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Bineta Ba et Évangéline Mengue, CND

As announced some months ago, the newsletter will now be published every two months and each issue will feature a province or region. The February edition headlined Visitation Province; this one highlights Notre-Dame-des-Apôtres Region. It also includes news from the Social Justice Network’s coordinator and an information segment.

Notre-Dame-des-Apôtres Region

Since January, Notre-Dame-des-Apôtres Region has been involved in a variety of areas which are related to social justice and are based upon the needs and situations in the different communities where we are present.

Healthcare: We have observed that the people who come to us for help are generally those who obtain their medication in the streets without any prior diagnosis from a nurse or doctor. This puts their lives at risk and worsens their condition. For this reason, we ensure that the people who come to any one of our communities actually visit medical centres and obtain proper medication from pharmacies.

As an example, we have helped and accompanied two children regain their dexterity after their feet suffered third degree burns at the hands of someone close to them. This was achieved through surgery and rehabilitation.

Environment: We continue to encourage the population around us to use natural fertilisers such as manure for their crops. In our schools, we teach children to respect and protect nature through small actions like throwing garbage in bins.

We participate in raising the population’s awareness to the importance of planting nature-friendly trees, trees unlike the eucalyptus that depletes the soil of its moisture, and unlike rubber tree that starves the soil of its fertilizing nutrients. We have also helped purchase nature-friendly tree seedlings to replace nature-unfriendly plants.

We are also actively opposed to land-grabbing practices by large investors that occur with the complicity of the government and at the expense of poor and vulnerable rural populations.

Human Rights: We assist in the rehabilitation of young women victims of human trafficking. In addition to compiling integration case files to submit to public services, we also help those who are less educated start up an activity which will generate revenue. We raise the
awareness of and accompany couples who live together without legal status. We encourage them to prepare marriage certificates for themselves and birth certificates for their children.

In Cameroon, marriage certificates protect women in their households. If the husband dies, they cannot be thrown out of their homes, disinherited or estranged.

Evangéline Mengué, CND


News from the Network’s Coordinator

  1. The Advisory Committee met on April 7, 2017 to plan for the network’s annual meeting to be held from August 15 to 18, 2017 at the Mother house.

This year’s theme will be: Dare to Take Action to Fulfill the New General Chapter Orientation.

  1. As you may know, I sit on the Board of Comité d’Action Contre la Traite Humaine Interne et Internationale – Quebec Coalition against Domestic and International Human Trafficking – (CATHII). We initiated a serious discussion on the association’s financial sustainability.

CATHII is very grateful to the religious communities which provide the financial support needed to pursue their mission.

  1. UPR Canada

During several months, I have participated in the committee of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Canada.

The UPR sits before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Under the UPR, each country is reviewed by other UN Member States every four and a half years. This provides an opportunity for States to discuss their domestic human rights framework as well as measures taken to promote and protect human rights in their country. Civil society and organizations advocating human rights can also contribute by submitting their recommendations to the country under review.

Because the topic of human rights encompasses several areas, CATHII has chosen to focus on human trafficking. Since September 2016 our UPR committee has been working on the recommendations which we want to address to the Canadian government during its Universal Periodic Review in Geneva. Because CATHII will not be present in Geneva we will submit our recommendations to Franciscan International. On June 5, we will hold our last meeting in order to finalize the text before submitting it.

For more information about UPR Canada, follow the links below:

French: http://canada.pch.gc.ca/fra/1448633334009

English: http://canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1448633334009/1448633334011

  1. RRSE

I am still a member of the Mines Committee of Regroupement pour la responsabilité sociale des enterprises – Association for Corporate Social Responsibility – (RRSE). While we have focused our attention on several mines, since 2011 our efforts have centered on the Malartic Mine in Quebec. Sadly though, because of how events have unfolded there, we feel a sense of disappointment and helplessness.

The relationship between the community and the mining company has seriously deteriorated. On August 2, 2016, we learned that a group of citizens was engaged in a legal battle with the mining company. This new situation does not leave us with many options. We have, therefore, decided to put less effort in the Malartic file and concentrate our energies elsewhere.

From this perspective, we searched for a new case file on which to work. Our choice fell upon the mining situation in Honduras. This is a very challenging case as the mining companies there are in the centre of many human rights violations and of situations in which people’s safety is jeopardized.


Did you know?

Renewable energies provide important benefits: they are inexhaustible and produce only small quantities of greenhouse gases (responsible for global warming).

Among them we find:

  • wind (wind energy)
  • light from the sun (solar energy)
  • heat from the earth (geothermal energy)
  • biomass (energy from plants and trees)

Biomass is all organic matter derived from vegetable or animal sources.

According to a report by Groupe Investissement Responsible – Responsible Investment Group – (GIR) published on May 4, 2017, investments in renewable energies are ever-increasing. From 62 billion dollars in 2004 they have risen to 287 billion dollars in 2016.

Bineta Ba

Social Justice Network Coordinator

 

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