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Just Souls: Faith Based NGOs at the UN

On October 26 we hosted our 20 year anniversary webinar, Just Souls: Mary Ward Family and Faith Based Organisations at the United Nations. We had over 130 virtual participants from our IBVM/CJ network, NGO colleagues and co-workers. The event was a collaboration with our network: Our youth interns, Mary Ward Centre Canada and IBVM Mary Ward Peru (moderators and technical assistance) and IBVM Spain and CJ Latin European (translators).

We have featured the video clip of our Keynote Speaker Dr. Azza Karam above. Dr. Karam reminded us of the importance of different faiths collaborating for a better and more just world, providing historical examples. In the current state of our world, her message is clear – people of all faith need to find a way to live peacefully and to work together for peace. War is not an option. She reminded us that it is the women and children who suffer most in conflict. We do not need to focus on the differences of our faith tradition but to remember that we are all created by the same. We have to work for peace for our common humanity. Dr. Karam challenged us  “to collaborate across faith on all issues of common good around the world.”

She was followed by the panel of Pat Murray ibvm and Evanne Hunter ibvm who spoke as to how the IBVM Leadership decided to establish the UN NGO office and the challenges of the early years. Anne Kelly ibvm’s message was read and Cecilia O’Dwyer ibvm shared how she, together with young interns and later with Cynthia Mathew cj, created awareness and impact within the network.

The next panel consisted of Prisca Vadakepoondikulam CJ and Deepti Beena CJ who shared about their experience collaborating with office. Aarya Jha, a Mary Ward Youth Advocate spoke about her experience engaging with other young people while she participated in advocacy activities at the UN.

You can watch the full Just Souls webinar HERE.