sábado, 27 de julho de 2013


Apelo da minha amiga Chris Crowstaff e meu: Dear Supporters, As you may or may not know, Andrew and I recently returned from a visit to the United Nations in Geneva. The visit was funded by Katerva and we went there to receive the 2013 'Katerva People's Choice Award' and 'Katerva Gender Equality Award', on the 2nd July. I dedicated the awards to Farida Afridi, co-founder of SAWERA, our Field Partner working in the tribal regions of Pakistan. Farida was murdered on the 4th July last year, following threats related to her work to promote education, women's empowerment and peace. We showed a film about our work with the grassroots - 'Listen to the Grassroots' - and I then gave a ten minute speech, highlighting the work of some of our Field Partners. Our key message to the UN was the importance of grassroots voices. This was the annual review of the Millenium Develepment Goals and I emphasised that grassroots need to be stakeholders in the MDGs and the post-2015 development processes. It meant so much to be able to give a voice to our Field Partners at the United Nations. It is our sincere hope that, in the near future, they will be able to speak there for themselves. The voice of the grassroots is so much needed. This is bitterly emphasised by the recent famine in Kaabong, Uganda. Our Field Partner in Karamoja - AWARE Uganda - know what is needed. Over 25 years ago they planted an orchard. Fresh fruit is a valuable commodity in Kaabong, Karamoja. AWARE used to supply fruit to the local hospital. However, when I visited with my husband Andrew in 2009, the orchard was suffering from lack of rain. AWARE Uganda became our first Field Partner. And, last year, we launched our first Field Partner Appeal - the Orchard Project Appleal: a fund for irrigation for the orchard. However, it was a constant struggle to raise awareness. Perhaps people found it hard to imagine that an orchard could be so critical. However, Karamoja - a semi-desert warrior region on the border of South Sudan and Kenya, has suffered increasing climatic extremes over the last few years. And those who have suffered most are the women and children. And especially Kaabong. Kaabong has now hit crisis point. In May this year, devastating floods hit Kaabong, displacing 4,000 people including women, children and breast-feeding mothers. Crops were destroyed, together with crucial infrastructure - namely dirt tracks which people depend upon for movement around the district. The floods are now followed by drought, which has further destroyed local food production. Yesterday, I spoke on the phone to Grace Loumo - founder of AWARE Uganda, about the current famine. Grace confirmed that the situation in Kaabong is indeed very dire. I was heartbroken to learn from Grace that four women members of AWARE Uganda were buried last week, due to starvation. Many more are at risk. "People living with HIV need extra nutrition", Grace told me. "They are especially vulnerable to famine conditions." We have set up a crisis appeal for our friends in Kaabong. It would of course be hugely appreciated by everyone concerned if you could share the appeal far and wide. The need of the grassroots is very real. And they know what is needed to provide long-term solutions! There are so many highs and lows in our work. It is hard to express the elation of seeing the children of Kaabong singing at the Unite Nations (in our video) and then returning to find that they are so hungry that they can no longer go to school. Your ongoing support and compassion is very much appreciated, Peace and solidarity, Chris Visit The Safe World Community at: http://safeworldcommunity.net/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

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