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  

 

Altar cloth reaches El Salvador

Sacred Heart, in Rochdale, donated an altar cloth which has reached a chapel community in Puentecitos, El Salvador.

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Bishop John Arnold presenting the altar cloth to the church community

Sacred Heart parish, in Rochdale, take part in the CAFOD Connect2 scheme. The dynamic parish are connected to a church community in Puentecitos, El Salvador.

A Rochdale parishioner has sent a heartfelt gift to a community in El Salvador, which is now being displayed in a Latin American church, after it was hand-delivered by the Bishop of Salford.

Edwina Lowe, a parishioner from Sacred Heart in Rochdale, donated an altar cloth to a church in Puentecitos, El Salvador through an initiative called Connect2. Continue reading

Bishop John Talks about his CAFOD Visit to Central America

Dominic Aunger, CAFOD Communications Volunteer, tells us about Bishop John Arnold’s talk about his trip to El Salvador and Nicaragua.

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Bishop John with CAFOD supporters in Burnley.

On Saturday Bishop John Arnold was in Burnley to inform CAFOD supporters about his visit to El Salvador and Nicaragua during November of last year. The talk was well attended and the Bishop was welcomed by Fr Michael Waters, parish priest of St John the Baptist’s Burnley, whose parish hosted the talk.

Anne Marie Coppock, St John the Baptist’s CAFOD Group Treasurer, introduced the Bishop to those assembled. Anne Marie thanked the Bishop for visiting St John’s the Baptist again and thanked the audience for attending and emphasised how the generosity of local people enables CAFOD to support the most needy communities around the world.

Bishop John Arnold is Chair of the Board of Trustees of CAFOD and it was in this capacity as Chair of Trustees that he visited CAFOD funded projects in Nicaragua and El Salvador during November 2016. Continue reading