Par Momme Ducros pour Caritas Mauritanie
En Mauritanie, un ménage sur trois est géré par une femme. c’est pourquoi Caritas Mauritanie a commencé, il y a sept mois, à financer des activités génératrices de revenus dans les milieux urbains défavorisés en périphérie de Nouakchott.
Ces activités incluent des ateliers de couture et mercerie ainsi que de la teinture de textiles mais également la préparation et la vente de couscous.
“(…) Je suis membre de la coopérative de couscous, dès que nous avons reçu le montant du prêt sans intérêt, nous nous sommes organisées en deux groupes de quatre personnes par jour. Chaque groupe travaille pendant deux jours à la préparation du couscous et à son écoulement.”
Ce projet urbain a permis à 100 femmes à micro financer leurs propres initiatives. Aujourd’hui, grâce à son effet démultiplicateur 488 personnes bénéficient de revenus.
La gérante de la coopérative de couscous atteste de son succès “Nous vendons quasiment tout ce que nous
préparons.et en plus nous pouvons toutes ramener un kilogramme de couscous à nos familles. Et le couscous chez nous, est une denrée de première nécessité, Il est consommé avec du lait ou sans lait. Il est facile de préparation. Nous le réservons pour nos enfants qui tôt le matin peuvent le consommer avant d’aller à l’école.”
La bonne gestion des ces projets s’est confirmée par le remboursement des échéances à terme et même de disposer d’un léger surplus en caisse.
Au delà des gains financiers une solidarité tissée à partir de l’organisation des ces femmes leur permet de se soutenir mutuellement. Les femmes de la coopérative de Salam d’El Mina sont unanimes “Nous réservons une partie des ressources, ainsi que des dons pour une caisse de prêts et une mutuelle de santé pour les membres de notre coopérative. Ce dont nous rêvons c’est d’étendre cette solidarité aux autres membres de notre communauté,” déclarent-elles.
The Catholic bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo are urging for an end to the conflict in the east of the country. They condemn rebel militia for seizing the city of Goma last month and the foreign powers who support them. They also urge their government and politicians to address the root causes of the war and the lack of governance, infrastructure and services in the East. The Church leaders are urging the international community to look again at the mandate for UN peacekeepers based in Eastern Congo, who took no action during the fall of Goma.
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The signs of war are very visible in Torit, a town of Eastern Equatoria in South Sudan. Credit: Secours Catholique
Available in French
Secours Catholique-Caritas France has launched its new photo exhibition “Sudan – Peace is an emergency”.
Secours Catholique-Caritas France has made Sudan its priority country for 2010 and 2011. Devastated by over 20 years of civil war, Sudan is the country with the most internally displaced people in the world.
“The exhibition will be presented at the Secours Catholique headquarters in Paris and it will also be made available to our delegations all over France and to our local partners in Sudan. It is a simple and educational way to increase public awareness of Sudan’s problems and to present our programmes,” said Anne Bonnefont, Communications Officer at Secours Catholique-Caritas France. Continue reading
By Andreas Lexer
After having spent four weeks in Haiti and one week in Chile following earthquakes in each country, the two emergencies offer important lessons in comparison.
In Haiti, the 7.0 magnitude earthquake on 12 January has caused severe damage. All that remains of the Cathedral are a few broken walls. The Presidential Palace is down, government ministries do not exist anymore.
Thousands of houses collapsed. They look like someone has smashed the top of a cake with the flat of a hand.
Hundreds of thousands of people were left buried under the rubble. Estimates speak about at least 200,000 thousand dead people in Haiti, but the figure could be much higher.
Residents of Concepcion, Chile camp out in the streets. Concepcion was devastated by the February 27th earthquake. Credit: Katie Orlinsky/Caritas
Available in Spanish
By Carlos Carvacho, Caritas Chile
A ‘Chile for Chile’ telethon has raised more than US $ 60 million for quake survivors.
The marathon 24 hour long programme is usually an annual event in Chile. It normally takes place in December and raises money for children in need and for disabled young people.
After the 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck near Concepcion on 27 February, organisers put together a show in one week. Caritas Chile participated in the event.
The show feature UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, plus international and national stars such as Shakira, Julio Iglesias, Ricardo Arjona, Juan Luis Guerra, Ricardo Montaner, Chayanne, Ricky Martin, Daddy Yankee and Calle 13.
Human contact was key as Caritas Lebanon staff set about building trust with survivors in Haiti. Being able to tell your story is key to overcoming trauma. Credit CLMC
Available in French
By Caritas Lebanon staff
Our team of three staff from the Caritas Lebanon Migrants’ Center (CLMC) left for a mission to Haiti to offer counselling support to quake survivors. Psycho-social support is not always a priority in an emergency. It is help of utmost importance though. Our mission was to show people that they are important. To show that there is someone who wishes to help them overcome the trauma and walk with them in the path of grief and then recovery.
We imagined ourselves as valiant knights in shining armour, who will bring about change in their lives. After all, we had the knowledge, the experience and the willingness. It turned out that yes, we were the catalysts of change, but a change in which Haitians contributed. A change in our lives as well, not only in the Haitians we met. It is really hard to express our feelings, but this was an enriching experience for us.
We were certainly taken aback upon our arrival to Port-au-Prince on January 30 to see all the sad but smiling faces. We had expected to see a broken people. Instead, we found proud and loving people with an extraordinary faith. We never thought that the words “God”, “love” and “faith” could be so tangibly felt when dealing with people, when visiting them in camps, hospitals or at work or in the streets.
In the late hours of Monday, March 1st, mudslides buried three villages in Uganda’s eastern Bududa district, which has experienced exceptionally heavy rainfall. CRS is currently procuring essential relief items for distribution in affected areas. Yesterday, CRS staff (CRS is a Caritas member in the USA) met with local Caritas partners in Bududa parish to better assess the situation. Here is an update from CRS Uganda Head of Programming Cecilia Adalla.
Rains started on Monday at around noon and heavy downpours continued for hours. According to the Bududa parish priest, the two villages of Mabono and Nametsi bore the brunt of the landslides. The priest said that the average population of each village is about 800 people.
We were told that in Nametsi people saw water rushing down the mountains. Many took shelter at the market area as they couldn’t go to their homes due to the force of the water. Around 100 children from the Catholic school in Nametsi also took shelter at the market area. They had already left school and couldn’t go home.
Around 8 pm, the villagers heard a very loud noise that sounded like an explosion. A huge stone broke from the mountain and rolled down toward the market area, destroying everything in its path. Mudslides and landslides followed, completely destroying a health center, the market area and the Church of God, where there were people praying. So far, the students who took shelter at the market area have not been found. The mudslides narrowly missed the Catholic church and school; all of the children who had remained at the school survived.
Later we drove to the two sites where camps are being established for survivors of the landslides. We found no displaced people at these sites yet, though we learned that a food distribution had taken place earlier. The local government administrator and the parish priest reported that most of the survivors have refused to relocate to these sites as they continue to try to find their relatives in the disaster area. Many are using hoes and spades to dig through the mud and earth.
Fernanda Herrera, 16, and other students prepare food kits that will be distributed to the victims of the 8.8 quake in Chile. Caritas Chile needs dry and canned food, such as rice and tuna, but also shelter materials for people who have lost their homes. "What we need most now is tents", says Juan Cristobal Precht, emergency relief coordinator of Caritas Chile. "But they should be completely different to the ones, that are distributed in Haiti at the moment. There it rains with 27 degrees, here it rains with minus 4 degrees." What he is looking into is tents with thick floors, and heated ones.
Mexican resuers in the rubble of Port-au-Prince. Credit: Caritas/Katie Orlinsky
Available in Spanish and French
Mexico knows what it means to be hit by a major earthquake. In 1985, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck the country killing 10,000 people and causing major damage to the capital.
Mexico has generously opened its arms to Haiti following the massive earthquake which hit its Latin American neighbour in January.
The people of Mexico have sent four thousand tonnes of aid since the disaster. They have sent food, water and medicines that collected through donations to parishes. Caritas has been one of the main channels for this aid into Haiti. Continue reading
Lesley Fucand faces up to the massive of damage caused by Haiti's earthquake
Available in French
“I no longer know how to feed and clothe them”
Before the 12th January earthquake, there were more than 350,000 orphans in Haiti. The disaster has left thousands more children without parents. Here we meet the director of one of the orphanages that Caritas is helping.
By Mathilde Magnier
Lesley Fucand is a survivor. At first sight you can’t tell what he’s been through, but then you notice the terrible injury to his leg and his slight limp. And then you see how drawn and totally exhausted he looks.
Since the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince and left 230,000 dead, Lesley hasn’t had a minute’s peace. As head of one of the numerous orphanages in the capital, this retired American of Haitian origin has only one thing in mind: finding a home for the children he looks after. It’s a vital issue for a country which had 350,000 orphans before the earthquake. According to Unicef there are now around one thousand more just in Port-au-Prince.
Lesley’s life was deeply affected by the earthquake. His house and car were destroyed, but more importantly, four of the 22 children in his orphanage have died. Three died from their injuries and one girl was never even rescued from the rubble. The 18 remaining children were obviously deeply affected.