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Development and Peace Meeting at St Marguerite Parish, Sydney

Winnie Odo

Tara Hurford, animator for Development & Peace

On Saturday January 24th Gerald and I attended a Development & Peace (D&P) Workshop hosted by Fr. Bill Burke, Pastor of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish in Sydney NS.

We felt blessed to meet the new animator for D&P, Tara Hurford, who helped open our eyes to some of the marginalization that exists in the Philippines, Brazil and Nigeria. Although small in number, we were big in spirit from parts of Antigonish County to Lingan, Cape Breton, and areas in between.

The people of Tacloban in the Philippines have suffered severely from Typhoon Haiyan where most now live in tents that grow stifling under the hot sun where they face forced displacement by the government. D&P has partnered with Urban Poor Associates (UPA) where the women have formed the Yolanda Survivors Women’s Association and are producing gardens where they are able to grow stronger and can see that by working together they can create a better future.

Maria of Brazil is helping her people rise above land owners who promise work on large plantations only to find themselves forced to work long hours for scant wages. Through the work of D&P who have partnered with Pastoral Land Commission, Brazilians have reached out to bring awareness of workers’ rights. Maria felt that their eyes have been opened in fact they realize that their employers will only respect them when he knows that they are aware of their rights.

Samuel of Nigeria, a poultry farmer was given an opportunity to participate in several training sessions through D & P and is now versed in bookkeeping, veterinary skills and management; in addition, he was able to secure a loan that helped him diversify his activities. His stock of 300 birds, now numbers 700.

We were very encouraged by the awareness of the workshop and feel that this would be something our Foundress would be passionate about and would want us to be involved in!

 

 

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