“Cultivating Our Rights” To Ensure Food Security

Return to news

A presentation of Development and Peace – Caritas Canada’s Share Lent campaign took place on Sunday, February 25 at Maison Jésus-Marie (MJM). Julie Tétreault, head of the Quebec Justice and Peace Committee of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM), explained the three projects chosen for this campaign under the theme “Cultivating Our Rights”.

Three projects to develop food sovereignty

She recalled the hard struggle of the Nigerian organization Home of Mother Earth Foundation, which reaches some 3,000 people struggling with poverty and food insecurity. Known as Africa’s largest economy, with oil production and exports worth billions of dollars, Nigeria is struggling to control the oil industry, which is affecting the soil and ruining cassava harvests. Cassava is considered a product of the future. Its ability to grow in impoverished soils makes it more sustainable than cereals.

In Indonesia, the agricultural sector is also threatened, this time by the exodus of young people seeking work in the cities. Ultimately, this situation could threaten the country’s food sovereignty. The Payopayo organization (a word that designates a symbol of friendship with peasant communities that protect the harvest) is devoting its efforts to educating a new generation of farmers in responsible ecological techniques. With the help of 250 young community organizers, it reaches some 55,000 people in 25 rural villages.

The third project supported by this campaign is in Bolivia, with the Nuna organization, which means “conscience”. The foundation supports indigenous and peasant communities in their efforts to develop food sovereignty and preserve the environment. The aid specifically reaches 779 people by encouraging women’s participation, teaching farming techniques to produce sustainably, and supporting food processing initiatives to vary the diet focused on potatoes and corn, without the presence of fruit and vegetables.

Raising awareness of struggles

During the presentation, which included a quiz and interaction, Ms. Tétreault emphasized the importance of these information sessions for the organizations supported by Development and Peace.

“At the official launch on February 17, when asked what we can do to help you better, the members supported by Caritas Canada replied, “Help us make ourselves known in our struggles, because we are ignored when we make our demands. Your solidarity is important”, said the speaker.

As part of the current campaign, a hunger meal is planned at MJM on Thursday, March 21, preceded by a time of reflection at 4:30 pm.

The Fall “Solidarity for the Earth” campaign will conclude on April 17 with the presentation of the 32,000-signature petition to the Honduran ambassador to Canada. Among other things, the petition calls for justice for the deaths of three defenders of the Guapinol River, and for measures to limit the rights of mining companies in the region.

Photo credit: Sr. Suzanne Brault