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Mercy Works Inc. Annual Report 2007-2008

The Mercy Works Inc. Annual Report provides a snapshot of the agency’s work during the last financial year in Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Timor Leste, Kenya, Peru and Australia.

A Report from the Chair of the Board

It is with great pleasure that I introduce this 2007-2008 Annual Report of Mercy Works Incorporated and recommend it for your study and reflection. It contains details of a period of quite significant consolidation and expansion within our organisation.

Mercy Works Inc. supports the local and overseas relief and development activities that are part of the vision and mission of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia. In 2007-08, the Board of Mercy Works ratified a new strategic direction for the agency which takes effect from 2008 until 2010. It states:

In Australia, Mercy Works Inc. offers community education in world development concerns, provides assistance with refugees, and works in partnership with Indigenous peoples.

Overseas, the primary focus is in the Asia-Pacific region, where, in collaboration with local partners, Mercy Works Inc. directs its efforts towards the education, health care, and social and spiritual well-being of those who are poor or displaced.

To highlight this new focus, the Board commissioned the design of a new logo which features the Mercy cross in close proximity to the Asia-Pacific region of the globe.

Mercy Works continues to be open to assist projects in other countries where Mercy women from Australia are engaged in offering relief and education to those in need. However, we have found that the clarification of a specific focus for the immediate future has engendered a strong sense of purpose within the Board and among our generous donors.

The financial report details the distribution of funds to different areas and we continue to receive ongoing donations which will ensure the further development of our works in the coming year.

One very pleasing development within the organisation in this past year has been in the area of communication, with the production of our magazine, The Bilum. In particular, I thank the sponsoring congregations, Stephanie Thomas (editor), and our sisters in the various projects for their contributions in this regard.

I offer sincere thanks to members of the Institute Plenary Council for the support, encouragement and practical assistance they continue to offer Mercy Works. I also thank our patron, Lady Helen Deane, our dedicated board and staff members, our committed partners and donors, and our faithful friends and supporters for their efforts to further the mission of Mercy Works Inc. in 2007-08.

The projects which are included in this Annual Report, together with the stories detailed in The Bilum, highlight urgent situations that await our ongoing support. In so many ways, the needs of our world reflect those of the times of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy.

May we share her deep compassion for these people whose “poor, dejected faces” continue to be before us, as we respond with generosity and creative planning in the coming year.

Mary Duffy RSM, Chair