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Misean Cara was established in 2004 to support missionaries working worldwide to empower those left furthest behind.

Our purpose has always been to enable missionaries to conduct effective development projects on behalf of the poorest and most vulnerable communities.  We are a membership organisation, currently with 78 member organizations working in over 50 countries around the world.  Since our founding, Misean Cara has been generously supported by the Irish public through funding from Irish Aid, the Irish government’s programme for overseas development.  We accompany and support our members in their work, enabling them to deliver impactful projects by providing funding, mentorship, monitoring and evaluation, capacity development, shared learning and consultation. Drawing on our extensive network of skilled members, we strive to work collaboratively for greater impact.

Education is Misean Cara’s largest supported sector, followed by health, human rights, and livelihoods.  In addition, Misean Cara also supports emergency and humanitarian response projects.  Misean Cara’s total education spend in 2022 was €4,789,589.  These funds supported 89 education projects implemented by 39 members in 31 countries, targeting 146,670 people.  Misean Cara supports projects across the sub-sectors – early childhood care and education, primary, secondary, Technical, Vocational Education and Training and non-formal/alternative education.

Access to quality, inclusive and equitable education is critical for empowering people in developing countries – especially girls –to achieve a better quality of life.  Missionaries are dedicated to reaching those furthest behind with life-long learning opportunities through formal and non-formal education and vocational and skills training. Our members’ projects make education accessible even for those most of at risk of being excluded, including students with disabilities and additional needs, refugees, migrants, internally displaced children, and girls at risk of dropping out due to early pregnancy or forced marriage. In 2022, our members continued to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on education. Millions of students from poorer and more marginalised communities did not return to school after pandemic lockdowns, a circumstance set to further increase inequality in educational opportunity and threaten future earning potential.

Misean Cara’s members are also working to improve the quality of education students receive, by training new teachers and upskilling current educators with more effective pedagogical methods. Focused IT training is helping to reduce the digital skills gap that is holding back educational progress in many countries, particularly for women and girls, who are 25% less likely than males to know how to use basic digital technology. Another significant challenge that our members addressed through their projects in 2022 is the increasing number of people affected by forced displacement, caused by many factors including climate-induced disasters and armed conflict. In 2022 alone, forced displacement reached a record high of 100 million people, over half of whom are children and young people. With support from Misean Cara, our members projects are contributing widely to meeting SDG 4 (Quality Education) by promoting quality, inclusive education and life-long learning for all.