Parishioners in North Wales share Brazilian families’ joy after campaign success

Thanks to the support of parishioners from across the Diocese of Wrexham 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.

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#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 Wrexham, Colette Byrne, added: “The way that parishioners from Wrexham 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

 

Four Ways to Get Involved with the Power to Be campaign in Your Parish

Every child has the power to achieve great things, yet without access to electricity, the world’s children are being held back from living life to the full. Renewable energy gives children the power to break free from poverty. By supporting our Power to Be campaign, you and your parish can change lives for good.

Here are four ways to launch Power to Be in your parish:

1. Sign cards in your community

Order campaign action cards for everyone in your parish and get people to sign and send them to Melanie Robinson, the UK’s representative at the World Bank, to ask her to support renewable energy to tackle poverty, so that everyone can fulfil their God-given potential.

St Joseph’s Penketh in the Liverpool Archdiocese managed to get a fantastic 253 postcards signed and sent to CAFOD. Could you do the same?

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  1. Organise a Power to Be liturgy

Invite your parish or school to pray together with our Power to Be liturgy. You can even involve the children with our new children’s liturgy resource.

  1. Spread the Word

Use our short talk and our prayers of intercession to get the word out in your parish. You can look at our organiser’s guide for more ideas.

Parishioners from The Mission on Anglesey, Anglesey particapated in their own Power to Be card signing back in June.

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  1. Get creative

Create an eye-catching Power to Be sun display; perfect for children and adults alike!

St Joseph’s Primary, Llangefni and God the Holy Spirit Primary, Newtown set great examples earlier in the year, with their suns display which had promises to save energy, prayers for change and messages to the World Bank on its rays. Can you do something similar?

Children from St Joseph's Anglesey Power to Be

St Joseph’s wonderful Power to Be sun

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God the Holy Spirit’s great Power to Be sun

We have already had some fantastic responses to our campaign, but there is still time for you to get involved and make a difference. Colette Byrne said “This is a campaign with a real focus – we really can make a difference in practical ways and it is so simple!”

Find out more here.

 

Help Support The Maua Community in Brazil #ficamaua

CAFOD and the Maua community

CAFOD’s Connect2 project in Brazil focuses on the communities in Sao Paulo, Brazil. One of these is the Maua community which resides in the Maua building in the centre of Sao Paulo. The building was originally a hotel, but was left empty for 17 years until over 200 homeless families renovated it and moved in in 2007. Since then, they have been desperately trying to win their legal rights to live there and have recently been engaging in negotiations with the authorities. The situation has now become urgent as a shock eviction notice has been given to the community, meaning that over 200 families now face being forced out of their homes by police on 22nd October 2017.

Colette supporting the #ficamaua campaign

CAFOD’s partner in Brazil APOIO is currently working with the Maua community to try and defend their right to secure housing, however there is no further legal option to save the community. This means that the only option left to them is for the international Catholic community to put pressure on the authorities to stop the eviction.

Neti de Araujo, a community leader within the Maua community who has met with CAFOD supporters in the past has said: “We in the Maua community have spent 10 years living in this building which we have cleaned, looked after and made into a home for 237 families. For years we have been negotiating for the acquisition of this building for social housing with an affordable rent. Now we are at risk of an eviction. We have not been offered an alternative. We will have to leave our homes and live in the street. I am counting on you and your prayers”

What can you do to help?

Staff and volunteers in North Wales have been showing their solidarity with the Maua community. Colette said “We are upset to learn that local authorities are trying to evict people who have worked so hard to improve their accommodation, especially when it is so desperately needed and when it is such a fantastic community. We have been involved with the Maua community for over 10 years and we urge the authorities to reconsider this decision.”

Can you sign the petition asking the Brazilian authorities to suspend the eviction and to negotiate a just, permanent solution for the families? Can you print off the petition and ask people in your parish or community to add their signatures? Will you show solidarity with the Maua community by taking a picture of yourself holding a sign saying #ficamaua to share with us on social media?

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Volunteers in North Wales supporting the #Ficamaua campaign

Read more about our campaign