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A young girl works in the fields in southern Sudan – the MDGs argue she should be at school. Credits: Karen Kasmauski for CRS

A young girl works in the fields in southern Sudan – the MDGs argue she should be at school. Credits: Karen Kasmauski for CRS

“I told the governments that they have to keep the promises they made ten years ago. It’s not only their duty to the poor, it’s important for humanity,” said Fr Ambroise Tine, Secretary General of Caritas Senegal. “I can see in my own country why the Millennium Development Goals are so important. In Senegal, we have so many children whose parents are too poor to feed them, too poor to send them to school and too poor to take them to the doctor. This is not right.”

Fr Tine got the message across when, representing all 165 members of Caritas, he addressed September ’s special MDGs progress summit at the UN in New York. “I explained that more aid better spent, debt cancellation and fair trade are all essential if we are to meet the MDGs targets in just five years time.”

The eight Millennium Development Goals represent the basic human dignities which everyone of us should have. They seek to reduce hunger and poverty in Senegal and everywhere else in the world. Caritas members are working hard towards the targets. Backing up their work on the ground with advocacy, Caritas Internationalis launched its web-based campaign “Voices Against Poverty” in Australia in September. It gave supporters worldwide advocacy materials focused on every MDG, including an email postcard campaign, a quiz and an interactive MDG village which showed Caritas’s work towards each target.

The campaign was readily picked up, with many Caritas members featuring it prominently on their websites. Caritas Spain distributed advocacy materials electronically to every one of the country’s 68 dioceses. In Valencia, the diocesan magazine explained the MDGs campaign to every parish and the village of Mas de las Matas in Teruel took it up in a prayer campaign.