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Flashpoints

  • Over the past year the UNANIMA staff has been working to develop our mission focus in the area of migration. It is certainly a topic that is attracting more attention at the UN, because of increased global areas of conflict and the situation at the US-Mexico border. If any of you are working in the area of migration, we would love to hear your stories so we can share them. We would also like to get some recommendations about articulate individuals who would be good for side events at the UN.
  • Good news for our 2011 Woman of Courage. In Alberta, Canada a Chief Justice dismissed all key arguments made by the government of Alberta against the lawsuit of Jessica Ernst. Seven years ago, Jessica filed a $33 million dollar lawsuit against the Province, over the contamination of her water by fracking. The government of Alberta said she had no right to sue the Province, and the Canadian regulatory body had banished all contact with her on the grounds that she was a “terrorist!” Ernst, something of a folk hero in communities battling fracking from Ireland to Texas – her website often gets more than 400 hits a day — called the ruling a significant precedent; now she has the right to sue the Province. Here is the link to the article:http://thetyee.ca/News/2014/11/11/Ernst-Fracking-Update/
  • Jean Quinn DW, with the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins, opening a new Sophia House (ministry with the homeless) in the North West of Ireland.
  • Sylvia Obrigewitsch NDS reminds us that this December, representatives of the world’s governments are meeting in Lima, Peru to build towards a climate change agreement sometime next year. She invites us to take part in a series of global vigils the evening of December 7 – right in the middle of the Lima meetings. There are free resources through the OurVoices.net campaign, #LightForLima.  Organize a vigil in your church or home or public square. Groups are already organizing vigils in places like Washington DC, New York, and London, in Canada, Australia and India.
  • At the fall board meeting we heard that most of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart who minister in Latin America are dealing with mining issues and injustices to Indigenous People. We regularly hear from a number of Carmelite Charities of Vedruna who also are working with these same issues. UNANIMA has become very involved in those two topics at the UN, at first through our interest in our mission focus of water.
  • Some Sisters of Bon Secours going to Peru in October were going to take 40 Water With Blessings household filtration systems, plus 12 personal water purification systems, and the program’s curriculum and coloring books.
  • The Brigidine Sisters have worked on water projects including maintenance of wells in Papua New Guinea and Africa, but they wanted to work on water from a more “personal” level and have now committed themselves to work with Water With Blessings. They gave a challenge grant related to WWB, and are now challenging individuals to get involved.
  • The latest Trafficking in Persons Report (June 2014) is available in hard copies and online. This year’s theme is “The Journey from Victim to Survivor” and includes some wonderful case studies. This publication, published by the US State Department, is available atwww.state.gov/j/tip