Maryknoll Sister Patricia Ryan and members of the indigenous community where she works in Peru came to Washington, D.C. in September to pursue legal efforts to stop a mining company from polluting their sacred land and water. At the same time, Native American Sioux Indians from Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota were leading demonstrations in front of the White House with a very similar goal.
Unemployement and economic instability became widespread for families in Portugal in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis. Yet this was not a reason for dispair for Father Samuel Guedes, who decided to take action. He created three social solidarity institutions and a catering social business that sources sustainble and organic products from its own farm. Not only does the project generate employment, but it does so in a way that it respects both people's dignity and the environment.
EuroMed Rights and CIDSE statement, 25 November 2016
There are alternatives that work, which respect farmers’ livelihoods while protecting, restoring and preserving the natural resources that are essential to our lives. By persisting and believing in the power of people and communities to work together, imagine and implement solutions that are adapted to their context and environment, changes at different levels are possible.
Around this time-last year Molly McCaffrey travelled to Paris with CAFOD and met with other supporters from CIDSE member organisations. At an event in Parliament, she reflected on the impact the trip to Paris has had on her own life. Their efforts, and that of thousands of other volunteers, charities, organisations and negotiators, resulted in the landmark climate agreement between over 200 countries, which entered into for this month. As climate talks continue this week in Marrakech, it is important to remember the lesson that she learnt on her tip – we can make a difference.