June 18, 2012
By Roeland Scholtalbers, CIDSE Media and Communication Officer (CIDSE is working with Caritas at the Rio Summit), from Rio de Janeiro. We have seen shy attempts by politicians to mend things, to address global challenges like poverty and climate change together. But our carbon-driven global economy has marched on in the meantime, increasing material well-being for some, but also fuelling economical, environmental and social inequalities. Climate change, which poses huge challenges to some of the world’s poorest communities experiencing increasingly extreme weather, is an obvious example. The exploitation of natural resources, which leaves the people of some of the world’s most resource-rich countries dirt poor, is another one.
With the planting of a tree, the Brazilian Episcopal Conference, with bishops and priests from the Latin American church, began Mass in the Cathedral of St. Sebastian in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The faithful prayed for a renewed commitment of world leaders to work for the elimination of poverty and the protection of nature at the UN Rio +20 conference beginning this week. Archbishop Orani João Tempest of Rio de Janerio and Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, president of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference held the evnt in Spanish, French, Portuguese and English as a sigh of communion between the countries. At the start of the Rio +20 Summit, Bishop Ulrich called on the conscience of world leaders and all people of good will to find an alternative development model based on ethics and responsibility for the environment and the human being, on justice, solidarity and the gospel values. [...]
May 16, 2012
Available in French and Spanish Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa has condemned the murder of fellow countryman, the journalist Alfredo Villatoro. The Honduran broadcast reporter was found executed Tuesday night in the village of Guasculile, north of Tegucigalpa. Villatoro had been abducted near his home by a gang of young men travelling in two vehicles on May 9. He is the 22nd journalist to be killed in the country since 2010. Cardinal Rodriguez said, “Alfredo Villatoro was a brave journalist. He was a great professional. He was also my friend. My prayers are with his family and colleagues. “Alfredo shone a light on the violence and drug trafficking that is strangling Honduras. He is the latest journalist to be murdered for telling the truth about Honduras. “These murders must end now. A free press is the cornerstone of any democracy. The intimidation and abuse of the media in Honduras must be stopped.” Honduras [...]
March 21, 2012
January 26, 2012
Read in French or Spanish By Ryan Worms The journey escaping from poverty in Central America in search of prosperity in the United States and Canada is a dangerous one for the migrants who try their luck. More than 20,000 migrants are held by criminal gangs each year on the route. Theft, violence and sexual assault are all common events. These mostly young people have already come along way by the time they reach San Luis de Potosi in Mexico. They arrive by freight train. Beside the track is the House of Charity, where local Caritas Potosi staff offer them safe haven. The hostel relocated last year out of the town centre so the migrants didn’t have to face the gangs operating there.
December 23, 2011
In Haiti, two years after the earthquake of 12 January 2010, Caritas Confederation members are keeping up their efforts to help the people affected by the disaster. The earthquake, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, caused 230,000 deaths and affected more than three million people by destroying up to 90% of infrastructures in the hardest hit areas. The generosity of people from around the world has enabled Caritas to set up dozens of projects that have played a part in rebuilding the country and improving the living conditions of Haiti's most disadvantaged people. After giving immediate assistance to the people affected by the earthquake (distribution of food, hygiene kits and essential items, as well as provision of temporary shelter), Caritas members have turned their attention to more long-term aid projects. Caritas members have intervened in various areas of activity. Of course, thousands of homes have been rebuilt, which as Caritas Haiti [...]
Cap Rouge, a small town in a remote rural area, is perched on a humid plateau around 10 kilometres from Jacmel, which is considered to be the major town in south-eastern Haiti. After the earthquake in January 2010, VEDEK, a farmers' organisation that is very active in the area, counted more than 500 damaged houses there, of which half had been completely destroyed. Therefore, VEDEK and PAPDA (Haitian Platform to Advocate Alternative Development) set up an extensive project to rebuild 100 houses and 20 cisterns in order to restore water access to affected households. The project was based on the expertise of CRAterre, an organisation specialising in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of traditional houses. Secours Catholique and CRaterre are joint signatories of a manifesto advocating the promotion of local building practices as a response to reconstruction programmes. A process of repairing and improving housing that incorporates local know-how and new construction [...]
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 [...]