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Dreaming of a catholic observatory in Ethiopia

By Sister Hiwot Zewde DC

Photo courtesy of Sister Hiwot

As Daughters of Charity, being attentive to new calls is part and parcel of our life. The World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations/World Women’s Observatory (WUCWO/WWO) meeting in Tanzania also inspired us to give more emphasis to all women, especially to the most vulnerable.

Feedback from the meeting was given to many Sisters of our Province in different places. The Sisters watched the “In-visible” Video documentary, of the director Lia Beltrami, and they were invited to give extra emphasis to gender-based violence in their programs considering it as a cross-cutting issue.

Discussions were carried out with individuals and groups inviting them on the ways and means of starting the Catholic Women Observatory in Ethiopia. We hope one day we will achieve our desire and dream on this matter.

Meanwhile, the sisters are active in taking the role by:

  • Responding to New calls during emergencies: As the motto indicates, our vocation urges us to witness to Christ in times of joy and in times of suffering. Hence, we have been responding to the needs of people affected by war and conflict for the last three years. We witness Christ who continues to be crucified and die with his brothers and Sisters who continue to suffer war, injustice, and lack of good governance. We have been sharing day to day life of the people, listening with the heart, giving hope even when this seemed to be impossible. We contributed our share to save lives and respond to needs through humanitarian assistance and protection.

  • Recovery /Rehabilitation: We promote integral healing through an integrated approach to the spiritual, psychological, and corporal needs of the people - provision of psycho-social support such as counseling, protection mechanisms - provision of safe housing/space to war crime survivors, pregnant and lactating mothers with their children in different villages and towns; interventions for income generating where survivors can engage their mind on something different and productive so that they will not be meditating on the crimes committed on them. Our community has been awarded with όscar Romero International Award through one of our Sisters. This award was given in recognition of the extraordinary courage and commitment to defend justice and those deprived of it, especially women and children. May God take the glory!!!! This is a call to be and to do more for God and for those who are marginalized.

  • Awareness Raising: Awareness raising activities on topics such as the power of forgiveness, Human rights, Respect for the sacredness of life and the inherent dignity of the person, Bible-based trauma healing and peacebuilding, etc. We take gender-based violence as cross cutting issue hence awareness is given as part of other topics or as standalone.

  • Safeguarding: Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults is at the heart of all our services. This is a responsibility given by God to all of us who follow Christ. All those who work with us are required to abide by this policy and to sign a code of conduct. Implementation of this policy has a big contribution in promoting human dignity, human rights and the reduction of violence. Awareness training on this policy are given to stakeholders.

May God bless our journey towards wholeness and a journey of building a better world.

May peace overflow in our land/globe!


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