Fr. Fausto Tentorio was shot eight times as he was getting into his pickup truck parked by the Church of Mother of Perpetual Help in Arakan, North Cotabato last October. The 59-year old Italian missionary had come to the Philippines in 1978. Affectionately called ‘Tatay Pops’, he was well known for his love of planting trees and protecting the indigenous people of Mindanao. He was described by colleagues as “a gentle man, evangelically simple and prudent” but “fiercely courageous” in his advocacy for the marginalised people, especially the indigenous. An outspoken voice against the damage mining companies were doing to their ancestral lands, he had been threatened before. On one of his visits to an indigenous village in 2003, he said armed men “threatening to cut off his head” came to kill him. The villagers helped him escape that time. Fr. Tentorio is one of many environmental campaigners killed in recent years [...]
“Three years ago, this was a battlefield.” Godfrey Godana, who works on peace programmes for Caritas, is speaking about a newly-dug shallow well in northern Kenya. The people in this region—from tribes like the Borana, Rendille, and Gabra—were desperate for water during a long drought that turned their land brown in mid-2011. They were so desperate that they were willing to work with their age-old enemies. “We told warring communities, you can dig a common water source and share the water,” says Gabriel Gambare, another Caritas staffer. “We talked to Borana, Rendille, and Turkana tribes, telling them they would dig the dam and get cash for their work.” It was a gamble. But with livestock dying and crops shrivelled, villagers knew they couldn’t let their differences keep them from getting water. “In the past, there were no opportunities for them to interact,” says Gambare. The ethnic groups would steal each other’s cattle or [...]
Caritas is updating its Peacebuilding: Web Toolkit for Trainers with French and Spanish versions after the success of its English language site. The site aims to provide an easy to use online library of tools trainers can use to design workshops and promote peace. Read press release Read about how the work of Caritas is resolving conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and why Caritas Uruguay believes the web toolkit will be a vital resource for their work.
The monsoon season will be arriving in Sri Lanka shortly. No one knows how powerful the winds and rains will be, but one thing is certain - it’s best to not be living in a tent when they arrive. Tens of thousands of people are still living in temporary shelters following the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war in May last year and over 350,000 people are without homes in general. “About 60-70,000 people are still in camps,” says Fr George Sigamoney, director of Caritas Sri Lanka, on a visit to Caritas Internationalis in Rome. “They haven’t gone back home because their lands haven’t been cleared of landmines.” “People who are getting back to their lands sometimes still don’t have proper shelter, just a covering and poles – and it’s not easy to put up a house with that,” he says. People who are being resettled are mainly in the north, where the [...]