Year Joined MKLM: 2011
Country: Kenya (and the whole Eastern Africa Region)
Ministry: Regional Advocacy Officer at the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) East Africa
Ministry Area: Justice and Peace – Refugee advocacy
Goals of Ministry: To strengthen and empower communities to interact, exchange experiences and participate in decision-making processes that promote peaceful coexistence. To build community capacity to sustain peace through conflict sensitivity. And to promote understanding and respect for other cultures and beliefs and thereby forge peaceful conflict resolution.
Intervention and Reconciliation/Restoration.
In Ethiopia and South Sudan, where Jesuit Refugee Service-East Africa operates, a sustainable outcome to peacebuilding and reconciliation/restoration is identifiable through conflict sensitivity intervention approaches tailored to the conflict context and country. Conflict sensitivity intervention looks at the drivers and the mitigation of conflicts and guides programming toward ways not to exacerbate tensions and cause unintentional harm. Each country operates in different conflict and peace dynamics; therefore, this understanding gives credence to tailored programs that reflect the realities by maximizing the program’s potential to contribute to positive change while minimizing adverse or unintentional outcomes. Conflict sensitivity intervention engages in participatory programming that leads toward lasting outcomes and the principle of Do No Harm.
Eastern Africa is a region that has been tremendously affected by conflict. Unfortunately, nations like Ethiopia and South Sudan are torn apart by many years of conflict. Fragile or unsigned peace agreements in both countries wager on the lives of the forced displaced, rise to antisocial capital, and inhumane treatment. Ultimately, this leads to political or tribal conflict in communities, barriers to accessing education, and famine.
See also “Nonviolence Focus” above.
Dee is the Regional Advocacy Officer at Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) East Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. She works in three main areas: individual cases of violation (e.g., harassment by police), general situations of violation of rights that affect groups of people (e.g., food shortage in a refugee camp), and policy issues that affect refugees and forcibly displaced people (e.g., mandatory detention policies).
Through JRS, her actions are aimed at promoting the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced persons, improving the way in which people treat them, and promoting governmental and institutional action to address root causes with the durable solutions. JRS recognizes that refugees are the agents of their own change and bases its approach in the “culture of encounter” promoted by Pope Francis, which invites all of us to see the other as one who enlarges our world, rather than diminishing it.
Dee previously worked as a Maryknoll lay missioner in Cambodia, where her most recent ministry was with the Maryknoll Anlong Kngan Resettlement and Social Development Center in Phnom Penh:
Before becoming a Maryknoll lay missioner, Dee lived in the Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida, areas. She graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington, with a bachelor of science in marketing research, studied graphic design at Purdue University, and has a Florida Property & Casualty Insurance License. Dee was the small business unit property and casualty team leader at an insurance company and a project manager at a check printing company.
An active church and community member, she was on the St. Vincent de Paul Board and worked with Church Without Walls, Homeless Outreach, StandUp for Kids Street Children, and organizations that served people with disabilities. Dee participated in Cursillo and is a JustFaith graduate. She served three years in missions in Jamaica and San Juan, Puerto Rico.