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Mercy Joins Vita in the Green Zone

3 June 2017


Mercy, Vita and the Green Impact Fund


The 4-minute video above gives a taste of the presentation.

To view it, ensure your speakers are turned on and press on the arrow.

On the 16th and 17th May, groups of Mercy Sisters from the Western Province gathered in Longford Convent, and in Árd Bride, Castlebar to hear John Weakliam, CEO of Vita, and Ciara Feehely, Communication Person for Vita, speak about the developments of our Mercy/Vita Project in Southern Ethiopia. 

Kathleen Glennon at the Longford Meeting

The Western Province has been in partnership with Vita since 2009. Through this partnership, Mercy provides funding, while Vita does the work on the ground. This happens smoothly, since both groups share many values.
Using a PowerPoint presentation, John shared news that our Green Zone project, which began in Chencha, has been scaled up throughout the entire Gama Gofa region. A Green Zone is an area with community led sanitation, where families have eco-friendly stoves, solar lighting and water pumps.  Families also have food security through the growing of seeds particularly the potato seed. The carbon saved in these Green Zones has been measured, and is being sold on the Carbon Market. In order to sell the carbon saved, Vita has developed a Green Impact Fund to which the Western Province has contributed.

John Weakliam demonstrates how the Green Impact Fund works

Rose Macken prepares for the starting Prayer

John Weakliam and Rosarii Byrne

Because of Mercy involvement, other congregations have now made similar investments. L&P financial advisors have also strengthened this alliance.  The monies contributed are loans which will be repaid with interest.  Through this new fund, 200,000 people will have sustainable access to cooking energy, 100,000 people will have access to solar lighting, 200,000 people will have sustainable access to water and 200,000 people will have significantly reduced exposure to air and water pollution.

Andrea Brady at the meeting

Margaret McGinnity shows her interest in the meeting

Some questions arose with regard to the link between our lifestyle choices in Ireland and climate change in Ethiopia. John spoke of the worthwhile, sustainable lifestyle practices among membership in the Western Province. The book, Walking Gently on Earth, which was published in order to record these practices, was mentioned very favourably by both John and Ciara. The final part of the meeting was the distribution of a DVD showing the launch of the book. This important DVD was produced by Elizabeth McNamee and shows the wonderful speeches made at the event.

Ciara Feehely launches a DVD, with Mary Doherty

This is a good news story. All found the sessions stimulating and informative.

Text : Kathleen Glennon rsm

Images and Video: Suzanne Ryder rsm

Western Province

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