Archive for July, 2011

Urgence dans la Corne de l’Afrique et l’Est Afrique

July 31, 2011

Compte tenu de la situation catastrophique résultant de la grave sécheresse qui sévit dans la Corne de l’Afrique et l’Afrique de l’Est et qui affecte plus de 10 millions de personnes en Somalie, Éthiopie, Érythrée et au Kenya, Caritas Africa offre 25 000 euro pour soutenir les efforts des membres Caritas respectifs des pays susmentionnés qui font déjà de leur mieux pour répondre à cette situation d’urgence et porter secours aux victimes de la sécheresse.

Caritas Africa ne réagit pas seulement à la présente situation d’urgence mais répond aussi au désir clairement exprimé par les Pères du Synode dans la proposition 17 du message final émis à la fin de la iie Assemblée Spéciale pour l’Afrique du Synode des Évêques, en novembre 2009 qui affirme: « Il est impératif de développer des relations de solidarité entre les diocèses et au sein des conférences épiscopales elles-mêmes. Ainsi, il est urgent d’établir un fonds de solidarité entre les diocèses au niveau continental à travers le réseau Caritas. »

Caritas Africa a donc créé le Fonds de Solidarité Caritas Africa avec un montant initial de 25 000 euros, au nom des organisations Caritas de la région de l’Afrique. Les premiers bénéficiaires de ce Fonds de Solidarité sont les victimes de la sécheresse dans la Corne de l’Afrique et l’Afrique de l’Est. Ce montant est en prévision d’un éventuel appel d’urgence de Caritas Internationalis et sera acheminée par CI qui assurera le suivi de l’aide.

Caritas Africa lance donc appel à toutes les Caritas membres de la région Afrique les invitant à organiser des campagnes de levée de fonds à tous les niveaux pour que tous puissent contribuer à la concrétisation du Fonds de Solidarité de Caritas Africa.

Les membres Caritas sont encouragés à s’appuyer sur le souhait exprimé par les Pères du Synode et lier les activités de collecte de fonds avec les situations d’urgence qui surviennent en Afrique afin de motiver chacun et tous sur la nécessité d’avoir un tel fonds de solidarité. Il est souhaitable de constituer progressivement le Fonds de Solidarité afin que tout soutien financier puisse être fourni dans les plus brefs délais possibles sans avoir à attendre les nouvelles donations.

20 juillet 2011

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Emergency in the Horn of Africa and East Africa

July 31, 2011

Given the catastrophic situation resulting from the severe drought experienced by the Horn of Africa as well as East Africa and affecting more than 10 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Kenya, Caritas Africa is granting 25 000 euro to support the efforts made by the respective Caritas members in the above-mentioned countries, who are already doing their utmost to respond to the emergency situation and bring relief to the victims of the drought.

Caritas Africa is not only reacting to the present emergency but is also responding to the wish clearly expressed by the Synod Fathers in Proposition 17 of the final message delivered at the end of the IInd Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops in November 2009 which states: “It is imperative to develop relations of solidarity between the dioceses and within the Episcopal conferences themselves. Thus, it is urgent to establish a solidarity fund between among the dioceses across the continent through the Caritas network.”

Caritas Africa has therefore created the Caritas Africa Solidarity Fund with an initial amount of euro 25 000, on behalf of the Caritas organisations of the Africa region. The first beneficiaries of the Solidarity Fund are the victims of the present drought in the Horn of Africa and East Africa. This amount is in anticipation of an eventual Caritas Internationalis emergency appeal and will be channelled through CI which will ensure the aid monitoring.

Caritas Africa therefore appeals to all Caritas members of the Africa region inviting them to organize fund raising campaigns at all levels so that everyone can contribute to the concretization of the Caritas Africa solidarity fund.

Caritas members are encouraged to take advantage of the wish expressed by the Synod Fathers and to link the fund raising activities with the emergency situations occurring in Africa in order to motivate one and all on the necessity to have such a Solidarity Fund. It is desirable to gradually build up the Solidarity Fund so that financial support may be provided in the shortest possible delay without having to wait for new donations.

20 July 2011

Caritas Africa Newsletter : Infolettre : Boletim Informativo – July : Juillet : Julho 2011

July 20, 2011

A Plea To Politicians: Respect Human Rights and Dignity for Mbare Residents

July 11, 2011

Statement on Mbare Violence by Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe

The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe (CCJPZ) is appealing to political parties and politicians as well as the youths to stop violence and respect human rights and human dignity of the people who live in Mbare. Violence in Mbare, since the beginning of this year is largely political. The organising points have been Carter House and Paget House in Mbare. This area is close to a place where some people, especially those who are HIV positive, collect their anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs). But the place has become so unapproachable and inhospitable that some of the victims of violence are now afraid to go and collect their drugs. Systematic about the violence is that it is imported; most people behind the violence are not permanent residents in the area, but have been ‘shipped’ from other areas.

The Commission believes that diversity is a positive value that can be used for the betterment of the country, but it seems we are destroying that diversity and forcing people to follow certain political positions. The victims of violence say they are being punished for their democratic rights of participating in political associations of their choice. But our experience has shown that politicians will never win votes by beating and killing their perceived opponents. The best way of winning votes is by promoting human rights and human dignity. How, for example, can a person (and his family, relatives etc.) who dislocated his jaw as a result of political violence would vote for the political party responsible for dislocating it?

Usually, a family house is the safest place where an individual can seek refuge. But in Mbare, there are politically related groups that force their way into private property of those with alternative political mindsets, confiscating household goods and other personal property. In extreme cases, some families in Mbare supporting a particular political position have lost their houses to people who belong to other political parties. Buying and (re)selling opportunities, some of the most forms of survival strategies in Mbare have been availed on partisan basis. Vending positions, flea market tables have also been politicised. All this is happening amidst tense, but implicit political violence. Families have been broken by the violence, and some men have to go and see their families at night to avoid being caught by the politically dogmatic groups. Is this the freedom that claimed gallant daughters and sons of the soil during the liberation struggle?

However, all these scenarios do not only undermine the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government and guaranteeing to everyone the right that are essential for effective political participation – but are also against the Gospel values and principles which the Church follows. They undermine the principle of the Common Good which requires that political, economic and the social order should ‘allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to make independent choices to reach their fulfilment more fully and more easily’.

The political violence in Mbare also undermines the principle of human dignity, the human worthiness that we derive from God who loved us first and created us in his own image. It is instructive to consider every ‘neighbour without exception as another self, taking into account first of all his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity’. Every political, economic, social, scientific and cultural programme must be inspired by the awareness of the primacy of each human being over society. CCJPZ therefore advises the politicians, political parties and the youths to desist from violence in Mbare to enable citizens to live their normal lives. END! 30 June 2011

A.M Chaumba, National Director.