Tag Archives: Michelle Hough

The night when Pope Francis was elected

Pope Francis as he blesses the crowd at St Peter's Square on his election. Caritas/Patrick Nicholson

Pope Francis as he blesses the crowd at St Peter’s Square on his election. Caritas/Patrick Nicholson

By Michelle Hough, communications officer for Caritas Internationalis

If I think of St Francis, I think of sandals… and a cord belt around a rough brown tunic, a bald pate and of course, a man surrounded by birds and squirrels. My  thoughts about him had never gone further than the usual clichés that I learnt about when I was five. That was until last night… Continue reading

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Waiting for the sun…and a Pope

Michelle Hough waiting for the white smoke that hails a new Pope in St Peter's Square.

Michelle Hough waiting for the white smoke that hails a new Pope in St Peter’s Square.

By Michelle Hough, communications officer for Caritas Internationalis

It was a good day for umbrella sales people but a bad day for a Pope. As in no Pope was elected during the morning of the second day of the conclave.

No one expected a Pope to be elected so early but me and about 10,000 others huddled in St Peter’s Square in the rain waiting for the smoke to come out of the chimney.

So, about this chimney… it’s tiny. If you’re expecting something Santa could get down, think again. Even a pigeon would have trouble squeezing down there to make a home. Such a tiny thing the focus of so much attention… Continue reading

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Senegal migration conference: legal aspects of migration

George Joseph from Caritas Sweden, Karin Keil from Caritas Austria and Belinda Mumcu from Caritas Turkey listen to Fr Jerome from Caritas Mauritania. He's telling them about the shocking conditions of migrants who have been abandoned in the desert of Mali and have set up camp and live in appalling conditions. Credit: Caritas/Michelle Hough

By George Joseph, Director of the Migration department for Caritas Sweden

The Algerian government dumps migrants in the middle of the desert in Mali and they are just left there. This is the reality of migrants not only sent back to Algeria, but also Libya and Morocco. Hundreds of people die in the desert as a result.

Sometimes, migrants are sent back to countries where they are held in detention camps where their human rights are abused. Continue reading

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Senegal migration conference: Life in limbo in Mali

A Senegalese dance group performs the journey of migrants for participants of the Female Face of Migration conference in Saly, Senegal. Credit: Caritas/Michelle Hough

By Fr  Jerome Otitoyomi Dukiya, Caritas Nouadhibou , Mauritania

There’s a place called Tinzawaten on the border between Mali and Algeria where people are just abandoned. They’re people who’ve been deported from Algeria.

The European Union signed an agreement with Algeria about the return of migrants it was to take them back to their back to their own country, not abandon them in the desert.

The migrants left at Tinzawaten don’t eat for days and they don’t have water to bathe in. They live in an abandoned village which was destroyed by rebels during the war and many of the houses don’t have roofs. It’s cold in the desert at night. Continue reading

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Filed under Advocacy, Africa, Mali, Migration, Senegal, Women

Senegal migration conference: opportunity and risk

Caritas representatives from all over the world and a range of high-level migration experts from international organisations will discuss trafficking, exploitation and abuse at the conference "The Female Face of Migration" in Saly, Senegal, from 30 November-2 December 2010. Credit: Caritas/Michelle Hough

By Michelle Hough

The Atlantic Ocean is a graveyard. I was reminded of this during the Mass to close the first day of the Female Face of Migration conference when we were asked to pray for all the migrants who had drowned in it.

Every year hundreds, possibly thousands of immigrants die trying to cross the seas from West Africa to Europe – not just the Atlantic, which was just 30 metres from where we were attending Mass – but also the Mediterranean.  Most of us aren’t really aware of this and these people remain anonymous – barely a blip on the international news. Continue reading

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Senegal migration conference: health issues in Jordan

Janete Ferreira from Caritas Ecuador with Suhad Zarafili

By Suhad Zarafili of Caritas Jordan

 

A lot of migrant women come to Caritas Jordan’s health clinic with high blood pressure and diabetes. These are women who don’t drink or smoke because all the money they earn they send home. They often suffer from stress and depression and their anger and frustration they keep inside.

All the migrant women who come to our clinic are suffering. They are sick physically and mentally and most of them are without work permits.

The women often talk about their problems to the nuns at Caritas Jordan. Then the sisters go to their homes to support them and give them advice. Continue reading

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Filed under Africa, Jordan, Middle East & North Africa, Migration, Senegal, Women

Senegal migration conference: Lebanon’s Good Samaritan

Najla playing the "Passport game" - a sort of warm up before starting this morning. We all got our Universal Passport, had it stamped and were guaranteed the same rights and freedom of movement. Credit. Hough/Caritas

By Najla Chahda, director of Caritas Lebanon Migrant Centre

Yesterday, I arrived at Beirut International Airport to come here to the conference in Senegal and following immigration control, I saw a woman sleeping on the floor with blood coming from her nose. I went to talk to her and found out that she was from Bangladesh and her employer had brought her there.

I got the airport doctor to come and he said she was haemorrhaging in her stomach – that’s why the blood was dripping from her nose. The woman gave me the employer’s number in Arabic but when I called him, he said he’d signed the release papers for her at the airport and she was no longer his responsibility.

This is the type of case that Caritas Lebanon deals with. Migrant women come to Lebanon and the employers pay around $50 for a false medical insurance to cover bureaucratic needs. Some of the migrant women believe they’ve got health coverage but they haven’t. Continue reading

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Filed under Advocacy, Africa, Lebanon, Middle East & North Africa, Migration, Senegal, Women