In the spring issue of Side by Side we’re asking:
“Thousands of people will join IF campaign rallies this summer. Do big demonstrations make a difference?”
Have you ever taken part in a demonstration? Do you think mass rallies are important or are they a waste of time? Does anyone really pay attention to them? Or does the sight of thousands of people coming together make a statement nothing else could match?
In his fourth blog about how we’ve responded to emergencies over the last 50 years, Mike Noyes remembers the tsunami that hit on Boxing Day, 2004.
On Boxing Day 2004, an earthquake off the coast of Indonesia unleashed a tsunami that ripped through villages in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. More than 230,000 people were killed, and millions of people from Sumatra to Somalia lost their homes, possessions and means of making a living.
Many of my colleagues have vivid memories of CAFOD’s response to the Boxing Day tsunami: the team saw what was happening on the news, and cut short their holidays to rush back into the office. Continue reading
Our Hungry for change campaign calls for aid that boosts the power of small-scale farmers within the global food system. In Sri Lanka, small-scale farmers have very little power individually, but together they form nearly three quarters of the electorate, so how do they make politicians sit up and listen to their needs?
It’s busy and loud. A thousand farmers, holding hand-written signs and shouting slogans, fill the streets. Lorries and rickshaws swerve round them beeping their horns. Crowds stop and wonder what’s going on. Orange-robed Buddhist monks mix with Catholic nuns. There’s street theatre and speeches. Police watch warily, ready to intervene.
These are paddy farmers whose lands were once protected by law, but their way of making a living is now under threat from large scale agri-business. They used to receive government support in selling and marketing their crops – but this has all gone.
On top of that, conflict and natural disasters have destroyed farmland, and few farmers have paperwork to prove ownership or claim compensation. The pressures on small-scale farmers are increasing and they are taking to the streets.
Take action to support a fairer food system > Continue reading
When Surenthiran’s home was destroyed in Sri Lanka’s civil war, her family spent years living in camps and shelters.
Here, she describes the joy of having a safe home for Christmas… “Soldiers burst into our village. They took our home, so we moved to a camp.
When we went back, our house was gone so we lived in a mud hut on our rice field.
No words can describe our suffering. I would think: ‘How long must we bear this? Will we live or will we die? ’
Help a family find a safe place to call home>> Continue reading
Filed under CAFOD, Sri Lanka
Our partner Caritas EHED has been working with people affected by the civil war in Sri Lanka. Anbumaran, 32, tells us about how they helped him rebuild his life.
Help us support people like Anbumaran around the world>>
I used to have a contented, happy life. I married my wife Vijayabaskari in 2005 and had two sons. I had my own land and owned a brick house. I had a big grocery shop and my daily income was more than sufficient for my family expenses. But during the peak of the civil war in 2008 and 2009, the peaceful life of my family was shattered. Continue reading
Filed under CAFOD, Sri Lanka