ECS Welcomes Incoming CRS Ethiopia Country Representative The Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat Secretary General Fr. Hagos Hayish, C.M., welcomed in his office the newly appointed CRS Ethiopia country representative. Mr. John Shumlansky will take over the position of country representative from Mr. Matt Davis who has been appointed as the regional director for CRS Africa.
During the meeting Fr. Hagos, C.M., explained to Mr. Shumlansky the working structure of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat and the Diocesan office. He also briefed the new country representative on the working relationship between Caritas Ethiopia, partners with offices based in Ethiopia and concerned government offices. The Secretary General also lauded the long standing relationship between the local Church and CRS which he said has benefited countless number of Ethiopians in times of drought and hardship through humanitarian programs. “During my 10 years of service as the Secretary General for ECS I have witnessed that our relationship has been mutually respectful and supporting one another. This very commendable relationship that we have has bore fruits not just through short term emergency relief but we can also see sustainable development and change in the lives of the community,” said Fr. Hagos, C.M. ECS Secretary General also recalled that the Ethiopian Catholic Church Microfinance Institute, Metemamen M.F was established with the support of CRS and currently striving ahead with full gear to become a the first Catholic Bank in the country. Similarly CRS has rendered a tremendous support to the Water and Sanitation Department which has currently grown into the ECS Water Works Company plc owned by the Church as part of her efforts to become financially sustainable. He mentioned that CRS supports the local Church with capacity building in the Church’s effort for self-sustainability and expressed his hope for a continued and strengthened relationship with CRS. Fr. Hagos, C.M., also briefed Mr. Shumlansky about the upcoming 19th AMECEA Plenary which Ethiopia will host in 2018. Outgoing Country representative for CRS Ethiopia, Mr. Matt Davis for his part shared with his replacement the areas of partnership with ECS and his experience in Ethiopia. Mr. Matt Davis will officially be handing over office to the incoming country representative in the month of August. Both men also met Mr. Bekele Moges, Executive Director of Ethiopian Catholic Church Social and Development Commission (Caritas Ethiopia) and discussed about ongoing CRS and Caritas Ethiopia projects and partnership. Mr. John Shumlansky will be joining the Ethiopia office from Cambodia where he has been serving as the Deputy Regional Director for CRS’ East and South Asia Region. From 2009 to 2014, he was the Country Representative of CRS India. Ethiopia would not be the first African experience for him as from 2005 to 2009 he was Country Representative for CRS in Lesotho. Prior to that, he worked for CRS in Niger on food security, nutrition, microfinance and education programs. CRS has been working in Ethiopia supporting the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia in serving the poor and the vulnerable and ensuring integral human development for the people mainly in rural areas for 59 years.