Parishioners in Salford share Brazilian families’ joy after campaign success

Thanks to the support of parishioners from across the Diocese of Salford who were amongst the 4,000 people to support a CAFOD petition, over 1,000 people in São Paulo will spend this Christmas safe in the knowledge that they no longer face eviction from their home.

#FicaMauá – Let them stay

In September 2017, CAFOD launched a campaign to halt the eviction of around 1,000 people living in the abandoned hotel in the centre of São Paulo, Brazil.

The Mauá Building in the centre of São Paulo stood empty for 17 years until 2007, when 237 working families moved in.  They lovingly renovated the building and for the last ten years have called it home.  The building has been home to a thriving community, providing a social use and revitalising an otherwise derelict area in the city centre.

Ever since they moved in, the families have been trying to win the legal rights to their home, which Brazilian law allows, asking that the authorities acquire the building and convert it into social housing for low-income families.

In a landmark case, after ongoing campaigning by the families, public authorities have agreed to purchase the building for around £4.6 million (20 million reais), allowing for it to be converted into social housing.

Your actions helped to bring about change

It is thanks to your support that the fear and uncertainty of losing their homes is no longer a reality for the families living in the Mauá community.

Neti de Araújo’s, a leader in the Mauá community, said:  “I want to thank each and every one of you for your support. I am very happy knowing there are people like you, our friends and companions.

“After so much struggle and sacrifice, ten years of ups and downs, it is finally feasible; we have persuaded the owners of the need for families to live here. The struggle will continue! Thank you!”

CAFOD representative in Salford, Ann Wilson, added: “The way that parishioners from Salford have rallied together to prevent this injustice, where over 1,000 people were threatened with being left on the streets this Christmas, has been astounding.

“We are so thankful that so many people in the diocese have acted: spreading the word, signing the petition and even standing in solidarity with the community by photographing themselves with a #ficamaua sign.

“Your prayers and messages of solidarity have given the families strength and hope at this difficult time.”

The fight continues

CAFOD will continue to support stand in solidarity and pray for the families in their struggle for a safe and permanent home.

Find out more about how you can directly support families in Brazil  

 

Four ways to get involved with Power to Be

Every child has the power to achieve great things, yet without access to electricity, the world’s children are being held back from living life to the full. Renewable energy gives children the power to break free from poverty. By supporting our Power to Be campaign, you and your parish can change lives for good.

 

Here are four ways to launch Power to Be in your parish:

1. Sign cards in your community

Order campaign action cards for everyone in your parish and get people to sign and send them to Melanie Robinson, the UK’s representative at the World Bank, to ask her to support renewable energy to tackle poverty, so that everyone can fulfil their God-given potential.

  1. Organise a Power to Be liturgy

Invite your parish or school to pray together with our Power to Be liturgy. You can even involve the children with our new children’s liturgy resource.

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CAFOD volunteers at Wardley Hall, sharing the Power to Be liturgy

  1. Spread the Word

Use our short talk and our prayers of intercession to get the word out in your parish. You can look at our organiser’s guide for more ideas. You could even meet with your MP.

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CAFOD Salford volunteers meeting with Julie Cooper MP

  1. Get creative

Create an eye-catching Power to Be sun display; perfect for children and adults alike!

St Brendan’s, Harwood in Bolton, set a great example earlier in the year, with their sun display which had promises to save energy, prayers for change and messages to the World Bank on its rays. Can you do something similar?

We have already had some fantastic responses to our campaign, but there is still time for you to get involved and make a difference!

Find out more about Power to Be here.

Not our cup of tea: CAFOD Salford takes action at Sainsbury’s

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Staff and volunteers from the CAFOD Salford office recently visited Sainsbury’s, Heaton Park, to deliver a petition to the store manager.

CAFOD’s latest campaign action is targeting Sainsbury’s in response to their decision to move away from the Fairtrade label on some of their tea products, replacing it with their own ‘Fairly Traded’ tea. We are concerned that this could result in unfair deals for poor farmers. The Fairtrade Foundation has said that 229,000 farmers would be affected by Sainsbury’s proposed change, which is why it is so important to get involved and tell Sainsbury’s: Don’t Ditch Fairtrade!

The campaign is simply asking if you could get a photo taken in front of your local Sainsbury’s by downloading the tea mug prop. You could also follow this up by signing and giving over the letter to the store manager. Fairtrade and tea are two things that we feel particularly strong about in the Salford office, so we we happy to take the trip down to Sainsbury’s to pass on our concerns.

Volunteers from all over Manchester signed the campaign letter and we took our CAFOD banner, and tea mug prop down to Sainsbury’s.

Vin Allerton, a CAFOD volunteer and diocesan Fairtrade co-ordinator, asked to see the manager so that he could return his box of ‘fairly traded’ tea and explain our disappointment.  Unfortunately, the store manager was unavailable on this occasion, but we were promised by a customer services assistant that our concerns would be passed on.

Vin Allerton said: “I just think that Sainsbury’s decision will undermine the Fairtrade logo, and cause confusion. It’s a step in the wrong direction and we think it should be reversed.”

Ann Wilson, CAFOD’s local representative, added: “Buying Fairtrade tea is a proven way to make a difference every time we drink a cup of tea, and the action by our CAFOD volunteers shows the mark is widely supported in Manchester and indeed, across the country.

“Sainsbury’s has been a leading retailer of Fairtrade products, making a real difference to the lives of tea farmers and their families in some of the world’s poorest countries. We’d like them to reconsider this decision to remove the Fairtrade mark from their own-brand tea.”

We enjoyed getting out of the office and getting involved with this campaign, and it’s so easy to do.

See what you can do to get involved, and if you do we would love to hear about it in the Salford office!