March 5, 2014
"A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture, and transform."
-- Diane Mariechild, Author
March is Women’s History Month, a time to honor the role women play in our lives by creating, nurturing, and transforming our world. As I write this from Ibague, COLOMBIA, during the week leading up to International Women’s Day, I am meeting with IPM’s longstanding Project Partners and witnessing first-hand the transformative power that women-led organizations play in ensuring social justice through the holistic development of their communities... Continue reading about IPM's most recent activity, including IEP & Project Partner updates!
Remember to show gratitude for the women in your life, always, but especially throughout the month of March.
In Nairobi, Kenya on May 23, 2013, representatives from EATON Corporation's Nairobi office presented to Brother Hillary and students at St. Charles Lwanga Vocational Training Institute a donation of various electrical installation equipment and tools in addition to a generous monetary donation in partnership with IPM.
Check out this great piece by Jordan Scruggs and Dana Capasso from Yale University about their recent IPM Interfaith Leaders Immersion Experience to the Dominican Republic. What a beautiful reflection!
Effective March 10, 2014 12:00 P.M. EST
Just spoke with an IPM Project Partner and others in El Salvador to try and confirm what we are reading on line. Apparently, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, while yet to declare a formal victor, has confirmed the electoral lead of the FMLN Candidates (Pres & VP) of 50.11% to 49.89 for ARENA with 99.87% of the votes counted and over 6,000 votes separating them. In what appears to be a measured and ...responsible stance, the Tribunal is promising to review the results and issue a formal declaration of the winner by Wednesday. The FMN candidate, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, continues to urge calm and promises to work with ARENA moving forward. The ARENA candidate, Norman Quijano, is vowing to "fight... if necessary with our lives," claiming fraud. Most ominously, Quijano is also, quite irresponsibly, claiming that the armed forces are "monitoring the situation." One only needs to know a little of El Salvador's history to realize how inflammatory such a comment is. Thankfully, the US Embassy in San Salvador is urging calm and reiterating it's stance that the US will "respect the wishes of the Salvadoran electorate." The concern on the ground, however, is that ARENA is clearly already threatening a military action of some sort and may make an attempt to take steps in that regard if they do not agree with the Wednesday announcement. IPM is continuing to monitor this situation through our Partners, Staff, and friends on the ground in El Salvador. To help, you should contact your US Senate and House representatives urging them to back the US Embassy's moderate stance and support the decision of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal once that decision is announced. Please also keep the people of El Salvador in your thoughts and prayers at this tenuous time. We will keep you abreast of developments as much as possible through our Facebook page, Website, and all other avenues available to IPM.
We are deeply saddened to share that IPM Co-Founder and dear friend, Rev. Paul H. Strege, passed away on March 30, 2014 in St. Louis, MO. Both Paul and his late wife, Vercile, left a lasting legacy of faith, hope, and love to many, and will forever remain an inspiration to the IPM family. Please keep Paul and the Strege family in your thoughts and prayers, and if you wish to send an expression of sympathy, please do:
Tim & Gail Strege
4 Kahlia Way Court
St. Louis, MO 63127
Visitation services will be held at the Kutis Affton Chapel (10151 Gravois Rd.) on Wednesday, April 2, from 4-8 p.m. Funeral services are scheduled for Thursday, April 3, at 10 a.m. at the St. Thomas Holy Spirit Lutheran Church (3980S. Lindbergh Blvd.), followed by the burial ceremony at the Interment Our Redeemer Cemetery.
Thank you all for keeping the Strege family close to your heart and in your thoughts during this difficult time.
March is Women’s History Month, a time to honor the role women play in our lives by creating, nurturing, and transforming our world. As I write this from Ibague, COLOMBIA, during the week leading up to International Women’s Day, I am meeting with IPM’s longstanding Project Partners and witnessing first-hand the transformative power that women-led organizations play in ensuring social justice through the holistic development of their communities.
This morning we met with a number of local leaders from the academic and political sectors who speak beautifully of their commitments, but are hampered by the endemic corruption and socio-economic realities of Colombia. Once again, I am reminded that beyond funding and rhetoric, it is the deep, inter-personal relationships which IPM nurtures that do more to develop and sustain partnerships than any other factor.
The women of Ser Mujer spend their days laboring under the sun in Ibague’s marketplace, doing back-breaking domestic work in the informal sector, and raising their families against often insurmountable odds. Through their personal strength and shared collaborative efforts they somehow find the time to also nurture the Centro de Formación para la Paz (Center for the Formation of Peace). They do so knowing that the Centro equips their children with alternative responses to the violence and self-destructive behavior prevalent in their community of Barrio Ciudad de Luz (ironically, the City of Light).
As we continue celebrating IPM’s 40th Anniversary Year, it is women like Martha Cecilia Arroyave and Jennifer Gualteros Pastrana—the Project Coordinators for both Ser Mujer and Centro de Formación para la Paz—that epitomize the difference the women of IPM continue to make every day in creating, nurturing, and transforming our world.
Peace and best wishes to each of you as you and your loved ones celebrate International Women’s Day this weekend!
Joseph F. Cistone
March 5, 2014
International Partners in Mission - Copyright 2013