The history of CAFOD’s debt campaigning

Maria Elena Arana, CAFOD’s Campaign Outreach Coordinator, shares three moments of CAFOD’s debt campaigning history and how you can get involved today.

1997: Fair Deal for the Poor 

I started work in CAFOD’s campaign team back in summer 1991. CAFOD then was in the third year of the environment campaign Renewing the Earth.

During the 1990s, CAFOD supported policy forums that were looking at the impact of debt in increasing poverty in many developing countries across the world, but particularly in sub Saharan Africa. These issues became a key component of the CAFOD Fair Deal for the Poor campaign launched in 1997.

Today, CAFOD still calling for debt cancellation for the poorest countries, sign the petition now.

1998: Jubilee 2000

CAFOD was a founder member of the Jubilee 2000 Coalition, campaigning on debt cancellation for the poorest countries.

On 18 May 1998, the same day at the FA Cup final that year, a human chain of over 70,000 campaigners surrounded a meeting of leaders from the world’s richest countries – the G8 – in Birmingham.

By the end of the Jubilee 2000 campaign, over 300,000 CAFOD supporters had signed the Jubilee 2000 petition.

Twenty-three of the world’s poorest countries have received debt cancellation totalling over US $87 billion. As a result, spending on public services rose in all these countries: an average increase of around 40 per cent on education and a massive 70 per cent on healthcare.

2000-2004: Debt cancellation in Africa

When primary-school fees in Uganda were cancelled due to debt relief, the number of children enrolled in primary schools more than doubled, to more than five million, over the next four years.

Enrolments doubled again in the four years after that.

Twenty million more African children entered school thanks to debt cancellation and targeted aid increases between 2000 and 2004. Money freed up through debt cancellation helped build classrooms and provide training for teachers.

2020: Speak up to cancel the debt

In April 2020, the G20 group of the world’s largest economies announced that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, over 70 countries could stop making debt payments over the next eight months to the countries they owe.

This would save around $12 billion. This is a welcome step, however, debts must be cancelled – not just suspended.

Sign our petition asking the Prime Minister to cancel all debt payments by developing countries due in 2020 and 2021 so that countries can spend money on much needed healthcare rather than debt repayments.

Sign the petition today

Fair Trade Wales event – Monday 2 March 2020

Join Fair Trade Wales for an evening filled with inspiring stories that will shine a light on both ‘invisible’ women and inspiring women leaders.

Monday, 2 March, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Portland House, 113 – 116 Bute Street, Cardiff CF10 5EQ

Tickets are free and link is here:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/she-deserves-fairtrade-women-in-leadership-tickets-92196549361

You’ll hear stories from individuals who fight inequality and against the odds, are entrepreneurs and leaders in their local communities.

Speakers include Jenipher Wettaka Sambazi from the Gumutindo Coffee Co-operative in Uganda, Kathryn Llewellyn, CEO of United Purpose, Chisomo Phiri, women’s rights activist and Katie Colvin, Head of Marketing and Communications at Cru Kafe.

We’ll be showing an animation to bring the stories of women cocoa farmers to life to show that through Fairtrade, there is an alternative.

Fairtrade refreshments and snacks provided.

Fairtrade’s She Deserves campaign which is running again this Fairtrade Fortnight (24 February-8 March 2020) highlights research on ‘invisible women’ in the cocoa sector in West Africa, where 60% of the world’s cocoa is grown, when we revealed the average farmer lives on a little as 74p a day.

In Côte d’Ivoire, despite carrying out 68% of the labour and being responsible for children and the home, women have fewer rights than men and earn even less. In coffee, there is a similar story, with around 125 million people worldwide dependent on it for their livelihoods, Jenipher is one of them. It is the most valuable and widely traded tropical agricultural product and is mainly produced by smallholder farmers. Many of them however are unable to earn a reliable living from the coffee they produce. It isn’t enough to support the most basic needs such as fresh water and food, education and healthcare.

This Fairtrade Fortnight, campaigners are sharing stories far and wide so we are all better equipped to make choices that can change farmers’ stories for the better.

For #SheDeserves we’ll be continuing to focus on the special role women farmers play in the journey to living incomes, and sharing new stories and tools to get more people choosing Fairtrade.

Find out more about why CAFOD supports Fairtrade.

And Fairtrade resources for primary schools and an example of a lesson plan for secondary school (KS4 + post 16).

All you need to know about becoming a Fairtrade parish.

DEPUTY HEAD OF AFRICA TO SPEAK AT ALL SAINTS NEWPORT

You are warmly invited to St Mary’s Stow Hill (All Saints Pastoral Area) – St Mary’s Institute (parish hall), Stow Hill, Newport (NP20 1TP) on Saturday 21 September at 3.30 pm to meet Damian Marchant – deputy Head of Region for Africa at CAFOD – who will give an update on CAFOD’s work around the world.

James joined CAFOD in 2007 and served overseas for seven years in Latin America and three years in Africa. He will give us a snapshot of the complexity of operating in some extremely insecure environments.

CAFOD has worked in sub-Saharan Africa since the 1970s and James currently holds operation responsibility for CAFOD’s overseas programmes in Kenya, Uganda, Niger, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and eSwatini (Swaziland).

James will also cover how CAFOD works hand in hand with the church and how knowledge of the local context allows CAFOD to work with communities in a way that is so inspiring.

Come and hear how your support for CAFOD contributes to positive change in the lives of so many communities.

Free event with tea & coffee available.  Feel free to bring a friend or fellow parishioner.  You will all be welcome.

Mass follows at 4.30 p.m.

Further information from CAFOD South Wales on 02920 344 822 or email: southwales@cafod.org.uk

 

Harvest Fast Day meetings

With just six weeks to go until Harvest Fast day  (Friday 4 October) – we are holding planning meetings around the diocese.   These informal “briefings” are for all parish volunteers and interested supporters who want to find about more about what we can all do to change lives, working in partnership with CAFOD.  There will be information on the appeal, research on how your commitment to Speaking at Mass for CAFOD really makes a difference and feedback on how and where your generous donations at Lent have been used and the impact they are having.

Family Fast Day happens twice a year.  When Fast Day first took place, many families saw it as an opportunity to practice giving something up for the sake of others.

“Millions of people in the world are hungry and they are largely hungry because the good fruits of the earth are enjoyed by too few – and we are among the few. There is enough food for all – if only it could be fairly shared.”

(this is quoted from the very first leaflet in 1961)

Many people in England and Wales had known hardship and poverty themselves and had sympathy for those who were struggling to survive.  This recognition that we are all one global family is truly humbling and in those early days the message was quite clear.

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Living simply with Bees

The liveSimply group tin Ross and Monmouth were delighted to welcome renowned UN consultant, Nicola Bradbear, to the Priory in Monmouth on 4 May.

Nicola founded Bees for Development which works to assist beekeepers in developing countries.

Beekeeping can help families move beyond subsistence farming and their crops can improve thanks to increased bee pollination.

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