On the eve of Solidarity Sunday, I would like to convey my most sincere thanks to our members and our staff who traveled to parishes across Canada since the beginning of Lent Season to bring a message of peace, love, sharing and solidarity to fellow Canadians. I would also like to thank all of those who have contributed to our Share Lent campaign and to encourage parishioners who will be attending mass this Sunday to have a special thought for our sisters and brothers in the Global South.
Our mission as an international solidarity organization goes beyond what we offer to the populations of the Global South. When Development and Peace – Caritas Canada was founded 50 years ago, Canadian bishops expressed the desire to raise awareness so that Canadians would better understand the issues facing developing countries. It is out of this multifold mission that our Share Lent campaign was born.
This year’s thematic Women at the Heart of Change reminds us the very special importance and role women have in every aspect of development, and invites us to advocate for an equal and inclusive society, one in which women can participate hand-in-hand with men in building the world of tomorrow.
In the past weeks, many of you have had the chance to discover inspiring women from all over the world. I am thinking of Marta and Silvia, two peasants from Paraguay who are taking action for a society based on social justice, while promoting food sovereignty and organic farming. I am also thinking of Risya and Mugniar, from Indonesia, who have taken training with our partner AJI (Association of Independent Journalists) and who today write to share information on the issues that affect women in their country. There is also, Cecile, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who has had the courage to denounce sexual violence, thus becoming a source of inspiration for hundreds of other women and girls in her community who carry the same burden. Lastly, I’m thinking of Hayfa, Loubna and Hannan who live the daily horrors of the Syrian conflict, and who received training that helps them improve living conditions for their families.
This Solidarity Sunday, I invite you to open your heart to the sufferings, injustices and obstacles faced every single day by millions of women and girls all over the world. Your donation makes a difference in the life of the poorest and most vulnerable people in our human family. Once again, I thank you for walking by our side over the past 50 years and invite you to give generously.
Serge Langlois, Executive Director
Development and Peace – Caritas Canada