October 30, 2012

Gaba’s fields: drought relief in Chad

By |30 October 2012|

This year Gaba is fully engaged with the emergency assistance project of Caritas Switzerland and UNAD (Caritas Chad) that helps people from several regions of Chad who are severely affected by the drought. Help is mainly provided in form of food and new seeds.

Green is the colour of hope in Chad

By |30 October 2012|

West Africa's Sahel region faced devastating hunger in 2012 after drought left a huge swathe of countries short of food.
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    World Food Day: Fighting poverty by supporting small-scale agriculture

World Food Day: Fighting poverty by supporting small-scale agriculture

By |16 October 2012|

By Ryan Worms, Caritas Internationalis  “I want to set-up a small business to sell rice, flour and sugar. The last time, I made a tidy profit. I need 1000 gourdes (US$25),” says Ariette Tessono. Ariette is one of the members of the solidarity fund set up by Caritas in Labiche, in the south of Haiti. The women who are part of the fund are taught techniques so they can grow kitchen gardens. “Thanks to the training I’ve received from Natasha, who’s an agronomist, I now have a lovely garden full of chilli peppers,” says Jaunasse, another member of the project. “What I make from selling my produce at the market is enough to feed my family well, buy uniforms and school books and pay for my children’s education.” “Today is a day of hope,” says Haman Abdou. “Thanks to Caritas’s help, I know that I’ll have something to sow in my field once [...]

September 21, 2012

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

By |21 September 2012|

UN Special Rapporteur on the “Right to Food”, Mr. Olivier de Schutte was interviewed by Caritas Europa. A video interview with Mr. Olivier de Schutter will be screened at a High Level Panel at the European Development Days, organised by Caritas Europa, Caritas Belgium, CIDSE and Cyprus NGO Development Platform (CYNDEP), on 17 October 2012 from 14:00 to 15:30. Panellists will debate how to effectively integrate the Right to Food into the new post-2015 policy framework in light of the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, and the Rio+20 mandate for Sustainable Development Goals. The debate will include EU and UN experiences and advices, as well as good practices from the field by FIAN and Caritas Rwanda. The event’s aim is to generate recommendations and concrete solutions to improve the respect, the protection and the fulfilment of the Right to Food.

June 14, 2012

Chad’s women gardeners

By |14 June 2012|

The village of Chawir is located in Canton Migami, south-central Chad (West Africa). Like almost everywhere in the area, the locals are almost exclusively women and children. Of the 2,760 inhabitants of Chawir, only 120 are adult men.

Caritas at Rio + 20

By |12 June 2012|

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June is expected to represent a new stage in the political process that began back of 1972. Ever since the UN Stockholm Conference on Human Environment, political leaders have been discussing how to reconcile human development needs with environmental protection. The UN Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio in 1992, declared “Human beings are the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature”. Its programme of action, “Agenda 21” identified sustainable development as a strategy based on the integration of the economic, social and environmental pillars. Twenty years later, world leaders and tens of thousands of representatives of the private sector and civil society will gather again in Rio to rethink how to reduce poverty and achieve greater social equity and environmental protection. The [...]

Let’s take the bread and share it

By |4 June 2012|

By Martina Liebsch, Caritas Internationalis Policy and Advocacy Director I start with a loaf of bread: Our daily bread. We need to share it and more importantly provide people the seeds, knowledge and resources to grow it in an often hostile environment. At Mass following the opening day of the Future without Hunger Congress in Vienna, we were reminded by Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez that we should be bringing light to people. This light might be still small but if enough people share it, it will become bright.

Un avenir libéré de la faim n’est pas une utopie

By |1 June 2012|

Par Ryan Worms « La faim dans le monde n’est pas une fatalité, c’est une tragédie qui pourrait être évitée. » Par ces mots, le cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, président de Caritas Internationalis, a mis de l’avant le constat qui mobilise les participants du Congrès sur la faim dans le monde et la sécurité alimentaire durable, organisé par Caritas Autriche, Caritas Internationalis et Caritas Europe et qui s’est ouvert aujourd’hui à Vienne. Trente-cinq experts de plus de 20 pays sont venus mettre en commun leur expertise sur les causes structurelles de la faim dans le monde et débattre avec 700 délégués en provenance de différentes Caritas, d’organisations de la société civile, de gouvernements et d’institutions internationales. L’objectif de Caritas est de définir les actions à mettre en œuvre pour construire un futur libéré de la faim et dans lequel le droit à l’alimentation soit pleinement respecté.

May 15, 2012

Future without Hunger – Congress on Global Hunger

By |15 May 2012|

Caritas is hosting a congress on Global Hunger and Sustainable Food Security - 1st and 2nd of June 2012 in Vienna Live stream from the Future without Hunger Conference. Cardinal Rodriguez about to speak. | Read the key note speech by Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga (pdf) 925 million people worldwide are starving. Every 12 seconds, a child dies of hunger. Hunger is not a natural event; it has social, economic and political causes. It is a global tragedy, more so because it is avoidable. Through this congress, Caritas is uniting people to start fighting together against hunger. The event will gather public authorities and decision-makers, academics, journalists and civil society representatives from the whole world. It will discuss all the challenges to food security today, such as the chronic causes of global hunger, global agricultural trade, armed conflicts, the effectiveness of development aid, food price speculation, land grabbing and agro-fuel policies, climate change, food waste, sustainable lifestyles [...]

April 20, 2012

Caritas advocacy experts plan for global campaign

By |20 April 2012|

As Abraham Lincoln put it, “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my axe.” With that in mind, delegates of 20 Caritas members from around the world joined staff from Caritas regional offices and the Caritas Internationalis Secretariat in Rome this week to prepare for a year+ joint anti-poverty advocacy campaign in 2013. Over three days, participants talked about what needs to be in place to make the camapign a success so that it has a real impact on the lives of the poor. Hopes are the campaign will be a cornerstone in Caritas Internationalis members four year strategic plan, approved during their General Assembly in May. “The meeting was a good place to exchange ideas,” said Martina Liebsch, Caritas Internationalis Director of Policy and Advocacy. “People brought their passion and their regional and national perspectives. It was a stimulating taste of the […]

March 27, 2012

Helping Niger prepare for food crisis

By |27 March 2012|

The crisis is threatening the Sahel region of Africa—the band of land below the Sahara desert, extending from Senegal to Chad. In a normal year, the Sahel receives on average as little as 78 to 236 inches of rain. Last year’s rains were poor and the harvests bad or non-existent.

February 27, 2012

A future for Congo’s women

By |27 February 2012|

"Karibu, welcome," said Adèle. She and a dozen other women are hard at work in a field beside the Goma to Rutshuru Road in North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Adèle is an agronomist and also heads three associations supported by a Caritas project to rehabilitate women war victims. "We've planted peanut seeds and we're in the process of taking out the weeds so they don't overrun the place," she said. "When Caritas launched the project, 60 women were involved. We were given peanut, bean and pea seeds. After the first harvests we bought some maize seeds. Look at what they’ve turned into. We have two hectares of fine maize that we'll soon be able to harvest." Marie-José is one of the women who have benefited. “When I joined the association, I wasn't in very good shape,” she said. “My husband had been killed and all our property had been [...]

December 23, 2011

Quenching the rice fields’ thirst in Haiti

By |23 December 2011|

Fednor, a farmer, is preparing what will soon be the main source of food for his family – a rice field. In Joque, in the province of Les Cayes, rice growing is the most common agricultural activity. The rice fields extend along each side of the road and provide a living for the majority of households in the area. There's no machinery here; everything is done by hand. Fednor is up to his knees in mud. Equipped with an old spade, he's digging the rice field and hopes to see a crop growing soon that will enable him to feed his family and earn a little money. He's surrounded by other busy members of the community. Men and women are all working together on building a project that will change their lives. A break is arranged to meet the community and get an idea of what they're doing. "Without water there's no [...]
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    In southern Haiti mothers are at the heart of development strategy

In southern Haiti mothers are at the heart of development strategy

By |23 December 2011|

Food security, especially that of children, is a major problem in Haiti. Caritas has put in place various initiatives in the province of Les Cayes in southern Haiti to deal with this issue. With the help of CRS, the local Caritas has set up more than 200 mothers groups. What's a mothers group? "As the name suggests, it's a group of mothers from a particular district with whom local Caritas workers develop activities in order to improve families' food security and living conditions," explains Jean Harry Dominique, the CRS agricultural projects coordinator for the region. To get a better idea, we joined him on a field trip to Roche-à-Bateau. Mutual financial assistance "I'd like to set up a small business selling rice, flour an sugar. The last time I made a decent profit. I've asked for 1,000 gourdes (US$25) to buy products." Ariette Tessono is speaking. She belongs to a mothers group [...]

Durban talks: Climate justice and food security

By |12 December 2011|

By Martina Liebsch, Director of Poverty and Advocacy at Caritas Internationalis Representatives from different faiths gathered at a ‘Climate Justice and Food Security: Moral, ethical and spiritual imperatives’ side event 7 December at the Durban climate change talks. The event was sponsored by Caritas Internationalis and World Council of Churches. The panel was chaired by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban and included Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim representatives. Reverend Mardi Tendal, of the United Church of Canada, said we should work towards transforming cultures of consumption to cultures of responsibility. She said there is a moral imperative for action and solidarity in reducing the adverse effects of climate change. Rabbi Hillel Avidan from Durban said God maintains the creation, but gives us the responsibility to care for it. We have failed to do so and we have recognised it. “Change does not happen through treaties and conventions, but by bringing in compassion and [...]