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Rose Mogun (2010)

Rose Mogun

Rose Mogun

The most significant achievement since I completed my studies in Kimmage is that the Faith Based Organisation (FBO) – the Congregation of the Medical Missionaries of Mary (MMM) to which I belong, appointed two of us as resource persons for the management of their projects. It is a value led congregation engaged in the works of development and health; and their goal is the internalisation of identified values by both staff and managers for best practice in all their works. Some of the values are: hospitality, commitment, justice, integrity, team work or communion, and witness.
The work has given me the opportunity to consolidate the skills and learning I acquired from Kimmage Development Studies Centre (KDSC) in practical terms as I visit different projects in different countries in East/Central and West Africa. As the saying goes in my part of the world, “when the shadow of a tree is bent, you do not straighten the shadow, you straighten the tree”. A lot has happened with “straightening” the projects managed by MMM over the past three years through organisational development, capacity building, getting to know and following the labour laws of the different countries where the Medical Missionaries of Mary work. Activities include but not limited to training programmes; creating a standard format for annual reports and initiating a system where project managers wrote annual reports for a three year period (2011 – 2013) with statistics. Furthermore, staffs managing these projects were trained to use the statistics as a basis for planning and decision making. In the Seventy-seven years’ history of MMM existence, this is the first time this has been put in place. Finally, personnel manuals with job descriptions and contracts with staff are now in place in most projects, as well as systems for finance, drug management, etc.

Additionally, following trainings on good management and management styles, most projects now have improved management structures to help with the governance of these projects towards best practice. Collaboration and networking is another area that has been emphasised and encouraged with this group. Learning from the past when the tendency was to do things alone, it became obvious that “a tree cannot make a forest”. No matter one’s best efforts, especially with the complex nature of humans and development issues, no one person or group has all it takes to facilitate sustainable development. Moreover, more can be achieved through networking with other stakeholders (like Governments, NGOs, other Faith Based Organisations and the Communities’ beneficiaries) for effectiveness and development that will be sustainable beyond the life of the health or development worker.

However, progress has been expectedly slow given the long history of doing things in a particular way. But the progress has also been steady and we are getting there. This is so because of the acceptance of and cooperation with the resource team by both MMM managers and staff; and their eagerness to learn and work towards best practice and sustainable development. Change is never easy but positive change is rewarding. And the fruit or end result is delightful!
Secondly, what has remained with me from my time in Kimmage, that is, what has been most helpful are: easy access to KDSC staff; staff love for helping students; and, their (staff) great work ethic. I also loved the invitation to “think outside the box” which I use often as I work with people towards best practice and a more sustainable development – inviting people to more creativity and possibilities beyond “the way it has always been done”. The value, challenges and learning associated with team or group work got deepened during my time in KDSC. This has remained with me knowing that my contribution towards achieving the goal of any group I belong is as important as the contributions of others.

In conclusion, it has been a thing of joy catching up with some former colleagues on my travels around Africa and on social media. Some have recommended resource experts to us in our work and so, I say: Kudos to KDSC, to my Lecturers and to my Colleagues!

Permanent link to this article: http://kimmagedsc.ie/graduate/decade4/rose-mogun-2010/