Thank you for taking part in the Big IF Rally

Saturday was an  incredible day. We have been working towards this day for many months. But it still felt pretty surreal, standing in Hyde Park, the Big IF G8 Rally *finally* happening. 

About the author: Eilidh Macpherson is a campaigner working in London

Watch the highlights of the Big IF G8 Rally.

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It was last August that I went to my first Enough Food For Everyone … IF campaign meeting, and I remember feeling overwhelmed by the task in front of us.

I was a student in Edinburgh during Make Poverty History. I still remember being blown away by the scale of that day: the numbers of people that had travelled from all over the country, the atmosphere of ambition and solidarity, as well as the inspiring speakers.

Big protests and mobilisations are important times. They’re moments when the fight for global justice gets a brief mention on the front pages, when politicians of all parties see a manifestation of the huge public support for development, have the potential to have a huge impact on those involved. At events like Saturday, we stand in solidarity with those suffering from inequality in the food system, holding decision makers to account and demanding they act on our broken food system. Days like this also give first time campaigners like I was in Edinburgh a lifelong passion for holding placards and fighting for what they believe in, and veteran activists a chance to share their energy and ambition with others.

Saturday had so many memorable moments. A few that stood out were: watching a sea of campaigners from all over the country arrive with placards and homemade banners from Westminster Central Hall; seeing CAFOD’s loaves and fishes hats – everywhere; a panicky moment where by sister took a break from her face painting duties and I drew a few terrible fish on small children; David Harewood being brilliant on the main stage; and sitting in the sun talking to people who had turned up to play football or have picnics and stayed for the rally!

I’d been worried that the Big IF wouldn’t live up to the memories I had of Make Poverty History in Edinburgh. I shouldn’t have worried.

It’s the people involved that make these events special. It’s the campaigners that get on buses to travel to London, spreading the message before hand in their churches, schools and communities. 

See more pictures of the day >>

Days like this are also measured in their impact. Beyond any commitments we may get, (or don’t get), over the next week of important summits and negotiations, I’m confident that the energy and messages of the Big IF, will go on to inspire incredible results over the next months and years.

Five Years Fairtrade

This year we celebrate five years of Wales being a Fairtrade Country.

On June 5th it will have been five years since a unique declaration of intent was signed by twenty-two local and national politicians, church leaders, voluntary workers, union representatives, retailers and educationists.  They gathered together at NEWI (What is now Glyndwr University) to launch the Wrexham Fairtrade Coalition.

The Coalition worked towards obtaining Fairtrade Status for Wrexham County Borough; this would be a first in Wales. It would engender an ethical buying policy of goods with the Fairtrade kite mark and would ensure real benefits for producers in developing countries.

The fair trade campaign seeks greater equity in international trade and offers better trading conditions and rights for marginalised producers and workers.

Fair trade guarantees set minimum price to farmers for their products, which covers the cost of sustainable production and adds a premium to be spent on social or economic projects.

Fair trade products include fruit and vegetables, footballs, chocolate and clothing.

The campaign was launched by political leaders in 2006 in a joint initiative with Scotland.

The campaign in Wales has seen the WFTF, which has received funding from the assembly government, encourage schools, businesses and other organisations to switch to fair trade products.

Chris Pilsbury of TCC (Together Creating communities) said: “Together we had a vision for Fairtrade at home and overseas. We knew we had to get recognition for overseas first. Part of that, again organising teaching, was to help Wrexham Council see it was in its self-interest to actively support and make policies to do so, which it did.”

On June 5th 2008 Wales was declared the world’s first fair trade nation by campaigners, for the progress it has made increasing the availability of such goods.

Tour De Fred

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Tour de Fred

This June, 68-year-old Fred Uttley is cycling around all 22 dioceses of England and Wales for CAFOD.

The volunteer from Salford diocese will cycle more than 1,000 miles between Catholic churches and cathedrals around England and Wales, raising money to support small-scale farmers in Rajshahi, Bangladesh and raising awareness of CAFOD’s Hungry for Change campaign.

Tour De Fred will be visiting the Wrexham Diocese on Saturday 15th June 2013.

His ride will approximately take 2 hours and 45 minutes, starting from Wrexham Cathedral and ending at Shrewsbury Cathedral. Travelling a distance of 32 miles.

Fred Will be setting off from Wrexham Cathedral at 10 am, why not come down and wave him off on his way to show your support.

Tour De Fred Poster

http://www.cafod.org.uk/Fundraise/Sponsored-events/Tour-de-Fred

Pantasaph – Annual Supporters Day

Join CAFOD North Wales for our annual supporter day on Saturday 11th May 2013.

From 11 am until 5 pm in Pantasaph Franciscan Friary Pilgrim Hall and Grounds there will be Fairtrade Stalls, activities for Children, Way of the Cross, Shared Meal, Afternoon Workshops and more.

This year at our annual supporters day we will be attempting to raise awareness for CAFOD’s current campaign ‘Enough Food For Everyone – IF’ which had its North Wales Launch on Friday, January 25 outside St Mary’s Cathedral in Regent Street.

The campaign calls on Prime Minister David Cameron to use the UK’s G8 presidency this year to take action on the root causes of hunger in the poorest countries.

This year’s key note speaker is Claire Dixon, head of the CAFOD Latin America Team, promises to deliver a brilliant talk.

Pantasaph day starts with teas and coffees from 10:30am, followed by:

11 am: Welcome by Clare Dixon, head of CAFOD Latin America team.

12pm: The Way of the Cross

1 pm: A Shared Lunch.

2 pm: Workshops for all ages, including youth workshop; activities for children; talk by Clare Dixon and music practice.

3 pm: More refreshments

4 pm: Celebration of Mass in St David’s church

5 pm: Hot dogs and departures

Whether you are a long-term CAFOD supporter, or completely new to CAFOD we would love to have you come along. And as always, should you have any questions about the day please do not hesitate to contact the CAFOD North Wales office.

We hope to see you on the 11th May 2013.

Prepare for Christmas with an Advent App

You can download the app here:

http://tinyurl.com/cb8hzdu

Additionally, if you would prefer to pause for a moment while at your desk there is also an online Advent calendar for daily reflections: www.cafod.org.uk/Pray/Advent-Calendar

North Wales is Hungry for Change

On Saturday, 10th November CAFOD officially launched ‘Hungry for Change’, a campaign which is calling for fundamental changes in the global food system so that power is more justly shared between rich and poor people, and more people can have access to enough food. It is estimated that 870 million people worldwide do not have enough food. Hunger is the world’s No 1 health risk, killing more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

250 campaigners from England and Wales gathered at the launch in Westminster Cathedral Hall to show their support and learn more about the campaign. Among the campaigners were 5 young people and 2 members of CAFOD staff from North Wales.

The North Wales campaigners with Maria-Elena and Fr Joe.

Martha Barnes was one of these young campaigners, and this is what she said about the day here:

Great Generation: Hungry For Change

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