October 31, 2018
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Outline the vision and mission of the Organisation
Trócaire was established as a way for Irish people to support the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world. The word Trócaire means compassion. Trócaire envisages a just and peaceful world where people’s dignity is ensured and rights are respected; where basic needs are met and resources are shared equitably; where people have control over their own lives and those in power act for the common good.
Trócaire works in partnership with a broad range of organisations around the world to bring about change at individual, community, societal and institutional levels. Together we tackle the root causes of poverty, not just the symptoms.
Trócaire works for a just and sustainable world for all. Truly transformative change occurs by addressing power imbalances at societal and institutional levels. Specifically, Trócaire aims to address poverty and marginalisation by:
• Supporting people to have the resources, skills, knowledge and confidence to live a life of dignity
• Training and supporting women in the developing world to ensure they are empowered to know their rights and live free from violence and poverty
• Mobilising communities and engaging leaders to build sustainable and resilient communities and to prepare, respond and recover from crises
• Strengthening civil society to challenge unjust social norms and the structures that sustain them
• Engaging with and influencing those in power both within institutions and corporations, to create a fairer, more sustainable and accountable world.
How has the Organisation developed and tackled issues?
Trócaire has constantly developed and evolved to tackle the leading issues of the day. Established in 1973 in response to a humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh, Trócaire has grown into a large development and humanitarian agency with a presence in over 20 of the world’s poorest countries.
Throughout its 45-year history, Trócaire has been to the fore of major international campaigns - the fight against apartheid; responses to famines in North Korea, Somalia and Ethiopia; the defence of indigenous communities during civil wars in Latin America; responding to genocide in Rwanda, to name just a few.
Trócaire has had many notable achievements. For example, it was among the first international agencies to arrive in Phnom Penh after the Khmer Rouge had emptied the city, while it is one of the few international agencies to have had a consistent presence in Somalia since 1992. Trócaire's work in South Africa included providing the type-writer on which Donald Woods wrote Cry Freedom.
Trócaire has always been an agile organisation determined to respond to the major global challenges of the day. It recently launched a new strategic plan to respond to the major issues of our time. Last year – 2017/18 – was the first full year of the plan, which focused on three core areas: Resource Rights, Women’s Empowerment and Humanitarian Response. Underpinning all of these areas is a belief that human rights should be central to everything Trócaire does.
This plan was an ambitious attempt to focus Trócaire’s work on huge global issues such as climate change and the increasing attack on human rights around the world. Implementing the plan required a significant shift by integrating programmes and developing many new partnerships all over the world.
What has the overall impact of the work been?
Last year, donations from the Irish public allowed Trócaire to bring life-saving support to over 2.8 million people in 23 countries. Examples of impact include:
192,000 people in Somalia were provided with healthcare and food support
140,000 Syrians provided with food, water and assistance
60,000 people in Malawi were supported to increase food production
28,000 people in Pakistan were supported by programmes tackling gender-based violence
Impact by programme area was as follows:
Human rights - 526,400 people supported directly
Resource rights - 633,700 people supported directly
Women’s empowerment - 161,000 people supported directly
Humanitarian - 1,374,400 people supported directly
Trócaire's work continues to bring lasting change. From helping individuals lift themselves out of poverty, to the training and support given to local community-based groups, Trócaire empowers communities to overcome poverty through their own efforts and abilities.
In 2017 Josiane Umumarashavu travelled to Ireland. Josiane was the face of Trócaire's 2004 Lenten campaign, her face appearing on one million Trócaire boxes all over Ireland. Now, having graduated from university, she works for Trócaire in Rwanda. Josiane spoke of the transformational change Trócaire’s support had on her life.
“When I was a child we struggled to find enough to eat and we faced hunger,” she said. “Trócaire provided families like mine with equipment we needed to grow more food. I still have the Trócaire box in my home. It makes me very happy to look at it and to think that people from a place I had never been saw my photo and thought about my life in Rwanda. The support from the people in Ireland continued to help me and my family long after that campaign had finished."
What makes this Organisation unique?
We were established with a dual mandate: to alleviate suffering in the developing world, and to educate and inform the Irish public about the causes of that suffering. This mandate ensures that campaigning on global justice issues has been core to our identity. We have consistently spoken out against human rights abuses in the developing world and push for political action in Ireland to support global justice issues. During the summer of 2018, we were instrumental in progressing two important pieces of legislation in Ireland. The Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill was passed by Dáil Éireann after Trócaire launched a campaign to withdraw public money from the fossil fuel industry, while the Occupied Territories Bill passed Seanad Éireann following a long campaign by Trócaire for Ireland to ban trade with illegal settlements in the West Bank.
Trócaire was established as the overseas development organisation of the Catholic Church in Ireland. This has allowed us to help shape Irish people’s understanding of the world through our work with parishes and schools all over the island of Ireland. Our development education work in schools is recognised for its long-lasting impact and young Irish people’s understanding of global justice. The iconic Trócaire box is a unique development education tool to help young people learn about the lives of their peers in the developing world.
As a church agency, we also have unique access to 165 humanitarian organisations around the world through the Caritas Internationalis network. Working in this global network means we can respond to humanitarian emergencies quickly, reach remote areas blocked off to others, and coordinate resources to maximise our impact.
How can the public support this work?
The public supports Trócaire in a variety of ways, from fundraising to hosting parish and school visits. Our outreach work, aimed at bringing global justice issues to church, schools, political and general public audiences, continues to have a huge impact in Ireland. This can be seen across a range of measures, from the number of teachers engaging with our resources through to engagement levels with our work on digital channels.
There are many ways people in Ireland fundraise in support of our work overseas. Trócaire’s Lenten campaign is the most successful annual fundraising campaign in Ireland, raising approximately €8-9m each year. Throughout Lent, one million Trócaire boxes are displayed in homes, schools, parishes and businesses all over Ireland.
The Irish public can become part of our team through the national volunteer programme, where participants become the local voice of our beneficiaries and carry out a variety of tasks from school talks to fundraising events. In addition, the public can get engage and join our advocacy campaigns through online petitions and subscribing to our advocacy campaign newsletter.
Trócaire’s dual mandate to educate has culminated in our progressive and effective Development Education work. We provide support for educators in the formal and informal sectors, run school workshops, and produce a range of resources on justice and human rights issues. Trócaire uses Development Education to inform learners about global issues such as poverty, injustice, gender equality and climate change using a human rights lens. Our work engages children, young people and educators through a process of interaction, reflection and action. They are supported to make connections between their own lives and international social justice issues, and be empowered to make a positive difference in the world.
How is the Organisation transparent and accountable?
Trócaire publishes its Annual Report, which includes independently audited financial details and a detailed overview of governance structures, each year on our website. We are committed to the Irish Development NGOs Code of Corporate Governance, as developed by Dóchas. We also adhere to the Guidelines for Charitable Organisations on Fundraising from the Public. Adherence to these two standards, along with our commitment to publish our Annual Report each year in compliance with the Charity SORP (Standards and Reporting Practice under FRS102) means that Trócaire has received ‘Triple Locked’ standard with the Charities Institute of Ireland. This standard demonstrates an organisation’s commitment “to actively demonstrate openness, transparency and integrity”. Furthermore, we are also committed to the Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages.