Associates give presentations on two initiativesBack
Presentation Associates, along with Friends of Nano, are part of the International Lay Movement for Mission: women and men who are inspired by the charism and spirituality of Nano Nagle, founder of the Presentation Sisters. Through a variety of endeavours and missions, they work towards creating a more compassionate, just and sustainable world.
On 1st October 2016, the English Unit heard presentations from two Associates, Antony Tompkin, who completed a two-week internship with the United Nations and Maria Owen, who described her visit to New Zealand in her role as a member of the International Co-ordinating Team for the Presentation Lay Movement for Mission.
Internship with the United Nations
Antony gave an overview of his two week internship at the United Nations in New York in February 2016. He explained how the International Presentation Association fulfils its role as an NGO, with the dynamic Sister Elsa Matathu as our representative, within the structure of the United Nations. He also spoke about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they can be achieved by the work that is being done by our own individual efforts, IPA, Religious Orders, Civil Society, Church Groups and other pressure groups not only in the developing world but here at home. The SDGs are a set of global goals, spearheaded by the UN as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
The IPA is registered with the UK Government Department called: The UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD). This is the UK’s response to the 17 SDGs.
193 countries have signed up to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and each Ambassador made their supporting statements outlining their national proposals and commitment.
Antony described a number of presentations made at the UN Assembly:
- Sister Elsa spoke about work the Sisters are doing in India, with women and children who have experienced poverty, violence, poor sanitation and lack of opportunity.
- Maisha, A new Life outside the mines. This is a film showing the Human Rights abuses of multinational companies mining cobalt, which is in every mobile phone in the world and copper, which is in every electric wire in the world, in Kolwezi in the Congo. Men, women and children were working in conditions making them sick, sometimes fatally. The Good Shepherd Sisters started a farming co-operative for the women and developed a school for the children as an alternative to working in the mines and are now self-sufficient in food, allowing the local economy to grow.
- The Authority in Detroit, USA sold the water company to a private company which increased the price to prohibitive levels. The company then disconnected the water supply to those who could not pay. It is not always in the developing world where problems exist, but also in one of the richest nations on earth.
Ban ki- Moon addressed the conference on Trafficking.
Also, a young woman told her personal story of how she had been kidnapped from her village in India. This woman eventually gained her freedom; however, only 1 out of 100 people trafficked is rescued. Cards bearing the words, ‘Human Trafficking Happens Here’ are now being left in public places, especially where people are travelling.
Antony commented that although some of the stories from various speakers were very distressing, the enthusiasm and drive of all at the United Nations Assembly gave an optimism and determination for the success that ‘no one will be left behind’
Presentation Lay Movement for Mission: International Co-ordinating Team Meeting
Maria is one of the three members of the International Co-Ordinating Team for the Presentation Lay Movement, along with Mary-Anne Greaney and Mildred Soldevilla pbvm. After many skype, zoom conferences and emails, the team decided to meet personally, to better understand each other’s cultures; New Zealand, Philippines and England.
Using visual aids Maria gave a very interesting account of her mission to New Zealand. The team visited an institute for young pregnant girls of school age and young mothers, where they could still carry on their education with children being looked after in the nursery, hoping to break the cycle of young pregnancies. This model, which was built on Catholic social teaching and sustainability, is hoped to be repeated throughout NZ.
Maria also spoke of other social development work carried out by sisters and associates. It was said that where there are no longer Presentation Sisters in areas where they used to be the charism of Nano is still evident. With beautiful photos Maria guided us through her travels around NZ experiencing the diversity and culture of the country and peoples, and we learnt a couple of Maori words, ‘a truly special place of God’s creation’.
Maria gave us an update on ‘Nano’s Echo’ and its progress, which gets distributed around the world, and asked us for feedback on articles and possible renaming of the publication.