Schools volunteer Annette Brindle from the Nottingham diocese reports back on the Hungry for change campaign launch on 10 November.
The theme of the Hungry for change campaign means a lot to me as I originally trained as a nutritionist. Hunger and malnutrition lead to great suffering and stop people from taking a proper part in life.
I find it shocking to think that each night one in eight people in the world go hungry due to lack of food. That is equal to the entire population of Europe, America, Australia and Canada.
Take action now. Email David Cameron calling for a fairer food system >
My first experience of campaigning was in 1987 during CAFOD’s Silver Jubilee year. I joined a CAFOD group to reflect on the causes of poverty and learn from the experiences of CAFOD overseas partners. We learnt about the terrible impact of third world debt on developing counties, debts which were being repaid at high interest rates.
Now, in CAFOD’s Golden Jubilee year, it was great to hear Father Joe Komakoma at the Hungry for change launch talk about the positive effect that debt relief has had for his home country of Zambia. However, there is now the need to support small farmers as they cope with the effect of global warming. Continue reading
What’s on your shopping list, and how much do you spend on your weekly shop? With food prices rising across the world, Geoffrey Chongo from our partner Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection in Zambia, explains that revealing the story behind your shopping basket can be the first step to tackling hunger.
“There are two challenges facing poor families in Zambia: poverty and unemployment. 65% of people live below the poverty line, and it’s worse in rural areas. The economy is growing, but poverty is not reducing at the same speed.
We have a six million-strong workforce, but only 10% are in formal employment. Others get by through trading, farming, growing crops but not selling them. It’s a precarious way of life. And of course they are not paying tax, which limits the amount of money government has coming in.
During the financial crisis in 2009, the mining sector took a huge blow: companies closed, people lost their jobs and ended up on the streets. Government revenue dropped drastically as taxes on trade and exports plummeted.
These are macro-economic issues, they can seem distant from people’s daily lives and struggles. And that’s where our Basic Needs Basket comes in.
Email the PM today for a fairer food system >
Small businesses create jobs but need support
Right now, jobs are what matter. A resounding win for Mitt Romney in the first Presidential debate was wiped out in the polls by unemployment in the US falling below 8 per cent; no wonder President Obama looked so relaxed.
But for the 200 million people currently unemployed worldwide and the millions of others fearing redundancy or coming to the end of their education with uncertain prospects, there is no relaxing.
It is that stark figure and all the social consequences it entails that means jobs will be the main focus of this week’s annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
And nowhere is the jobs situation more stark than in the developing world. With child mortality in long-term decline, the number of working age people in developing countries is soaring. Continue reading
Youth leaders from St Vincent’s catholic youth residential centre in Whitstable with Tanya Jenkins (second from right)
CAFOD’s Vicky Ahmed takes a trip to the ‘oyster capital of Kent’, Whitstable, to talk about the realities of the global food system with some inspirational youth leaders.
“Dear Lord. We thank you for the food we are about to eat, and we are happy to share our food today with our visitors from CAFOD.” So began my afternoon working with the amazing new team of youth leaders at St Vincent’s catholic youth residential centre in Whitstable.
Tanya Jenkins (CAFOD’s Youth Outreach Coordinator) was leading a day around CAFOD’s work and values with the team, and had invited me to run a session on our new food campaign, Hungry for change, to help the team explore the resources we have to help the young people they will be working with to get involved and explore the issues around food poverty.
Will you give someone a place at your table this Harvest Fast Day?>> Continue reading
Clara (centre) and friends with the solar panel that helps pump water to their village
Matahatata village doesn’t have piped water. It doesn’t have electricity. But one thing it does have is plenty of sun.
When I visited Matahatata in Zambia last year it was under a typically blazing sun. I was greeted by Clara Nkete, who has lived in this village for 50 years and brought up her ten children here.
She told me how she used to struggle to get water from the village’s single – now broken – borehole: “There were long queues, and if you drew water late in the day it would be muddy, dirty water. You could wait for up to three hours. We had to fetch water three times a day so you might be queuing for up to nine hours a day.”
Looking deep into my eyes, Clara explained, “Whenever you went to the borehole late you’d know you would be drawing dirty water, but our children would be crying for water, crying in thirst, and so we had no option but to give it to them. We had no other choice.”
Harnessing the power of the sun has given Clara and her neighbours another option. Five years ago, we funded a new solar-powered borehole in Matahatata. Continue reading
Filed under CAFOD, Zambia