Category Archives: Uncategorized

AFJN Women’s Empowerment: The Story of Sr. Theresa Anyabuike

AFJN

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After I attended the “National Conference on Just Governance: The Nigerian Biosafety Act and GMOs – Implications for Nigerians and Africa” organized by AFJN in collaboration with other Nigerian NGOs in Abuja, May 24−26, 2016, I was moved to action, particularly after listening to the lack of government guidelines and regulations on the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in Nigeria, as well as the environmental, social and health implications of this way of growing the food. Feeling strongly that no one has the right to colonize the Nigerian food system, I know I have to do something to let the people know what is going on in our country.

At the end of the conference, I knew that the people I work with, the Community Self-help Association of the Justice Development and Peace Mission, Oro, Ilorin Diocese, Kwara State Nigeria, should be made aware of the danger ahead of them in relation to the food we consume and the way the food is grown. On July 23, 2016, I held an awareness workshop where fifteen people comprising of farmers and civil servants attended.

At the workshop, I shared with the participants what I learned at the Abuja conference: the loopholes in the Nigerian biosaftey laws, the government granting Monsanto a sweeping concession to introduce genetically modified crops in Nigeria and target Nigeria’s major crops, and the overall implications of genetically modified crops for the nation. Mostly, I expressed my fears on the activities of big corporations like Monsanto which is nothing other than the colonization of our nation’s food system.

During the workshop, the participants shared their experiences in relation to their fears about GMOs. One of the farmers shared how the crops he had in his farm didn’t do well because of the chemicals he used. He confirmed that some persons gave him and other farmers from his locality the chemicals they used which affected their crops. Another said that the maize (corn) he planted earlier produced a bumper harvest, but the recent ones were diseased. He lamented, “I know that some people are giving out crops and chemicals for farmers to use. I got some, and now my crops are no longer the same.”  Further, another participant shared that there was a period in which some farmers brought abnormally large tomatoes to the market. He told them that the tomatoes were GMO because they were bigger than the natural organic tomatoes, but they didn’t listen to him. Others said that Agrochemical agents advised them to use chemicals on their farms.

The participants were shocked at the level of government insensitivity, to allow Monsanto and GMOs (and the chemicals that come with them) into the country. They expressed concern that they have consumed or planted some genetically modified produce.

At the end of the workshop, I felt confident that the group saw the danger ahead if GMOs are allowed to take over the Nigerian way of growing the food we eat, which is healthier and more sustainable. I was also delighted that they pledged not to allow anyone control to their food system. They committed themselves to going back to their rural areas and localities to disseminate the information as well as to educate other farmers to be vigilant and not to be deceived by anyone who comes promising bumper harvest by altering their natural way of growing. The participants also pledged to stand against anyone who wants to sell the nation to big corporations and anyone who wants to subject the country to a new form of colonization, one where outsiders control our seed, land and way of growing food.

The DRC Elections: the Electoral Commission’s Chairman Explains

AFJN

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The DRC Elections: the Electoral Commission’s Chairman Explains

In March the President of the electoral commission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mr. Cornielle Nangaa, was in Washington, D.C. to meet with partners and share with them the status of the electoral process in his country. The presidential election, one of the eleven elections required by law in the DRC, is currently the main concern of the opposition, pressure groups, religious institutions and the international community. During Mr. Nangaa’s address to civil society and pressure groups at the DRC Embassy in Washington he explained some key facts and answered a number of questions which are summarized below. Continue reading The DRC Elections: the Electoral Commission’s Chairman Explains

Vatican funds job-creation project for refugees in Jordan

Catholic Universe

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A Christian family who fled from violence in Mosul, Iraq, sit in the room of a church in 2014 in Amman, Jordan. The Vatican is funding a job-creation program for Iraqi refugees in Jordan, a country that is hosting close to 1.5 million refugees, but is struggling to provide work for them. (CNS photo/Jamal Nasrallah, EPA) See JORDAN-REFUGEE-JOBS May 10, 2016.

The Vatican is funding a job-creation programme for Iraqi refugees in Jordan, a country that is hosting close to 1.5 million refugees, but is struggling to provide work for them.
With €132,000 donated to the Vatican by visitors to its pavilion at the World’s Fair in Milan in 2015, the Vatican will provide the funding that Caritas Jordan needs to launch the project.
Fifteen Iraqi refugees will have full-time work cultivating, producing and selling vegetables and oil, said a communique from the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vatican office which promotes and distributes Catholic charity. The jobs will allow them to provide for their families and become self-supporting, the office said.
Another 200 Iraqi refugees will be given training in carpentry, agriculture and the food industry, Cor Unum said, and an additional 500 will be given seasonal employment. Continue reading Vatican funds job-creation project for refugees in Jordan

‘DR Congo entering period of political contestation’

Deutche Wella

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Moise Katumbi Chapwe Kongo. former governor of Katanga province in the DRC.

A coalition of 16 opposition parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo has nominated Moise Katumbi as their presidential candidate for the November poll. The former governor of Katanga is yet to accept the nomination.
As the Democratic Republic of Congo gears up for elections scheduled for November, opposition parties are strategizing how best to win at the ballot box. Incumbent President Joseph Kabila’s second term is coming to an end in December and the constitution bars him from running for another term. Continue reading ‘DR Congo entering period of political contestation’

Vatican: Catholic-Muslim meeting highlights shared beliefs

Independent Catholic News
Catholic and Muslim experts in inter-religious dialogue have issued a joint statement stressing their shared beliefs as a basis for peaceful coexistence and cooperation for the common good. The statement includes eight points of convergence, including a call for basic human rights to be protected by law, a pledge of solidarity with all those in need, a rejection of all forms of proselytism and a focus on the right of young people to an education that is “respectful of diversity.” Continue reading Vatican: Catholic-Muslim meeting highlights shared beliefs

Why the Economy Should Stop Growing—And Just Grow Up

YES Magazine
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“How do we grow the economy?” is an obsolete question. Local initiatives across the world are looking for maturity instead as they rebuild caring, place-based communities and economies.
David Korten
Listen to the political candidates as they put forward their economic solutions. You will hear a well-established and rarely challenged narrative. “We must grow the economy to produce jobs so people will have the money to grow their consumption, which will grow more jobs…” Grow. Grow. Grow.
But children and adolescents grow. Adults mature. It is time to reframe the debate to recognize that we have pushed growth in material consumption beyond Earth’s environmental limits. We must now shift our economic priority from growth to maturity—meeting the needs of all within the limits of what Earth can provide. Continue reading Why the Economy Should Stop Growing—And Just Grow Up

Malema and other political parties must stop ‘the war talk’

Southern Africa Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Justice and Peace Commission of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) has called on all political parties to avoid making statements that could incite election violence and civil war.Bishop Abel Gabuza‚ the chairperson of the SACBC Justice and Peace Commission‚ issued the call on Monday in response to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema‚ who said during a televised interview that if the ANC continues to respond violently to peaceful protests‚ “We will run out of patience very soon and we will remove this government through the barrel of a gun” Continue reading Malema and other political parties must stop ‘the war talk’