The GSIF international Workshop

“As mission partners (lay and sisters) we struggled to find ways to address the global issues. We identified the most pressing needs of today as poverty, human trafficking, forced migration, refugees, and gender inequality, violence toward women and children, and religious intolerance” (30th Congregational Chapter Direction Statement).

The Good Shepherd International Foundation (also known as the MDO Rome) organized an international workshop which took place at the Generalate in Rome on November 7 11, 2016.  Forty one mission partners (lay and sisters) took part in the workshop to prepare its Strategic Plan for the next five years.

In those five days the room was full of energy, thanks to the participation of members of the Congregational Leadership Team (CLT), Board members of the Good Shepherd International Foundation, representatives of all Circles of Provincials, GSIJPO network, Spirituality Centre, Communications, and the regional MDO offices from Latin America and Asia Pacific, together with sisters and staff working in MDOs within the Units. The goal of the workshop was to develop a common vision, mission and objectives for the next five years of action of the Good Shepherd International Foundation (GSIF) and its local partners.

Prior to the workshop, the GSIF Team conducted a broad evaluation of its previous Plan (2014 2016) and a consultation in all the regions on the priority for the next five years. The results of the evaluation and consultation guided the reflection during the workshop. The thematic areas prioritized for the next five years are: poverty eradication, elimination of violence and all forms of discrimination against girls, women and children and anti trafficking and support to migrants.

Thanks to the support of Manuela Coletti, the facilitator, the group was able to elaborate a common vision and mission and identify objectives for the GSIF that will be further articulated in the following months to finalize the Strategic Plan. Following the CLT’s review, the Strategic Plan will be presented to the GSIF Board for approval in April 2017.

Once approved, the Plan will be shared with all Good Shepherd partners around the world by the GSIF Team, with the support of the CLT, the Board, the Rome Communications Office and the local MDOs who are committed to promote better understanding of the role of the GSIF and of the MDOs at local and international levels.

In addition to focusing on fundraising and capacity building, in continuity with the previous years, the GSIF will work together with the CLT, to design a more effective and clear governance system for the MDOs. One element that came out of the evaluation was a lack of clarity on the role of the MDOs and their relationship with the Rome office, with the Unit and Congregational leadership. One of the objectives of the new Plan for the GSIF will be to identify systems that can improve the coordination between the MDO partners and integration with the other congregational offices, as recommended by the 2015 Congregational Chapter. In the area of capacity building, the group affirmed the importance of developing adequate policies and standards to guarantee the best services to the girls, women, and children served by our programs worldwide.