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?

FICNW2

Volunteers in North Wales supporting the #Ficamaua campaign

Read more about our campaign

Local Cytun (Churches together in Wales) support Romero celebration in Mold, St. David’s Parish

On what would have been the 100th birthday of Blessed Romero, CAFOD volunteer Katja Jewell speaks of her event  at St David’s Parish this weekend.

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In March Bishop Peter Brignall welcomed the Archbishop Oscar Romero Trust into the Diocese of Wrexham.  The deeply moving talk by Martha Zechmeister (SJ) on Blessed Oscar Romero and the impact of his life and sacrifice on our own personal discipleship, but also the church as a whole, inspired us all.

Following on from a diocesan gathering in June a small group of parishioners in St. David’s Mold, organised a special celebration for the 100th birthday of Blessed Oscar Romero, Archbishop of El Salvador, assassinated in 1980 for speaking up for the poor.

A short talk was given after Mass on Sunday, with the invitation to watch a brief yet superb video by the Romero Trust. Fairtrade roses and specially made bookmarks were handed out to every parishioner.

The hall was decorated with bright colours and garden flowers, fairtrade tea and coffee was served with cakes, following recipes from the “Global Bakery Book “ of the New Internationalist (ISBN 978-1-78026-1),  including a recipe said to be one of Romero’s favourite cakes, a sweet cake, containing savoury hard cheese.

This simple yet fitting way to come together was even more precious as we welcomed members of other parishes and denominations of the ‘Churches together in Wales (Cytun)’. Parishioners were also told of a Welsh language song to celebrate Blessed Oscar Romero, which can also be found on the Romero Trust Website.

The Parish of St. David’s has followed the Cafod Parish scheme connect2 for many years. After engaging with Cafod supported projects in Brazil, the parish will now follow the lives of communities in El Salvador.

In 2013, St. David’s, Mold had a visit from members of the village of Puentecitos,  El Salvador. Julia and Fidel talked to the children of the primary school  about their community and their daily joys and struggles.  The following months will help us to catch up with news from Puentecitos.

The event raised interest, awareness and vital funds for the Romero Trust, as we vouched on the day of Martha’s talk.

We would like to emphasise again the importance of high quality speakers and partners of the global south to visit our small parishes in North wales.

The direct experience and personal exchange is weaving us all together in the global network of faith, justice and peace.

Diolch yn Fawr – thank you.

Written by CAFOD volunteer Katja Jewell 

Updates from Connect2 El Salvador

GroupIn March last year we were delighted when Julia and Fidel from El Salvador spent a couple of days with us here in North Wales. Partner visits are always very special occasions, and this was made even more special when during Stations of the Cross in St David’s Primary School it was announced that Pope Francis had been elected. It was a unique moment, where the two communities of Puentecitos and St David’s were able to share in the joy of this news.

Since Julia and Fidel returned to Puentecitos we have continued to keep in touch, and also hear news from Erasmo and Sandra, who did not travel to Wales but travelled with Julia and Fidel during their visit to the UK.

You can read Erasmo’s letter here

Also, we received a letter from the children in Puentecitos:

“To students and children in schools in Wales:

Dear friends,

We are children and teenagers of the Children’s Missionary group in Guaymango, El Salvador.  We want to tell you that we were really happy to receive the presents and cards you sent us.  Here in El Salvador the Youth Missionary Movement works with children and teenagers in many parishes.  In our group there are 9 children and we meet every week to study a book with 52 topics which takes one year to work through.  Our book is called “Small Missionary Steps”, and as we are starting with the first book, we are in the stage “green wheat”.

We want you to know that every week when we get together for our meetings we pray for all the children of the World.  We study the chapter for that week and we bring something to share.  In this way we are learning to love Jesus and our brothers and sisters.  We especially want you to know that we are always praying for you.

With lots of love,

The children of Puentecitos.”

To find out how your parish can become a Connect2 parish for El Salvador or Brazil, Cambodia and Ethiopia visit:

http://www.cafod.org.uk/Fundraise/Fundraising-ideas/Connect2