Deirdre Mullan is a Sister of Mercy from Ireland. At the height of unrest in Northern Ireland, Mullan spent 25 years as a teacher and administrator in schools. With a doctoral degree in the feminization of poverty, she has long been active in promoting the education of girls. She served as the executive director of Mercy Global Concern at the United Nations for more than 10 years, later directing the Partnership for Global Justice, a network of over 125 small congregations at the U.N. Her present ministry is with UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, seeking ways to partner with religious communities.
All of my professional life, I have dealt with statistics, and I know that numbers matter. I know that behind every number, there is a person. And with the invisible enemy of COVID-19, truth matters.
The destiny of our two peoples had become intertwined and continues to do good today. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ravishing our broken world, this story has again surfaced into Irish consciousness. Little did we realize what the Choctaw story told when they led the Famine Walk in 1990 would awaken in the Irish worldwide.
As an Irish Sister of Mercy, I’ve been involved with girls’ education for over 35 years – in Mercy schools and colleges in the United States, England and Ireland. While teaching in the social sciences, I was always very conscious of the importance of raising awareness about the situation of girls worldwide. I used to tell my students what I had witnessed in the Murkura region of Kenya and encouraged them to make use of the excellent education systems that we take as a norm.