2009 MEETING REPORT |
CARMELITE NGO EUROPEAN STRUCTURE
THE EUROPEAN CARMELITE NGO
meeting of the European section of the Carmelite NGO took place in
Aylesford, England, on May 2-3, 2009. The participants came from the
Carmelite provinces of Great Britain, Ireland, Upper Germany, Spain
and The Netherlands. Sr. Jane Remson, the main representative of the
Carmelite NGO to the UN attended. Sr. Anna Theresa Nyadombo from
Zimbabwe, who took advantage of being in Ireland also joined our
the morning of 2 May, Sr. Anna gave us a short report on the
situation in Zimbabwe:
of February 2009, in an attempt to end the economic crisis, the
government is formed by the three main parties.
Zimbabwe is in the grip of unprecedented economic and humanitarian
crisis marked by acute shortages of food, hard cash, deepening
poverty, high rate unemployment. The health services are affected
in that there are no medical drugs in either the private or public
hospitals. AIDs is wide spread. Patients are unable to purchase
medicines. AIDS orphans are suffering in both the urban and rural
Because of violence during the election many people are still
homeless and starving.
members of Karit, the NGO of the four Spanish provinces, gave
a report on their programs in South America, Africa and Timor Este:
Karit gave assistance to the victims of the tsunami in
Indonesia. They installed solar panels and constructed wells for
drinking water and irrigation in Africa and South America.
Educational programs are a priority in the countries of the
several cities in Spain Karit educates young people to be
of assistance in programs for the needy in several countries.
The program is recognized and subsidized by the government as well
as private organizations.
Germany, Fr. Rainer reported on his work for peace and
reconciliation in Israel and Palestine:
Rainer started the organization “MUSA’ADE” - help and hope for
Unemployment in Bethlehem runs approximately 50%. The prices of
food has doubled in many cases. Many places had to close.
provides information to more than 1550 e-mail addresses about the
situation in Palestine. These are sent weekly and primarily
Activities are: relief operations in Bethlehem, supporting the
sale of religious goods produced in Bethlehem in markets
throughout Germany, pilgrimages and solidarity traveling to
Bethlehem, activities in the monastery and area of Straubing,
Rainer will mail us a weekly summary report on the situation in
Israel and Palestine and their activities.
issues, human trafficking and climate change, are the main focus of
our Carmelite NGO for the year:
relation to Human Trafficking, a representative from the SRTV
(foundation against trafficking of women) in the Netherlands and the
coordinator of the Medaille Trust of the United Kingdom gave
information on their work and the plight of the victims of
Trafficking is hidden in the Netherlands and in the UK. However an
ITV team did undercover work. Their subsequent DVD was shocking to
viewers. It is estimated that some 25,000 women are enslaved in the
These women believe they are coming to a better situation than in
their homeland, often the poorest parts of the world, and that they
will be able to help their desperately poor families. They arrive in
the new country only to find that none of what they have been told
Between 17th – 19th Centuries, when slavery
was legal, it is estimated that there were about 11 million slaves.
It is estimated that in 2004, some 27 million people, many of them
children, are caught in slavery.
There are 600,000 and 820,000 new victims of transnational per
- Nearly 70% of those are women;
- Many of the victims are minors.
the Netherlands, last year alone, there were 716 registered victims;
667 women and 49 men. ( forced prostitution).
the Netherlands the emphasis is on prevention, education, and
assistance to the victims.
Efforts are made to coordinate with organizations which operate
within countries of origin for most victims.
Medaille Trust in the UK at this point has just two safe houses.
They had to refuse other offers of houses because they lack the
revenue to operate them. Medaille Trust has helped more than 65
women and their babies. These women have come from 23 different
countries: four countries in Asia, ten countries of Africa, and nine
countries of Eastern Europe.
Medaille Trust has:
a vision ad action group;
- awareness-raising and campaign group;
- schools Group – Schools’ Pack;
- fund-raising group;
- international networking group.
the Netherlands, as in the UK, they developed a support plan:
meeting client at the airport, providing transportation to
- providing accommodation;
- providing financial support while they find work;
- education for children, if needed;
- support finding work;
- medical care and advice;
Medaille Trust, as does the SRTV, desires a world where the
trafficking of human beings for sexual, economic and labor
exploitation has been eradicated.
Remson gave Input on Climate Change. She spoke in detail
about the effects of climate change on her native Louisiana, where
the hurricane Katrina wrecked major destruction.
part of its work on climate change, the Carmeltie NGO in Europe
plans to conduct a pilot test throughout the Netherlands and Germany
investigating how green the Carmelite communities are.
Depending on the success of this survey/inquiry, similar studies may
be conducted in other provinces in Europe. Results should be known
by the end of July 2009. This data would then be incorporated in the
conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December 2009.
Joseph Chalmers promised to write a letter of support to the
CARMELITE NGO IN EUROPE AND ITS STRUCTURE
European section of the Carmelite NGO will continue to take shape as
more provinces and communities become involved in its activities.
Carmelite NGO presents Carmelite Spirituality on issues before the
United Nations and familiarizes the Carmelite Family with United
Nation's programs and issues. It is a way to remain loyal to our
tradition and to put faith into action.
Various groups at the UN have stated the need for a spiritual
presence in UN legislation as so many modern problems have a
profound spiritual element.
General Assembly of the UN relies on information from NGOs around
the world because of their familiarity with problems on the local
Carmelite NGO will receive full ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council)
status. The initial recommendation has been approved and the full
council of 54 members will vote during their July meetings. ECOSOC
status will allow the Carmelite NGO to be more present at the UN,
including the submission of written reports. ECOSOC status is
important for the Carmelite NGO to maintain a strong voice, the only
global forum open to all people working for a more just and peace
filled world. While we will not be able to give speeches on the
floor of the General Assembly, we will be able to speak in the
various policymaking committees, write reports, and make
recommendations. It will give us a voice to push for change.
organization of religious at the UN, RUN, of which the Carmelite NGO
is a member, is an important voice and is respected.
before stroner, the Carmelite NGO needs the representation and
participation of all the provinces of Europe. Arie Kuil, the
European representative to the Carmelite NGO, will contact each
province in the future to provide additional information and to
Communications within Europe should be directed to Arie who will
communicate to Jane Remson, the main representative to the UN, as
Attendance at United Nations events in Geneva, CH, will be
investigated and recommented to the European members.
the European area of the Carmelite NGO, it will be necessary to meet
regularly. We need to investigate European issues, monitoring our
work as an NGO, how to finance the NGO, and how reports will be made
to the provinces.
Report courtesy of Arie Kuil, O. Carm.