COLLABORATING FOR GOOD: VISIT FROM THE CONGREGATIONAL LEADER OF SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME DE NAMUR TO SNDatUN OFFICE

1By Teresita Weind SNDdeN, Congregational Leader, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. There is a big difference between talking about the problems of the world and being sucked into a hole of hopelessness; and being with people determined to meet and collaborate for positive changes for the good of our planet and peoples. Sister Grace Amarachi Ezeonu, SNDdeN, our NGO representative at the United Nations, chose a few events for us to attend while I visited her at the UN during the first week of Easter. The three events focused on positive change, featuring Youth Voices on Substance Abuse; Academic Panelists addressing The Rise of Nationalist Politics and Policy Implications for Migration; and an Interactive Dialogue on Harmony with Nature. Grace Amarachi is in the seventh month of this ministry at the UN, working with colleagues and committees at the UN, and reaching out to include contacts with our Provinces for Social Justice. Our Congregation is grateful for the attention Grace Amarachi is devoting to positive change and healing in our wounded world. Thank you, Grace Amarachi.

 

WORLD WATER DAY: “WHY WASTE WATER?”

InicefMarch 22, was the World Water Day. This year, the United Nations asks the world, “Why Waste Water?” According to a UN source, over 1.8 billion people around the world use sources of drinking water contaminated with faeces. This puts them at the risk of contracting cholera, typhoid, polio, dysentery, and other water-borne diseases. Women UNICEF/NYHQ2012-2002/Shehzad Nooran in many parts of the world still walk for miles to get water for domestic use, this sometimes expose them to the danger of attacks or sexual assault. Many girls in rural communities also miss school because they have to walk long distances to fetch water.

Access to safe and clean water is a human right. In 2015, the 193 Member States of the SDG 6United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals which includes access to “Clean Water and Sanitation” (Goal 6). SDG target 6.3 requires us by 2030 to “improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping, and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.” When next you leave your tap or shower running for too long, recall the UN question: “Why waste water?” Click here to download a Fact sheet on water.

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

Picture 5

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 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

 

pic-4

Amina Mohammed of Nigeria.  UN Photo

pic-5

Enter a captionMaria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil

pic-6

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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

newsletter-4

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.

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

NdianefoRoseBy Rose Ndianefo, SNDdeN: Notre Dame Medical Centre 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 programme 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 Centre serves about 230 women, 200 infants and children under the age of five, and 350 teenagers and adults, including orphaned and vulnerable children.