20 years of spirited action for justice Messages we’ve received

Some nice messages that we have received from our supporters, network and partners. You are welcome to submit your own message or fondest KAIROS memory.

How can I describe the work that KAIROS has done over the past twenty years? The words that come to mind are amazing, courageous, creative! KAIROS has evolved into a remarkable presence in its multi-faceted defense and promotion of human rights and environmental security in Canada and abroad. It has woven together projects and programs that deliver protection and express love for the vulnerable in Canada, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. KAIROS reaches out to women in conflict zones, to Indigenous communities, to migrant workers, to racialized minorities, to many more. And in its quest to create a better world, KAIROS speaks truth to power. 

Liisa North is a  KAIROS advocate, ally, supporter, donor and friend 

Amazing memories from a Women of Courage delegation to Canada in 2012. I found an unlikely partner in the struggle against colonization – First Nations, the Indigenous peoples of Canada. We are in the same struggle.

Lucy Talgieh, coordinator of women and children’s programs, Wi’am: Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center

So what more would we like to see of KAIROS in the next 20 years? Honestly, we hope that KAIROS will keep up the amazing work! We trust that KAIROS will continue to prioritize human rights defenders standing up to powerful corporations the world over. Thank you for the opportunity to reflect on these years of collective action, for the important support that KAIROS – including staff, partners and supporters – provides to Canada’s movement for Rights for People and Rules for Business! and for the sense of community and humanity you bring to the table. We look forward to standing with you in your next 20 years of reflection, solidarity and action! The t-shirts were right: KAIROS is *NOT!* going away, and our community is so grateful. 

Emily Dwyer, Coordinator, Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA)

On behalf of our family, I want to extend warm wishes and gratitude as KAIROS celebrates its twentieth anniversary. KAIROS is a vibrant thread that is woven into our family history. For many years KAIROS was our second family as my husband John Mihevc called KAIROS his second home.  Over the years we marched, sang and celebrated together on many occasions.  Our children grew up attending demonstrations and Christmas parties always warmly welcomed by the staff. We had the privilege of meeting and welcoming many visitors into our home. With pride we watched KAIROS respond to the many challenges of shifting global justice initiatives – always incorporating a Canadian perspective. KAIROS was family – which we felt so keenly and deeply as John faced his health challenges. As our children grew and began to study in high school and later at university, they were proud to find that KAIROS resources were cited and used in the context of work with Indigenous people and the environment. We are proud to know that John’s work is part of that legacy, and that this legacy continues to grow and change. We wish KAIROS every blessing in the years to come. With fond memories and gratitude, 

Rebecca Cunningham, Jesse and Sophie Mihevc

I started a KAIROS group in Richmond B.C. 20 years ago. We have had KAIROS Fairtrade Fairs for many years, on the first Saturday of December, hosted by three different churches. The highest attendance was approximately 300 people. We had a good array of tables selling imported and fairtrade goods from developing countries. We supported local First Nations artists and there were also tables about local issues and organizations. Articles about our events were often published in local newspapers. We also organized Earth Day events in April every year. Some of the famous Raging Grannies performed once, and we enjoyed delicious food and were inspired by the speakers. 

Orval Chapman 

I really appreciate receiving updates about the urgent needs of our beautiful world. It is easy to respond on the computer in support of the issues KAIROS has identified. May the world and our Creator bless you for your dedication and good work. 

Sister Edna Hood

I loved attending the regional meetings and hearing the staff present.  My favorite moment was during the regional meeting we hosted here in North Bay when I got to go on Radio Canada’s northern Ontario show about it. I got to hear for the first time the voice of my now favorite announcer.  It’s so fun to do that stuff!  I think of it every time I hear his voice.  I also enjoyed meeting my MP together with the man who started our local KAIROS group and who handed over the reins to me to become the second chairperson.  I have so many fond memories!   

Danielle Benoiton 

When KAIROS was born, I was on the staff of the Canadian Council of Churches (the first Roman Catholic to hold a staff office, in honour of the fact that the CCCB (Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops) had recently joined that organization. So ecumenism was newly a hope-filled item in those days, and so was social justice.  I was overjoyed to know that an ecumenical way of working for justice had been forged….and I still rejoice at the message, and the energy, of KAIROS Canada!  God bless you all! 

Janet Somerville (now 82 years old)

With a heart filled with deep gratitude and awe, I pen these few words of grateful congratulations to KAIROS. When churches and religious orders joined forces to create KAIROS little did we know what the next years would hold. Thank you for twenty years of faith-filled, brave, inspired and passionate justice making! One hundred thousand thank you’s to each of the incredible number of persons who participate in this courageous adventure. As a member of a religious order, the Congregation of Notre Dame, I am honoured to join KAIROS in this bold mission of responding to the cry of those made poor and Mother Earth. 

Maura McGrath CND, member of the KAIROS steering committee

Desde sus inicios comenzamos a trabajar juntos. Nuestras organizaciones, hilando y tejiendo juntas. Siempre encontramos sintonía en la lucha frente a los impactos de las actividades petroleras, mineras, el cambio climático y el papel de los pueblos indígenas y las mujeres en la defensa de los territorios, las deudas histórica, social y ecológica, los derechos humanos y de la naturaleza…. ¡Gracias KAIROS, por existir! ¡Gracias KAIROS por el trabajo por la justicia de género! ¡Gracias por abogar por la justicia ecológica!… ¡Larga vida a KAIROS!”

Ivonne Yanez, el presidenta, ACCIÓN ECOLÓGICA, Ecuador

From its beginning we began to work together. Our organizations, spinning and weaving together.  We always find harmony in the struggles against the impacts of oil and mining activities, climate change, and the role of Indigenous peoples and women in the defense of territories; historical, social and ecological debts; human rights, and the rights of nature.  Thank you, KAIROS, for existing! Thank you, KAIROS, for working for gender justice! Thank you for advocating for ecological justice!… Long live KAIROS!

Ivonne Yanez, President, ACCIÓN ECOLÓGICA, Ecuador

KAIROS is meant to be like a huge tent covering four inter-related pillars: relevance and responsiveness to its community and effectiveness and resilience to itself. A KAIROS chapter becomes impactful, relevant and responsive when it conveys an understanding of community realities and conveys an alignment with an inclusive and shared vision.

Tom Sagar

For KAIROS to be able to consolidate widely spread migrant justice work at the grassroots level is a big achievement. Receiving Government of Canada funding and support to community-grounded work to help temporary foreign workers is very timely and relevant, and a kairos moment.

Connie Sorio, KAIROS Migrant Justice Program Coordinator and long-time staff member

The voice of KAIROS is very highly respected and wants to be heard. No matter the future we cannot allow this prophetic biblical presence to be only a memory, moment in history. 

Paul Hansen C.Ss.R. 

In 2013, I was part of a Canadian (KAIROS) solidarity delegation that visited the Philippines.  We met with rural communities threatened and directly impacted by mining activities – activities leading to environmental degradation, human rights violations, militarization and other impacts of a social, economic, political… nature.  Today, I feel privileged to participate in amplifying the voices of women and men who continue to speak out, despite the risks.  I am grateful and honoured to represent KAIROS in Investigate PH and to be involved in this extremely laudable humanitarian and human rights mission.

Marie-Claude Manga

Over the past 20 years, KAIROS has clearly embodied the most significant presence of Christian communities in Canadian society. In multiple ways, KAIROS has opened doors and transformed the way Christians addressed the transformations taking place in Canada. Personally, I have been particularly inspired by the way KAIROS has been a channel for Christians in Canada to express their solidarity with the original peoples of this land in their struggles for recognition and justice.

Richard Renshaw 

Mes sincères remerciements à KAIROS qui a supporté mon voyage au Canada pour participer au Programme International de Formation aux Droits humains 2019 tenue à Montréal et à cette occasion passer un bon moment avec Rachel Warden en vue de participer à Women Deliver Conference tenue à Vancouver en juin 2019. 

Néné Lubala Neema, assistante au projet Femme de courage ; Femme, Paix et Sécurité à Héritiers de la Justice en RD Congo

My sincere thanks to KAIROS who supported my trip to Canada to participate in the 2019 International Human Rights Training Program held in Montreal and  the Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver, in June 2019. 

Néné Lubala Neema, assistant to the Woman of Courage: Woman, Peace and Security project at Héritiers de la Justice in the DR Congo. 

In my roles at The Canadian Council of Churches I have depended on and grown from the friendship of many colleagues, the careful and bold approach KAIROS takes with partners that is built into its genetic code, its detailed research and policy work, and its many contributions to critical pedagogy, most boldly and consequentially evident in the KAIROS Blanket Exercise.

Peter Noteboom, General Secretary, The Canadian Council of Churches

KAIROS es vida, lucha, hermandad, amistad, es telaraña que va uniendo esfuerzos para la defensa de la madre tierra.

Natalia Atz Sunuc (Maya Kaqchikel), Kaji’ Ajpop Association, Guatemala

KAIROS is life, struggle, siblinghood, friendship, it is a spider’s web that is joining forces for the defense of Mother Earth.

Natalia Atz Sunuc (Maya Kaqchikel), Kaji’ Ajpop Association, Guatemala

Over the last twenty years, KAIROS has helped to stir my evolving understanding of myself as a Settler, as someone who has benefitted from the legacy of colonialism in Canada, and as a member of a Treaty people. KAIROS provides opportunities to listen deeply to Indigenous persons, to be transformed by their words and challenges, and to be moved to advocate for policy change.

Sue Wilson, CSJ

20 years of spirited action for justice