Posts Tagged ‘Hunger’

Poverty and Plenty Affect Intelligent Decisions

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Dear Friend,

I recently came across a fascinating article in Harvard Magazine. Its title, “The Science of Scarcity,” sums up an emerging topic among behavioral economists, the people who study why we make the economic decisions that we do.

What they find is that when any of us are poor—indeed when we face scarcity of any kind—we tend to make bad decisions. Poverty actually lowers our IQ by limiting what these economists call our “bandwidth.” When we are consumed with the problems of poverty—like where our next meal is coming from—we have less of our brain left over to think clearly in a long term fashion.

Ibrahim Nadashi, 66 years old, participates in a reading and writing class in Ruwawuri, Nigeria. The class is helping people learn these skills so they can earn a living with dignity. Photo by Michael Stulman/CRS

Ibrahim Nadashi, 66 years old, participates in a reading and writing class in Ruwawuri, Nigeria. The class is helping people learn these skills so they can earn a living with dignity. Photo by Michael Stulman/CRS

Did you know that in this country high school students’ SAT scores correlate consistently with only one measurement: household income? The higher the income, the higher the score, and vice versa. Some say this shows that the wealthy can afford test prep tutors. Others say it proves that our capitalist meritocracy works, that the smart are rewarded.

But it’s clear to me that students living in poverty do not score lower because they are inherently less intelligent. They score lower because the stress of poverty robs them of their intelligence. As the article states, people aren’t poor because they sometimes make bad decisions; people sometimes make bad decisions because they are poor.

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Pope Francis Calls for ‘Change of Paradigm’ in Ending World Hunger

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

VATICAN CITY, October 17, 2014 (Zenit.org)

Bor County (Kondai Village - Makuach Payam), South Sudan - Beneficiaries Ayak Wal Garang, 14, and her father, Wal Garang Dhiek, 42, remove weeds from the family's groundnut field. The tools they're using and seeds for the groundnuts were provided by Catholic Relief Services. Ric Francis for CRS

Bor County (Kondai Village – Makuach Payam), South Sudan – Beneficiaries Ayak Wal Garang, 14, and her father, Wal Garang Dhiek, 42, remove weeds from the family’s groundnut field. The tools they’re using and seeds for the groundnuts were provided by Catholic Relief Services. Ric Francis for CRS

Pope Francis says that defeating world hunger will require more than aid and donations. Instead, we must “change the paradigm of aid and development policies” and change “how we understand work, economic aims and activity, food production and the protection of the environment.”

The Pope said this in a message to the director general of the FAO, Jose Graziano da Silva, to mark World Food Day, held Thursday.

World Food Day was instituted in 1979 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in order to raise public awareness and strengthen solidarity in the fight against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

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God’s Fields Are Never Fallow

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Dear Friend,

There is no time like fall to appreciate the magnificent generosity of God. The fields that a few weeks ago were filled with plants reaching for the sky—full of grain and corn and beans and all sorts of other crops—have yielded their bounty.

In orchards’ tidy rows, the branches of trees that were dipping toward the ground as they tried to support the burden of their heavy fruits, have done the same.

In so many ways, the earth lets us know once again that its promise has been fulfilled as God intended. With fields harvested and those orchards picked, their abundance is now available to us, whether in farm markets or roadside stands or at your local supermarket. This is the time of year when we can see and smell and taste how good God is to us. There is no doubt. But when we think of the fruits of the harvest, let us not limit ourselves to this familiar yearly cycle. There are many seeds that are planted which do not bear their fruit according to that calendar. Some take years to mature.

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A Day in the Life of a Farmer-to-Farmer Volunteer

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Velma Gwishiri, Leadership Skills and Management Training for the Namubuka Grains Area Cooperative Enterprise

Editor’s Note: This article is a contribution to a week-long blog carnival on USAID’s John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program. From July 14-18, F2F program partners and American volunteers are sharing their knowledge and experience of providing technical assistance to farmers, farm groups, agribusinesses, service providers, and other agriculture sector institutions in developing and transitional countries. This blog carnival aims to capture and share this program experience. You can find all contributions on Agrilinks.

Ric Francis for CRS

Ric Francis for CRS

In the spring of 2014, Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer Velma Gwishiri led a month-long assignment on leadership skills and management training for the Namubuka Grains Area Cooperative Enterprise (ACE) in Uganda.

Namubuka ACE was formed with the overall objective of improving smallholder farmers’ incomes and livelihoods through improving their productivity and access to competitive markets. Namubuka ACE members are farmers whose main livelihood is derived from maize cultivation on small land parcels with low yields.

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Sahel Food Crisis: A Refugee’s Story

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

By Helen Blakesley

Refugee camp

Fadimata Walet Haiballa (in blue) is a refugee living in the camp in Fererio, northern Burkina Faso. Her husband was killed in the violence in northern Mali, so she fled with her 3 children. Photo by Helen Blakesley/CRS

Fadimata Walet Haiballa is a 49-year-old Tuareg woman from Gao in Mali. She’s been living in Fererio temporary refugee camp, Burkina Faso for nearly 6 months now. Her husband was killed in the violence in the North of their home country. She fled with her three children, her 82 year-old father and other family members, traveling for two days to reach neighboring Burkina Faso. She’s the women’s representative on the camp committee.

The militia rebels spread terror in our region. They would harass us, knock things from our hands … and worse. There were bombings, executions. I lost my husband in one of the bombings. We had to leave. We were terrified.

I left all I had behind. Life has changed completely. Back in Mali, before the troubles, we were in our big, beautiful house. We lived in good conditions. We didn’t know fear, we didn’t have this hot sun beating down on us. I had the father of my children with me. Now we’re here in the dust, with the sun. We’re thirsty, we’re surviving on mediocre food. So a lot has changed. Above all, my work, my job, with which I could feed and clothe my children, that’s all gone.
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World Food Day

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Last week, in preparation for World Food Day, we ran four important reminders for CRS supporters.

1. Every day is World Food Day. CRS supporters are invovled daily in the fight against hunger.
2. You’re moved by compassion and respond with expertise.
3. There are many meaningful ways to help fight hunger.
4. You’re already there. Before hunger disasters strike, your support puts experts on the ground to help reduce the impact of drought, famine, floods and other causes of food shortages.

Thanks for supporting CRS, loving the poorest of the poor, and making every day World Food Day.

World Food Day: You’re already there.

Friday, October 14th, 2011
Ethiopia farm

Mussie Sala stands amid healthy corn stalks he irrigates through a CRS-supported water project at his small farm plot in the village of Ija Aneni in eastern Ethiopia. Photo by David Snyder for CRS

CRS beneficiary Mussie Sala stands amid healthy corn stalks he irrigates through a CRS-supported water project at his small farm plot in the village of Ija Aneni in eastern Ethiopia. Though other farmers are suffering from an ongoing drought in this region, Sala says his corn and other crops are doing well because of his access to water.

The drought in East Africa has forced 13 million people to seek food aid. Many face malnutrition and even starvation.

As we noted here, you can have an effective role in solving massive emergencies such as this drought.

Here’s an equally important fact: As a CRS supporter, you were sparing lives before the rest of the world noticed the disaster existed.

Mussie Sala and many more like him are able to survive in the midst of the worst East Africa drought in decades. You supported well drilling, irrigation and other water projects. So they have crops and their livestock has water.

You help put CRS to work all over the world to end hunger. Always. Not only during emergencies. In fact, just about anywhere disaster strikes, you’re a first responder. Because you’re already there.

Thank you for helping CRS make every day World Food Day.

World Food Day: Many Meaningful Ways to Help

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
Haiti hospital

A friend cares for a woman injured in the Haiti earthquake. CRS delivered food, clothing and medical supplies donated from Catholics in the Dominican Republic to Port-au-Prince’s oldest hospital, St. Francois de Sales. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS

World Food Day, October 16, will remind us of how many people in the world face daily, grinding hunger.

Taken in one glance, the problems can overwhelm. Can I possibly bring meaningful help to a problem of this magnitude?

Yes, in lots of ways, actually. All of them offer the opportunity to deliver maximum help for a single person, family or parish or community. And they’re all acts of faith:

Prayer

Food Fast: A hunger retreat.

Fair Trade: Coffee, craft, chocolate.

Advocacy Legisative action.

Operation Rice Bowl: Lenten reflection.

Footsteps in Faith: Monthly donors.

World Food Day: Compassion and Expertise

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
Madagascar Rice

Suzy Razafindrafara is a rice farmer who switched to the system of rice intensification. She now sees more bountiful harvests from a smaller quantity of seeds than traditional farming methods provide. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS

Hunger. The word carries a full range of emotional responses. When we see or hear about people who face hunger, we are moved by compassion to help.

The depth of CRS supporters’ compassion shows in how we approach solutions to hunger. We respond with expertise.

One fascinating response to food production is Suzy Razafindrafara’s story about rice production in Madagascar.

When one of the world’s three biggest staple crops was threatened in Africa, CRS joined the fight to save the crop and farmers who grow it with the Great Lakes Cassava Initiative.

By applying the best available thinking and technology to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, CRS supporters’ response matches their compassion for a world in need.

You can help right now.

World Food Day: When is It?

Monday, October 10th, 2011
Haiti Rice

CRS delivered tons of World Food Program rice – supplied by the US Agency for International Development — to Haitians over several days at a camp for displaced Haitians in Port au Prince, Haiti. Photo by Lane Hartill/CRS

Officially, it’s Sunday, October 16. But for the Church and CRS supporters, every day is World Food Day.

CRS and its partners are feeding more than 1 million people affected by the drought.

Well drilling in Ethiopia helped thousands of families face this year’s killer drought with little or no need for food assistance.

In Haiti, CRS provided food and supplies to Port-au-Prince the next day. One month after the quake, we’d fed 500,000 Haitians.

In Afghanistan, CRS supporters battle hunger by helping women start businesses.

Through CRS, you bring hope to a world in need by bringing food to the poorest and most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters?

You can help right now.