Field visits

Here we go again!

February 5, 2012
by 
Guy Des Aulniers, Program Officer for Emergency Relief

By the time you read this, I'll already be in Kenya. This mission is a follow-up to our activities in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa. Last November, we visited Ethiopia. At the time, I was traveling with Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer, and Danielle Gobeil, Deputy Director of the International Programs Department. Sad to say, this time I'll be traveling alone.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) reports on Haiti

January 18, 2012
by 
Normand Comte, Program officer for Haiti

In their mission report, the president and vice president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) note that, “Development and Peace has earned a reputation in Haiti for its sense of partnership, respect for the capacity of the local community, and insistence on a sustainable, long-term approach to projects.”

Human Rights

December 20, 2011
by 
François Gloutnay, Communications officer

"It's not the earthquake that is the root cause of all these damages and all this loss of life. The real cause is rather in our way of living and the way we inhabit this piece of land." That is what the Haitian National Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace said in a recent paper entitled "Should Haiti Be Left to Die?"

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A Tent Cathedral and a Forest Nursery

December 19, 2011
by 
Most Rev. Richard Smith, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

A once magnificent building that now stands in ruins. Next to it a number of tents under which the people now gather to celebrate the Eucharist. This is what I discovered when I celebrated Mass at the "cathedral" on Sunday at the invitation of the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Most Reverend Guire Poulard. The cathedral was totally destroyed by the earthquake, as were adjacent Caritas and diocesan offices. The Archbishop most graciously invited me to preside at the Mass with his people, during which Archbishop Durocher preached a wonderful homily on the virtue of hope.

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Ethiopia: Gilio Brunelli's blog

November 6, 2011
by 
Gilio Brunelli, Director of International Programs

Gilio Brunelli, Director of International Programs at Development and Peace, was recently in Ethiopia to assess the food security of communities that have been impacted by ongoing drought-like conditions in the country. Changing weather patterns and inflated food costs have made it increasingly difficult for rural communities to have access to sufficient food and their livelihoods continue to be severely impacted by this situation. Here are his impressions.

Welcome to Ethiopia

November 19, 2011
by 
Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer

In many ways, my Ethiopian journey began this summer when ongoing drought conditions pushed many communities in the Horn of Africa into a food crisis. Unlike Somalia, famine was not declared in Ethiopia, yet it is the country with the most number of people affected by this crisis - approximately 4.5 million. As the situation unfolded in early July and the media reports started appearing, we began to receive phone calls from people wanting to help.

Nothing but Rock

November 22, 2011
by 
Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer

It is hard to imagine that 80% of the population in Ethiopia relies on agriculture for its sustenance, when on your way to Adigrat in the far North of the country. Leaving Addis by plane, below there is a mosaic of greens that swath the landscape. It doesn’t take long, however, for these small pastures to be replaced by rising mountains of rock. The landscape looks remote and inhospitable. The mountains rise like tables rather than peaks, and there is not a hint of vegetation. Views from the air can be deceiving and surely there is more to the landscape than these imposing rocks.

Thinking of today and tomorrow

November 23, 2011
by 
Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer

Walking through a rocky valley of the Tigray region in the northern part of Ethiopia, each footstep launches a cloud of dust into the air. This region, which is close to the Eritrean border, is one of the most affected by the recent food crisis. Even now, after some rain arrived at the end of August, as you walk deeper into the valley, you can’t help but notice that the cisterns are already dry and the fields are wilted.

Filling the gaps

November 26, 2011
by 
Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer

Even in a time like November, when the crops are being harvested, there are still some who face food shortages here. For female-headed households, widows and those whose crops simply did not take, they are confronted by circumstances that make the struggle to keep their families fed all the more difficult. This is where Caritas Ethiopia can play an important role in helping the vulnerable. Each diocese in Ethiopia has a local Catholic Secretariat that is implementing social and development programs, and helping to respond to the recurring droughts that keep affecting the country.

The importance of livestock

November 28, 2011
by 
Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer

We have been in the warm and welcoming company of the Harar Catholic Secretariat the last few days. In Ethiopia, there is always reference to the highlands and the lowlands. The lowlands are the deep valleys that wind their way through the many mountain chains here, while the highlands encompass the villages that crawl up towards the peaks. We are heading to the highlands today, climbing higher and higher along the way. The arid air gives little life to the land. The terraced slopes look dry and sparse.