VC Invites You to a Our Final Seminar in this Series on Renewal
After a very successful series of talks so far we really look forward to the final talk in this series on Wednesday 7th June!
This talk, featuring broadcaster and journalist Pat Coyle will be from the perspective of a lay woman.
Pat was born in Derry City in 1957 and was ten when the troubles’ started. The Catholic Church and the war on her front street have been two of the most potent patriarchal forces in her life. She is a graduate of Philosophy from the Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology. In 2005 she took up the post of Director of Communications for the Jesuits in Ireland where she works today.
Time: 7.00pm to 9.30pm
Lecture Hall, Belvedere College Dublin 1
Suggested donation €10
To book you place call 01-8689986 or email email@example.com
Viatores Christi (VC) works in the area of development cooperation in the faith-based development sector. We specialise in the recruitment, training and placement of skilled people on projects identified by a mission partner which meets the needs of the beneficiaries. We also specialise in the monitoring and implementation of projects as well as in the provision of experts in developing countries for targeted consultancy. Since 1960 we have recruited, trained and placed over 2000 specialists of varied disciplines in 48 different countries. Today, our members work in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
VC seeks a suitably qualified candidate for the position of Executive Director for its mission partner the Salesians of Don Bosco in South Africa:
Position Title: Executive Director
Type of Assignment: Salaried, International Development Worker
Project Title: Salesians Institute Youth Project (SIYP)
Duration: 3 year contract
Location, Country: Cape Town, South Africa
Expected Starting Date: Q3 2017
The Salesian Fathers of Don Bosco were founded in Italy in 1859 and in 1896 first came to Cape Town. The first centre to care for at risk youth was founded in 1910 and since then the focus of the Salesian Institute Youth projects (SIYP) has been to serve the needs of the most vulnerable, marginalized youth to aim to bring about lasting change in their lives.
As an organization, the SIYP is dedicated to serving the needs of vulnerable youth. It focuses on building their capacity and skills through a broad range of customized programmes and assists the youth by securing employment.
The Salesians Institute Youth Project (SIYP) is now seeking to hire a new Executive Director to lead the organization through its next chapter of growth.
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for the SIYP, programmes, expansion, and execution of its mission. S/he will initially develop a deep knowledge of core programmes, fundraising and operations.
Leadership & Management:
Financial Performance and Organisational Viability:
Fundraising & Communications:
Planning & New Business:
This appointment will be the first external lay person to take on this role, therefore it is crucial that the candidate not only meets the criteria below but also can demonstrate an understanding of the ethos and values of the organization, its faith based approach, in the Catholic tradition and how this influences the work of the organization. The successful candidate must be thoroughly committed to this mission of the SIYP. All candidates should have proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience as well as the ability to manage cultural diversity.
Specific requirements include:
Conditions of Service
3 year contract, basic relocation package
To Apply: Please email a letter of motivation and a detailed CV outlining all areas of experience relevant to the role to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on 6th June 2017
Viatores Christi would like to invite you to a
from Saturday 10th to Sunday 11th June.
In Gormanston Park, Co Meath
Arrival on Saturday 10th June at 1pm for lunch (attendees may also arrive earlier)
Closing on Sunday 11th June at 4pm approx (after 3pm Eucharist)
The weekend will give time for reflection and prayer but also for tapping into or re-kindling the enthusiasm and spirit of our VC experience as well as re-connecting with our VC family. There will also be time to make new friends or renew old friendships, tell stories and generally be together!
Cost €80 to €85
(includes B&B in single or 6-bed dormitory room on Saturday night and all meals and tea/coffee breaks)
Click here to download event booking form, complete and return by email to email@example.com or by post with €30 deposit by Monday 22ndMay 2017
Cash or cheque made payable to Viatores Christi
Electronic transfer to our bank: Bank of Ireland, College Green, D2, BIC: BOFIIE2D, Account No. 38239797, Sort Code 90-00-17, IBAN: IE34 BOFI 9000 1738 2397 97 – (remember to mention Retreat)
Make a quick, secure online credit/debit card payment through our website below:
|Pay €30 deposit for VC Retreat|
|Pay VC Retreat Cost Dorm|
|Pay VC Retreat Cost Single Room|
Gormanston Park is off Exit 6 on the M1 Northbound
Please click here for more information
Let us know if you would like a lift (we will try to facilitate this as far as possible) or if you can provide a lift to somebody else.
For further information please email Nora Casey noracasey45@gm
ail.com or call the VC office at 01-8689986.
We look forward to seeing you on 10th and 11th June!
He Has Spoken Through the Prophets…
VC Invites You to a Seminar Series on Renewal
We are delighted to announce that VC will hold a number of seminars on renewal and the future of the Church during April, May and June. This will consist of a series of hard-hitting thought-provoking seminars from different perspectives featuring the following speakers:
Bishop Willie Walsh April 4th 2017
Click to hear his talk
Fr Mark Patrick Hederman May 3rd 2017
Patricia Coyle June 7th 2017
About our speakers
“Bishop Willie Walsh is not afraid to ask the difficult questions – questions that willneed to be faced by the institutional Church if it is to try and regain the credibility lost in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.” Columba Press.
A native of Roscrea Bishop Walsh was ordained in 1959 in Rome at the ageof 24. He taught for a year at Coláiste Einde, Galway and joined the staff of St Flannan’s College, Ennis in 1963. He became Bishop of Killaloe in 1995 and served until 2010. He was succeeded by Bishop Kieran O’Reilly.
Mark Hederman is Abbot of Glenstal Abbey in Limerick. A former headmaster of Glenstal Abbey School, he is author of a number of number of books, the two most recent being Underground Cathedrals, Columba Press, 2010 and Dancing with Dinosaurs, 2011. With a doctorate in the philosophy of education, Mark Patrick has a reputation for being thought provoking, insightful and wise. He has lectured in philosophy and literature in America and Nigeria as well as Ireland,
Pat Coyle was born in Derry City in 1957 and was ten when the troubles’ started. The Catholic Church and the war on her front street have been two of the most potent patriarchal forces in her life. She is a graduate of Philosophy from the Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology. In 2005 she took up the post of Director of Communications for the Jesuits in Ireland where she works today.
Time: 7.00pm to 9.30pm
Lecture Hall, Belvedere College Dublin 1
Suggested donation €10
To book you place call 01-8689986 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
TICKETS COST €20
TO ENTER: There are several easy ways to purchase a ticket!
BIC: BOFIIE2D, Account No. 38239797, Sort Code 90-00-17
IBAN: IE34 BOFI 9000 1738 2397 97 – (remember to mention DRAW)
|Buy 1 X €20 ticket to be in with a chance to win in the June Draw!|
|Buy 2 X €20 tickets (€40) to be in with a chance to win in the June Draw!|
|Buy 3 X €20 tickets (€60) to be in with a chance to win in the June Draw!|
|Buy 4 X €20 tickets (€80) to be in with a chance to win in the June Draw!|
YOU can help us reach our target!
Our aim is to sell 450 tickets or more, to raise funds for VC to help us continue to work with those who request our skilled volunteers in developing countries. The VC Draw is our major annual fundraiser and we really need your support!
Buying a ticket yourself €60 to be included in all three draws
Selling a ticket to family and friends.
GET IN TOUCH TODAY!
Viatores Christi is delighted to announce that it has retained it’s Comprehensive Compliance Award which officially recognises those signatories to the Comhlámh Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies (CoGP) that have successfully passed an externally evaluated audit around compliance to the Code of Good Practice.
The Comhlámh CoGP for Volunteer Sending Agencies is a set of standards for organisations involved in facilitating international volunteer placements in developing countries. VC has been recognised as being committed to introducing and maintaining appropriate policies and practices to ensure that it is operating according to identified best practice in the field of international volunteering.
The CoGP which was developed in 2005 by Irish volunteer sending agencies (VSAs), returned volunteers and a range of partners that host international volunteers.
Organisations that are signatories to the code have shown a commitment to 11 principles of an effective international volunteering and are working towards implementing these principles in their programmes.
Adherence to the CoGP ensure overseas volunteering has a positive impact for the three main stakeholders: the volunteer, the sending agency, and the local project and community.
The CoGP has also been recognised as international best practice – in a piece on the ethics of voluntourism, The Guardian newspaper in January 2016 investigated the area of regulation and standards in the overseas volunteering sector and wrote that ‘The highest-regarded set of guidelines, though, is the Code of Good Practice for Volunteer-Sending Organisations (CoGP) developed by Comhlamh, an Irish organisation’.
Prospective volunteers who hope to volunteer with VC can be assured that the programmes are designed and delivered in keeping with the principles and indicators of the code. Compliance with the core indicators and particularly the comprehensive compliance standards of the CoGP show that VC operates at the highest standard globally for international volunteering.
Eoin Hickey, pictured below, from Co. Carlow went on assignment to Swaziland in early February 2016 as a Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Specialist to the Salesians Bosco Youth Agricultural Training Centre (BYAT). Eoin hopes to extend his time at BYAC until summer 2017 in order to complete the work. So far Eoin has designed the curriculum at the the agricultural training centre and classes are on going – over 90 youths have so far been trained and over 50 students have been reintegrated into farms and many of these are due to harvest some of their crops. Mentoring of local staff is ongoing and recruitment of the next group of students is under way and meetings have been held with the heads of the chiefdoms regarding getting land for those students.
Tracy, from Co. Kildare is on assignment as a Special Needs Programme Support Co-ordinator at NPH (Our Little Brothers & Sisters), working alongside Gena Heraty in Haiti since late September 2016 where she supervises the projects within the programme that are funded by specific donors, provides reports, statistics and pictures to donors as well as maintaining the programme’s website and social media pages. In the short time that Tracy (pictured below right) has been in Haiti so far, she has encountered a lot – not related to her assignment tasks – including Hurricane Matthew on day 4 and long awaited elections which caused unrest in the streets of Port Au Prince. She is also taking Creole lessons and spending some weekends at the NPH residential home at Kenscoff to learn about life there. Tracy also writes a personal blog at www.believeinthelightblog.com which she hopes will help to create awareness about issues affecting Haiti and to make them more real for people at home.
Carmel (pictured in photo on left) a former school principal from Co. Meath went to Pretoria in South Africa in February 2016 to work with Xaveri youth project in Pretoria South Africa on the roll out and implementation of their 5-year strategic plan:
“The VC project here in Xaveri is moving along nicely. The Strategic Plan, which was the major part of this project, is now complete. This was a long and difficult process with many false starts and hurdles along the way. We are now working on the Social Media profile. The month of December is taken up with planning for the annual youth camp. This year we are going to a parish in Pretoria North East for 4 nights and plan to paint their local hall as a thank you. 40 young people with paint brushes should be worth a laugh or two. If anyone would like to donate the paint we are happy to accept!”
Huge congratulations to Gena Heraty (pictured below) on receiving this year’s Leinster House Human Dignity Award Ceann Comhairle, Seán Fearghail TD, presented the award to Gena at a ceremony in Leinster House. Gena who has spent the last 23 years in Haiti with Our Little Brothers and Sisters (NPH) where she is the Director of the Special Needs Programme.
“I am convinced that there is no other place in the world I can do more to help those who are most in need of help right now,” she told an RTÉ documentary, “if I can improve the life of just one child each day I am here then my life will have been worthwhile.”
We are all very proud of Gena and her work (pictured below)
Want to learn more about how you could become a volunteer?
Come and meet us!
Call 01-8689986 or email us for further information if you want to be like one
We recently told you how VC Volunteer Aisling Foley, on assignment as Project Manager at the Home of Hope Amathemba Special Needs School in Cape Town, South Africa, assisted South African MP Cheryllyn Dudley draft a speech on the issues of violence against women and FASD
When the speech was delivered in the South African parliament last week calling on the government to create a national symposium on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) to raise awareness about this disability, it received a standing ovation. We are very happy to be able to share that speech written in conjunction with Aisling in full!
Speech written in conjunction with Aisling Foley Viatores Christi
Speech delivered by Cheryllyn Dudley, MP and Whip
The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) calls on government to prioritise adequate funding of services for women & children in crisis
There is a bridge in the Cape Town suburb of Brooklyn that is passed over by thousands of cars every day. Under this bridge one-year-old baby Lilly’s life was changed forever when a man abducted her and violently raped her there. One can only imagine the internal bleeding and damage – it is unusual for children who are raped at such a tender age to survive but Lilly was found alive and taken to hospital. She will never be able to have children of her own and suffers from STDs but she is a fighter and wants to live. With remaining trauma in her spirit and a scarred body, little Lilly – who was born to alcoholic parents living on the streets- is being nurtured back to health and life at an NGO in Cape Town.
Not a day goes by when we don’t hear about children and women being raped and murdered in our communities. NGO’s and CBO’s in South Africa who exist to provide temporary safe havens for children and women in crisis are too often unable to help every person in need and are forced to turn some away. As hard as this is a severe lack of resources leaves no alternative.
The ACDP calls on government to prioritise adequate funding of organisations that have proved capable of providing much needed services for women and children in crisis.
The ACDP is disappointed that the Minister of Human Settlements has not expedited the Special Needs Housing Policy that would benefit women needing to leave abusive relationships.
It is over a year now since the Minister responded to the ACDP question regarding this policy giving details of the process to be followed before any new policy is approved and introduced. Sadly the housing needs of thousands of violated women, children and other people with urgent special housing needs have been all but ignored for the past two decades and continue to be ignored despite the fact that our Constitution guarantees the rights of all people – including those who are most vulnerable and most in need – to have access to adequate housing [section 26(1)] as well as their rights to equality and dignity. We urge the Minister to prioritise this!
The ACDP is also concerned that the department of Health has either not yet updated the 2003 national guidelines around the management of sexual assault to reflect changes in law and practice – introduced by the 2007 Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Act – or has not yet made these important updated guidelines public – this must be done!
Alcohol and drug abuse are so often on the scene when violence takes place and the repercussions in the lives of victims and their children are significant and tragic – it also impacts negatively on the economy and budgets. Even the damage alcohol inflicts on pre-born babies through women drinking while pregnant resembles the aftermath of violence.
Of course women don’t drink to intentionally harm their babies but the statistics on children in South Africa with varying degrees of brain damage due to Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) are staggering.
Many babies exposed to alcohol in the womb are permanently damaged and end up on the streets. Even the less severely afflicted have learning difficulties, often get in trouble with the law, misuse alcohol & drugs themselves and become victims of deviant sexual behaviour and in turn become abusers.
The Western Cape has the highest rate of FASD in the world and researchers see it as no co-incidence that the highest rate of FASD stands alongside one of the highest sexual crime rates in the country with beautiful Cape Town having earned the title of ‘Rape Town’.
Social workers say there is a great need for education about the dangers of alcohol particularly in pregnancy. There are approximately 6 million FASD sufferers in the country that need support and provision of services. More must be done and the ACDP calls for a national symposium on Alcohol Abuse and FASD involving all stakeholders to address the needs, find the necessary resources and consider sustainable viable solutions to the problem.
This Friday, 25th November is the start of 16 Days of Activism for no violence against women and children, the theme this year being “Count me in: together moving a non-violent South Africa forward.”
Having placed more than 2000 volunteers who have shared their lives and skills with the poor and marginalised throughout the world since its establishment in Dublin in 1960, Viatores Christi has a long and proud tradition of reaching out to those most in need. In 2016 the lay missionary organisation supports the work of 38 overseas Mission partners and currently has 27 volunteers serving in Africa, SE Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
This week Viatores Christi is particularly proud that one of those volunteers, also one its longest serving – Westport native, volunteer Gena Heraty is to receive the Oireachtas Human Dignity Award from Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghail TD, at a ceremony in Leinster House on 8th December. Each year the Oireachtas Human Dignity Group presents the award to a person who has shown huge commitment to the promotion of human dignity.
After joining Viatores Christi in the early 1990s and completing its overseas development training programme, Gena went then went on assignment to Haiti in 1993 to volunteer with NPH (Our Little Brothers and Sisters) – an orphanage in the hillside village of Kenscoff, 10 km from Port-au-Prince.
Gena began working in the Special Needs Unit of its children’s orphanage and has since gone on to become director of the Special Needs Program. Throughout her time in Haiti, Gena has grown the Special Needs Program – developing new interventions for over 30 children and young people. Part of the Program also offers much needed outreach which provides life-changing medical, rehabilitation and educational support for around 100 families in the outlying community where children have severe physical or intellectual disabilities. The project is supported by Irish Aid funding from Misean Cara.
“Generally in Haiti, if you’re a child with special needs you’re abandoned at hospitals. You’re not abandoned because your mother doesn’t love you. You’re abandoned because your mother doesn’t have the means to take care of you,” said Gena in an interview last year, which outlines the harsh reality of life in Haiti – the poorest country in the Americas and one of the poorest in the world (with a GDP per capita of US$ 846 in 2014) and as a result with little or no basic services in areas such as health or disablity.
“In Haiti, for most mothers around us on the mountains, there are no doctors…imagine you have a child around you, being pregnant there, and having to walk for miles to get to local transport. Then you have to get to the doctor.”
“There is no follow up care for the kids…there’s no social welfare. There’s no medical card. You go to the main general hospital, and if you don’t have money to buy bandages, injections, antibiotics then you are just going to die there.”
Over the last 20 years Viatores Christi has placed many volunteers with specialist skills to work alongside Gena. It currently has a specialist physiotherapist and programme co-ordinator in Haiti with another physiotherapist working at a different NPH site. It is life changing but challenging work in an environment beset with ongoing security issues and of course other challenges such as severe hurricanes and earthquakes.
It could be very easy to give up in such circumstances but Gena doesn’t believe in that: “I always have hope. I think it will take time. If we look at the big picture we would go a little bit crazy but for me the hope is that every person who comes in front of you in any given time be present to that person, and do the best that you can do. We have more roads than ever, and we have more electricity than before.”
“My hope is that with infrastructure we will get more stability, and we’ll get more investment in the country. That is what we need. The people of Haiti for me are very capable, and they are hard-working.”
Viatores Christi will also continue to support Gena and the people of Haiti – as thankfully many of its volunteers are willing to share their lives and skills and walk in solidarity with the Haitian people.
To make a donation to support the ongoing work of VC, please click here