Lent 2023: Create hope – CIDSE

Lent 2023: Create hope

Wednesday 22nd February marks the beginning of Lent, a special time for prayer and reflection. Most CIDSE members organise campaigns and activities with the purpose to pray, raise awareness on topics such as climate change, land conflicts and violence, gender injustice, but also to call all of us to become actors of change for a sustainable world.

As the start of Lent is marked by the continuing war in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in Turkey and Syria, creating hope is more than ever necessary. We invite you to have a look at the activities organised by our member organisations during this period and their partners’ inspirational stories.

Keeping the tradition, Pope Francis shared his Lenten message on 17 February. The text of the Pope’s message focuses on the vision of Lenten penance and the current synodal experience as arduous journeys which are both rooted in tradition and open to newness.

“The retreat is not an end in itself, but a means of preparing us to experience the Lord’s passion and cross with faith, hope and love, and thus to arrive at the resurrection.

Pope Francis

Broederlijk Delen, Belgium: “The 25%-revolution” seeks hardcore activists 

This year, Broederlijk Delen’s campaign, “The 25%-revolution”, seeks to unite activists into one movement that strives for a sustainable world without inequality where everyone can contribute to a better tomorrow, in his or her own way! Read the stories of Irma from Guatemala, Chantal from Rwanda and Laurent from Burkina Faso.  
More info about “the 25%-revolution” campaign available on the Broederlijk Delen website

CAFOD, England and Wales: “Coping with the climate crisis” 

CAFOD invites us to help families around the world to cope with the climate crisis by taking on “The Big Lent Walk!” challenge. Bangladesh is one of the countries most at risk from the effects of the climate crisis. Families in the coastal region are finding it more difficult to recover every time a devastating cyclone or flood hits their village.  Watch Dristy’s story.
More info on the campaign available on the CAFOD website. 

CCFD Terre Solidaire, France: “Ceux qui rêvent de se nourrir en paix” (Those who dream of feeding themselves in peace) 

As with the conflict in Ukraine, war disrupts agricultural production, reduces access to food and causes hunger. Similarly, food crises and hunger divide communities, fracture societies and lead to conflict. For lent, CCFD-Terre Solidaire invites us to support their partners who are acting against hunger to build peace across the world, in Cameroon, Chad, Colombia, Thailand and Myanmar and is proposing a spiritual journey.  
More info on the campaign available on the CCFD-Terre Solidaire website. 

Development & Peace, Canada: “Stand for the Land / Solidaires pour la terre 

2023 is the start of a new campaign cycle for Development and Peace which has chosen “Create Hope” as its guiding theme for the next five years. For the first year, we are invited to stand in solidarity withcommunities who are defending their land and territories in the Global South by protecting their lands and waters, the environment and human life, like in Honduras and Colombia.  
More info on the campaign available on the Development & Peace website (EN / FR).

Entraide et Fraternité, Belgium: “Brésil : la terre, c’est la vie ! Ils et elles résistent pour exister !” (Brazil: Land is life! They resist to exist!) 

This Lent, Entraide et Fraternité wants us to mobilise alongside their partners who are organising and defending people in Brazil who are victims of agro-industry, land conflicts and violence to enable them to have access to land, to live in decent conditions, to organise and to defend themselves.  
More info on the campaign available on the Entraide et Fraternité website.  

FastenAKTION, Switzerland: ECUMENICAL CAMPAIGN ““Which world do we want to be responsible for?”” 

Through this question, Fastenaktion together with HEKS/Brot für Alle, question our food production and eating habits which are closely linked to world hunger and the current climate crisis. Putting climate justice at the heart of their Ecumenical campaign for the third consecutive year, they highlight the contribution of agroecology as a solution to the climate crisis and its consequences in Guatemala, Brazil, Kenya and Mali through a series of short videos
More info available in the Info-campaign 2023 (available in DE / FR / IT). 

KOO and Katholische Frauenbewegung Österreich, Austria: “Gemeinsam für faire Care-Arbeit” (Together for just care work)

The Austrian Catholic Women’s Movement (KFBÖ) is partnering with “Mindanao Migrants Center” from the Philippines  to support care migrant workers and their families. The campaign motto is “Gemeinsam für faire Care-Arbeit” (Together for just care work). People leave their homes and sometimes leave their families badly looked after, subject themselves to precarious employment, are exploited and exposed to violence – global care work has many ugly faces.  
More info available on the campaign website.

Partage LU, Luxembourg: “Frau. Macht. Veränderung.” (women. power. change.)

Development, humanitarian, climate change, security, and social injustices cannot be solved if development plans and actions exclude half the population: women and girls. Partage.lu’s campaign sees women speaking out and telling their stories, sharing their inspiring experiences, and showing us the importance of their participation in social change. The main aim is to ensure that women participate in social change on an equal basis. This will be possible by supporting their partners on the ground to empower women by promoting their education, offering them vocational training, supporting them in setting up small businesses or training them to claim their rights or participate in decision-making in their households, communities, and society.
More info on the campaign available on the Partage.lu website.

Manos Unidas, Spain: “Frenar la desigualdad está en tus manos” (Stopping inequality is in your hands)

Inequality has become the greatest global threat, causing millions of human beings to live in poverty and die of hunger. While one part of humanity lives in opulence, another part sees its own dignity trampled upon and its fundamental rights ignored or violated. The result is millions of people living on the edge.  With the slogan and image of this campaign, Manos Unidas wants to call on society to fight for dignity and promote a world where everyone is equal, and no one is left behind.   
More info on the campaign available on the Manos Unidas website.

Maryknoll OFFICE FOR GLOBAL CONCERNS, USA: scripture reflectionS”

Inspired by the encyclical Laudato Si’, the Reflection Guide from the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns contains reflections, questions, prayers, fasts, and actions based on each week’s Gospel reading and the experience of Maryknoll missioners who have lived and worked with marginalized communities around the world. The guide can be used individually or in small groups to reflect upon your life patterns, to pray more deeply, and renew your spirit to face the realities of our world.

Misereor, Germany: “Frau. Macht. Veränderung.” (women. power. change.) 

Through their partners of this year Lenten campaign, Misereor showcases and amplifies stories to express the importance of women’s participation for social change. Malagasy society is characterized by a structural disadvantage for women. Misereor partners create the framework and provide support to counteract structures causing injustices.  
The stories of Ursule, Josephine, Bodo and Sr Modestine are available on Misereor website.

SCIAF, SCOTLAND: “hunger in Zambia”

Every year during Lent, SCIAF collects donations in its Weebox, available also online.  
This year’s focus is on the millions of families in Zambia who are suffering from devastating hunger and urgently need help. Families wake up hungry not knowing what they’ll be forced to do to survive, or how long their children will live. When families can’t grow enough food to eat, they’re too tired to work in the fields. There’s nothing to eat, nothing to sell at market, and no income. Ruth, one protagonist of the campaign, shares how SCIAF’s successfull support through Caritas Kabwe has made a big change in her life.
More info on the campaign available on the SCIAF website.

Trócaire, Ireland: “Hold fast to love and justice

For this year’s Lenten campaign, Trócaire is focussing on Somalia and how conflicts and climate change have led to an unprecedented food crisis in an already vulnerable part of the world.  Throughout the booklet developed and available online, the challenges faced by families and communities in Somalia, where Trócaire works with local partner organisations on the ground, are presented. Trócaire has been supporting communities across five districts in the Gedo region of South-Central Somalia since 1992. 
More info on the campaign available on the Trócaire website.

vastenactie, netherlands: “mensen onderweg” (people on the move)

This year, Vastenactie’s Lenten campaign is dedicated to people who had to leave their homes. They fled violence or major natural disasters, for example. Others have been evicted from their land. All are trying to build a new life elsewhere. Watch the story of Awut and Ajak in South Soudan.  More info on the campaign available on the Vastenactie website. 

Currently not running a Lenten campaign but many other inspiring activities are the other CIDSE members: Cordaid (Netherlands), eRko (Slovakia), FEC (Portugal), Focsiv (Italy).   

Cover photo credit: Development and Peace

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