Category Archives: poverty

Poverty-Care for Creation Appalachia Immersion Trip


Lexington, KY
Oct. 25-28, 2015 (29th optional) *RSVP Deadline: Sept. 1st

tin_can_8_10-980-copyPoverty in the U.S. is too often a forgotten and misunderstood reality, especially in the rural area of Appalachia. With Pope Francis’ encyclical linking Carefor Creation and poverty with “integral ecology,” CMSM invites you to consider an immersion encounter with the people in the concrete struggle for “integralecology.”

ENCOUNTER: We will have the opportunity to visit organizations working closely with those on the margins. Such organizations address health care, housing, women and children, sustainable food, and alternative schools. We will also visit sites and organizations that illuminate the issue of environmental destruction and health issues, such as strip mining, coal, black lung, and deforestation. We will learn from speakers from various viewpoints on these issues. There will be regular times for group prayer and reflection on our encounters to deepen insight and friendship with each other. *See below for a more detailed schedule.

WHO: You are invited! But also consider others in your community who may have a desire or who you think it may be helpful for them to have this personal encounter.

WHEN: 6pm Sunday Oct. 25th to 7pm Wed.Oct. 28, with optional Thursday morning session.

COSTS: Travel to Lexington, lodging, and some food/drink. We will provide some meals. We also have some financial assistance for those with particular need.Please don’t let money be a barrier to this deeply spiritual encounter.


The only pre-booking required is for Sunday evening Oct. 25th and Wed. evening Oct. 28th. Monday and Tuesday we will be traveling and staying at other locations.
For Sunday and Wed. we have reserved a block of rooms at:

University Inn  [ ]
1229 S. Limestone
Lexington, KY 40503
(859) 278-6625

Each participant will have to make their own reservations for each night. Rate: $90/night – bring your tax exempt information and its tax free. Both singles and double are available (share aroom and reduce expenses). Use the group name: CMSM when reserving a room. Please makeyour reservations before October 1st.

The hotel is about 6 miles from the airport. There is no shuttle service, so if you need a ride let us know ahead of time and we’ll pick you up.


The fall is still warm in Kentucky and it is shaping up to be a nice trip. This trip is not well suited for people with limited mobility. We will be travelling by van and have many stops during the day. Airport to use is Lexington, KY. *Please don’t purchase plane tickets until we confirm adequate numbers for the trip.

Rev. Neil Pezzulo: 513-304-2878 (cell)
Eli McCarthy: 510-717-8867 (cell)

RSVP and CONTACT: If you’re interested in joining us, please RSVP by Sept. 1st to
Brian McLauchlin at or 847-431-8145.

With Hope,
Schedule October 25 – 29, 2015

Sunday, October 25

6:00 p.m. Van pick up at Hotel for Dinner at Restaurant in Lexington, KY. Bp. John Stowe invited.

Monday, October 26

10:00 a.m. Orientation, Stanton, KY. Fr. John S. Rausch, Glmy

11:30 New Hope Clinic, Owingsville, KY–free clinic. Deacon Bill Grimes


1:30 p.m. Frontier Housing, Morehead, KY–low income housing. Tom Carew

3:30 Sarah’s Place, Sandy Hook, KY–women’s and children’s issue. Sr. Sally Neale


Tuesday, October 27

8:30 a.m. Prayer & Reflection about Monday

9:30 Christian Appalachian Project, Hagger Hill, KY–13th largest non-profit in U.S.

11:30 St. Vincent Mission, David, KY–sustainable food production. Sr. Kathleen Weiggen

1:00 p.m. David School, David, KY–alternative school. Diantha Daniels

2:30 Mountaintop Removal (Martin Co. or Salyersville)–strip mining.


Wednesday, October 28

8:30 a.m. Prayer and Reflection about Tuesday

9:30 Mt. Tabor Ecumen. Benedictine Monastery–only women’s monastery in E. KY

11:30 Vicco, KY–life after coal; Black Lung discussion

Lunch Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church–Franciscans

2:30 Robinson Forest Reclamation Project, Breathitt County

6:00 Arrive in Lexington (Prayer and Reflection TBD)


Thursday, October 29 (optional)

10:00 Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY–discuss land use. Christy Brown

Investigation Tears Veil Off World Bank’s “Promise” to Eradicate Poverty

Nearly 50 percent of the estimated 3.4 million people who were physically or economically displaced by World Bank-funded projects in the last decade were from Africa and Asia. Credit: Abdurrahman Warsameh/IPS
Nearly 50 percent of the estimated 3.4 million people who were physically or economically displaced by World Bank-funded projects in the last decade were from Africa and Asia. Credit: Abdurrahman Warsameh/IPS

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 16 2015 (IPS) – An expose published Thursday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and its media partners has revealed that in the course of a single decade, 3.4 million people were evicted from their homes, torn away from their lands or otherwise displaced by projects funded by the World Bank.

Over 50 journalists from 21 countries worked for nearly 12 months to systematically analyze the bank’s promise to protect vulnerable communities from the negative impacts of its own projects. Continue reading Investigation Tears Veil Off World Bank’s “Promise” to Eradicate Poverty

Obama Pushes Africa Investment as US Corporations ‘Drool’ over Resources

Common Dreams

Critics warn Obama’s multibillion dollar push to open Africa for U.S. business will further dispossess and impoverish people across the continent.

By Sarah Lazare, staff writer

President Barack Obama takes the stage to deliver remarks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel during the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama takes the stage to deliver remarks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel during the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)






At a  Washington, DC gathering of African state leaders and U.S. corporations, President Obama on Tuesday unveiled a multi-billion dollar drive to promote U.S. business investments in Africa. While the President said the plan will unleash “the next era of African growth,” experts warn it amounts to more of the same extractive policies that have already impoverished and dispossessed people across the continent.

“All you have to do is look who has a seat at the table to understand what is happening,” said Emira Woods, expert on U.S. foreign policy in Africa and social impact director at [ ]ThoughtWorks, a technology firm committed to social and economic justice, in an interview with Common Dreams. “We’re talking African leaders, some with bad human rights records, and American CEOs.”

“Strip away all the modern PR and prettified palaver and it’s an ugly scramble for oil, minerals, and markets for U.S. goods. Everyone wants a piece of Africa: drooling outsiders, corrupt insiders, cynical middle men.”
—John Feffer, Foreign Policy in Focus
Obama’s much-touted “Africa Summit”—which started Monday and ends Wednesday—is co-sponsored by the U.S. Commerce Department and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s foundation, and was attended by chief executives of General Electric, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, IBM, and other multinational corporations. Continue reading Obama Pushes Africa Investment as US Corporations ‘Drool’ over Resources

The “Billion Dollar Map” Under the Appearance of Good



The Billion Dollar Map
econ3The World Bank has presented a new project called “Billion Dollar Map” aimed at helping African governments find out about natural resources in their countries. The project tries to identify those natural resources which are not yet exploited in African countries, estimate the reserves of these resources as well as their value on the market. The World Bank believes that the information will help African governments in negotiations and that civil society will be able to assess the value of any deal.

It is estimated that 30 sub-Saharan African countries are significantly rich in natural resources and that they hold 30% of the world’s reserves of uranium, platinum, diamonds and gold. Moreover, the continent has great reserves of oil, coal and gas. In spite of this wealth, 50% of its population is living below the poverty line.

According to a 2013 report by Global Financial Integrity, African countries have lost between $600 Billion and $1.4 trillion over the past 30 years in net resources transfer. However, it is not only the lack of information that causes the loss of millions of dollars every year; there is also a set of problems caused by a lack of transparency in negotiations, an unfair tax system, the abuse of transnational companies operating in developing countries and corruption or inadequate infrastructure.

Continue reading The “Billion Dollar Map” Under the Appearance of Good

What’s Wrong With the Electrify Africa Act

The  , Foreign Policy In Focus, Janet Redman, Emira Woods, John Cavanagh and Foreign Policy In Focus

Secretary of State John Kerry tours the General Electric
Secretary of State John Kerry tours the General Electric

Secretary of State John Kerry tours the General Electric compound in Angola

This week, the House will vote on the Electrify Africa Act. This bill directs the president to draw up a multi-year strategy to strengthen the ability of countries in sub-Saharan Africa to “develop an appropriate mix of power solutions” to provide electricity, fight poverty and “drive economic growth.”

Because of strong pressure from climate justice advocates, some positives—such as integrated resource planning and decentralized renewable energy—are named as a part of that mix. But because it still leaves the door wide open to fossil fuels, the bill doesn’t go far enough to protect people or their environment.

And the debate over Electrify Africa continues as the Senate drafts a companion bill.

Powering Fossil Fuels

Behind both pieces of legislation is a White House initiative announced last summer called “[ ]Power Africa.” It frames President Barack Obama’s approach to energy investment on the continent, which has been condemned by environmental justice groups. It’s an “all of the above” energy strategy that favors the fossil fuel companies that are destroying the planet and corrupting Washington.

Continue reading What’s Wrong With the Electrify Africa Act

Africa loses $50bn a year in plundered resources

Mail & Guardian

Lynley Donnelly  

Clamping down on illicit plundering of food and natural resources could curb Africa’s food shortages, says the latest Africa Progress Panel report.

African Forest and Fisheries
African Forest and Fisheries

Africa’s forests and fisheries, which could be an answer to the continent’s food shortages and dire poverty levels, are instead being stripped illicitly to the tune of almost $20-billion each year.

When added to the losses the continent is experiencing as a result of other illicit outflows, $50-billion is lost overall each year, or 5.7% of sub-Saharan Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP).

This is according to findings from the latest Africa Progress Panel report released on Thursday. It was scheduled to launch in Abuja, Nigeria, where the [ ]World Economic Forum on Africa is being held, but the launch was moved to London because of rising security concerns.

Senegal was estimated to lose as much as $300-million or 2% of its national GDP to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing alone in 2012, according to the report.

Continue reading Africa loses $50bn a year in plundered resources

Will Congo’s poor benefit from world’s largest dam project?

Pambazuka News

Despite being in the path of this huge project, the people have very little information about the dam and the impacts it will bring to their lives. The situation is the same everywhere in Africa where poor communities are relocated to make way for huge infrastructure projects

Rudo Sanyanga
congo4Africa’s poorest nation, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), plans to build the world’s largest (and most expensive) hydropower dam, Grand Inga on the Congo River’s Inga Falls. A day before I set forth for the DRC, the huge project took a significant step forward with the signing of a “cooperation treaty” by the DRC and South African governments. The treaty makes South Africa the principal purchaser of the power generated at Inga III power plant, the first phase of the Grand Inga. The country will buy 2500 MW of the total 4800 MW from the proposed dam. The balance will be sold to mining companies in Katanga in southeastern DRC. As expected, the signing event, held in Paris in May, attracted a lot of media coverage and excitement within the government circles in the DRC and internationally. It made headline news within the DRC for a week running. My mission was to see for myself what challenges that damming the Congo River at Inga Falls would bring. Continue reading Will Congo’s poor benefit from world’s largest dam project?

The Pope Against Poverty

By Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro

As a lifelong Catholic whose values were formed in the parish of St. Michael’s in Wooster Square, New Haven, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity last March to be there when Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio became Pope. With charisma, grace, and humility, an open heart and an inclusive vision, Cardinal Bergoglio spoke eloquently about the message of his Papacy and the choice of Francis as his name, the first so named in the two-millennium history of the Church.

The symbolism is unmistakable. Is there any saint in Christian history more beloved than Francis of Assisi? The choice reflects that this papacy will be centered, as was the life of Francis of Assisi, on the call to service, and on our moral responsibility to the least fortunate and most vulnerable members of our society. Pope Francis knows these struggles firsthand. He is the son of Italian immigrants to Argentina – immigrants seeking a better life. His father was a railroad worker. In his brief tenure so far, he has urged the Church to look outward – not to be obsessed purely with its internal struggles, but to see that its flock is suffering. Continue reading The Pope Against Poverty

UK: Catholic charities fight to survive government cuts

Independent Catholic News

The Society helps more than 2,000 children each year
The Society helps more than 2,000 children each year

Research by False Economy, a campaigning group against cuts in public expenditure has found that more than 2,000 charities are closing services or reducing their staff because local authorities are withdrawing or reducing their funding to charities by £110 million.

Commenting on the findings and the impact of cuts upon charities supporting children and young people, Dr Rosemary Keenan, Chief Executive of the Catholic Children’s Society said: “Children are amongst the most vulnerable within our society, it is particularly worrying that charities working to support them are facing cuts of mre than £17.04 million with an average cut of 64% to the charities affected.” Continue reading UK: Catholic charities fight to survive government cuts