, language and literacy development, enrichment opportunities and support services.

 

newsletter-5NDEC assists and supports adult learners to achieve their next steps and reach their full potential as productive, contributing workers in the community and in society. Over the last 20 years, NDEC-L has provided nearly 7,000 adults, mostly immigrants, with English language classes, job skills training, high school equivalency test preparation, citizenship classes, and assistance to become U.S. citizens. Center programs make a difference in the lives of new immigrants and Lawrence residents by providing adult learners with the life skills needed to support better employment, a stable and consistent family life, and a commitment to the neighborhood community.