Volunteering overseas has gained a bad reputation of being an exploitive project which helps the volunteer more than the locals in developing countries. What we should remember though, is the benefit that can be offered on the volunteers’ return – such as giving financial support as well as being inspired to campaign on issues such as Drop the Debt Campaign.
A worker for the National Childbirth Trust, Rose McCarthy, supports the many women who are socially excluded, including asylum seekers and refugees in Yorkshire. Rose works collaboratively with the aid of several organisations and Churches.
Ethical economy, finance and business are all at the heart of society and consequently of God’s Kingdom. Processes of microcredit and microfinance are praiseworthy and deserve support. This article describes how one family in Bolivia is supported with microfinance from a community based initiative.
Ivanete lives with others in solidarity, as ‘the dignity of homeless people always comes first’. Working with homeless people she helps to offer alternatives to life on the street or in run down and rat infested buildings, ensuring homeless people are housed in adequate accommodation.
Nasreen and her husband live in Hebron with their three children in a Palestinian occupied territory in Hebron; they are often visited by Israeli soldiers in the middle of the night who demand to search their house. The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) helps people like Nasreen providing a protective presence of volunteers in East Jerusalem; ensuring voices are heard on both sides.
The importance of Catholic Global Solidarity is demonstrated by working towards progressive disarmament. Pope Benedict has also recently highlighted that a serious challenge to Catholics is military spending and developing nuclear arsenals. On Ash Wednesday 2010 Christians gathered in Whitehall for a liturgy of repentance and resistance to nuclear war preparations, to contribute to God’s path of peace and love.
Linking school children in Britain to their counterparts overseas can have great benefits in enhancing an understanding and deeper learning of different cultures, as well as helping to shed preconceived stereotypes from a young age.
The rescue of 33 Chilean miners in October 2010 saw international celebration with positive news stories reported around the world. The solidarity that was shown by the authorities’ committed to the lives of those trapped, as well as the solidarity between the miners underground cannot be underestimated in the process of securing their safe rescue.
In mid October 2010, former Haitian Prime Minister Michelle Pierre Louis visited the UK and gave a series of talks with the main message of keeping the plight of Haiti firmly grounded in policy makers’ agendas. Michelle’s message was one of hope and courage in the face of adversity to make sure Haiti isn’t forgotten.