credit: Wilde Fry
Since the beginning of the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign, people around me have been telling me about Make Poverty History and what an amazing experience it was to be part of.
But I don’t have these memories as I was not in the UK in 2005. I have attended many protests in my life – after all I’m from France – but I had never been involved in mass rally for international development issues.
And then, in the space of a week, I attended not one but two rallies!
The Big IF London on 8 June exceeded all my expectations. After weeks of preparation and anxious anticipation, over 45,000 people turned up in Hyde Park to demand action on world hunger ahead of the G8 summit. Continue reading
There are lots of people who want David Cameron to listen to them over the ten days ahead.
Business leaders. MPs and cabinet ministers. The leaders of some of the world’s most powerful countries who are meeting in the UK at the G8 summit next week.
I spent most of Saturday’s amazing Big IF rally asking people in Hyde Park what message they wanted to give to the Prime Minister and the other G8 leaders. You can hear some of their voices here >
And there are two voices in particular that I hope David Cameron will listen to. They are not powerful people or famous ones. They are not politicians or rock stars. They are maths teachers: Sue and George from Swindon.
These two teachers, who run a CAFOD group in their school, brought a small gaggle of excited teenagers with them to the rally. “There’s many more in the group,” explained Sue over the noise of their chat and laughter, “but they couldn’t all come today.”
George, with a loaves and fishes hat perched on his head, explained in a calm, strong voice why he’s here. Having grown up in Zimbabwe, he’s seen how hunger caused by inequality has spread in his home country and has cost lives. That experience, and his Catholic faith, has made him determined to speak out.
Act now. Join the IF campaign >> Continue reading
It was so good to be part of the little group handing in the Thirst for change petition at 10 Downing Street.
This event summed up for me in so many ways what CAFOD, and this campaign in particular, is all about. Read more about the hand-in >
There we were: school students, a parish priest, a campaigner who’d walked to London along the canal network from the West Midlands, and a highly skilled water engineer from a CAFOD partner organisation in Ethiopia, the nation so dramatically linked in the public mind with water shortages at the time time of the 1984 famine that led to Band Aid.
And the five of us were making the voice of the world’s poorest heard by the powerful. This is what CAFOD does so well: uniting different generations and very different life-settings around a shared faith and a commitment to work with people in poverty to build a better future. Continue reading
I’m feeling better than expected. I know this morning that there’s a thick band of rain moving across England. You just resign yourself to a bad weather forecast. I’ve done enough walking, so I come prepared.
I’m now on the edge of a canal, resting on a gate. I have no real idea of where I am. I’m north of Milton Keynes, but I’ve been navigating by bridge numbers.
My feet are holding out well, I didn’t expect to have too many problems. It is an intensive walk, but I think I’ll survive. I also went to the chiropodist before the walk to ensure my feet had a good MOT.
Monday, I walked all day with Jim Murphy. He is an ideal travelling companion, because the time travels so fast. He has got an endless supply of stories.
He was talking about Irish mythology – pre-Christian times in Ireland. There was an apprentice to the king who happened to slay the king’s dog. The apprentice was a young man and became the king’s dog. His role from then on was to shorten the king’s journey by telling him stories. Story-telling has certainly worked for me!
Call on the PM for clean water and safe sanitation for all > Continue reading