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About Global Grassroots Connections

Global Grassroots Connections is an organisation informed by the principles of Human Rights, Ecological responsibility and a progressive interpretation of the teachings of Jesus relevant to the 21st century in the tradition of such figures as St Francis of Assisi.  An immersion program within a Majority World context extends typically over a 10 to 12 day period and consists of the following core elements:

  • Authentic experience of traditional village lifestyles to gain insights into the realities of life for people living in remote and isolated indigenous communities.
  • The social, pastoral and sacramental work of Church and other organisations through education; the delivery of health services in hospitals and clinics and health programs; the delivery of social and skills building programs through community workshops and training programs, as well as the work of the Church as it meets the spiritual needs of the people.
  • An impact study of the global economy on local society, lifestyles, environments and economies, through such activities as mining and/or forestry and cash cropping.
  • Engagement with the youth of the communities we visit in a true spirit of solidarity.
  • Briefings with key church and other personnel involved in delivering programs and services such as priests, nuns, ministers, health workers, youth workers, educators and trainers to gain insights into the various issues facing  the communities we visit.
  • Periodic opportunities to pause and reflect, analyse, discuss and journal on various experiences of the journey.

Global Grassroots Connections is a widespread network of educators and returned overseas ministry workers, each with extensive experience in Majority World locations.

The network coordinator, Damian Nelson, has over 20 years experience in Catholic Secondary Education that includes experience in Leadership positions.  Damian also has over 15 years experience developing and implementing immersion programs for secondary schools and adult groups across Australia, in his role as an educator in school contexts, as an immersion programs coordinator for the Xavier Province Edmund Rice Education Directorate (2000 – 2003) and for Catholic Mission (2005 – 2010).
In 2004 Damian volunteered in East Timor with Communidade Edmund Rice and is intimately familiar with Papua New Guinea.

Others in the network are intimately familiar with many locations across Asia, the Pacific rim, parts of Africa and South America.