With Christmas upon us, we are reconciled with life and the knowledge that God still believes – and always will believe – in humanity. My best wishes go out to all of you who worked with us, who believed in our mission, who supported us throughout the year, and who prayed for us. To our members, our partners, our friends and allies, to our pastors, our donors, to our staff, their families and their loved ones but most of all, to the poor and marginalized for whom we exist,: Joy and Peace.
The Christmas break is also the sign that we have come to the end of a work period which began on our return from summer holidays. During this time, Development and Peace carried out its campaign A Voice for Justice, to allow for the voices of populations suffering from the effects of irresponsible mining activities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle-East to be heard in our own country. As we have been doing for 46 years, we worked alongside local populations in the Global South, committed to building better societies for all, through their arduous daily and long-term struggle against the root causes of injustice.
These past months, Development and Peace also did its best to respond quickly and efficiently to the urgent needs of millions of people affected by disasters, such as the ongoing conflict in Syria, or the devastation which has hit the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan on November 8th. Thanks to your generous support, we have been able to offer several millions of dollars in assistance to the populations affected by the Syrian crisis since September, while the work in the Philippines has begun in earnest, and the call for donations is not over. We have just sent one million dollars to the Philippines for the work of Caritas Philippines-NASSA and another $420,000 to Church World Service – Asia/Pacific. As you know, the government will match donations to charitable organizations such as Development and Peace, until December 23rd, and will dedicate these amounts to a special fund so that the relief efforts can continue in the Philippines. Of course, the needs are of such a scope that help will be needed far beyond December 23rd, both in the Philippines and in Syria.
As we begin this very festive season, and rejoice in that a child was born, my wish is that the miracle of Life itself breaks through the gray of our daily lives, and allows for us to join in a renewal and rebirth in 2014 that takes us back on the road in January with replenished energy and resolve. Merry Christmas,
Gilio Brunelli Director International Programs