Report to the CCCB Annual Plenary Meeting

October 2002

 

 

During the last year, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (ccodp) continued to implement its 2000-2003 action plan of “support for the processes of democratization”. In the South, this has led us to strengthen our partners’ capacity to take charge of their own development. At the same time, Development and Peace has continued to respond to emergency situations globally as they arise. In Canada, our educational programs have centred on promoting an equitable and sustainable economy.  The 2001 action campaign aimed to raise awareness among Canadians on how bio-patenting seeds can have negative consequences on food security for people in developing countries.

 

1.  Education and Solidarity

 

World Youth Day 2002

 

As part of our commitment to broaden membership by recruiting more young people, Development and Peace played an active part in World Youth Day 2002 (WYD).  Our role included being involved in various activities of WYD, both during the Days in the Dioceses and in the culminating activities in Toronto.  Our week-long interactive exhibit, The Earth is for All, Not for Sale!, featured plays, musical groups and a special appearance by fiddler Nathalie MacMaster.  We also hosted two youth forums focusing on food issues with speakers from Peru, South Africa and India.  It is estimated that 5,000 people attended each of our two youth forums and thousands visited the exhibit.

 

Fall 2001 Action Campaign

 

Almost 180,000 people have so far signed the Fall Action postcards so far urging the Canadian government to oppose the bio-patenting of seeds and all other forms of life.  This represents an increase of 21 percent over the number of cards signed in 2000.  CCODP held 63 workshops for approximately 1,500 members of the Church and the public during this campaign.  These cards will be delivered to the Minister of International Trade, Mr. Pierre Pettigrew.

 

2.  Share Lent and Fundraising

 

Share Lent

 

Share Lent continues to be Development and Peace’s major outreach campaign to Canadian Catholics and the public in general.  During 2001, Share Lent raised over $9.2 million.

 

Along with the vital support of the bishops and clergy, the efforts deployed by thousands of volunteers across the country are the bedrock of Share Lent’s success. Over 70 percent of zones in dioceses across Canada have a volunteer responsible for Share Lent.  Thanks to their work, almost all parishes in the country are contacted through mail, phone, or visits.  In many cases, a parish representative ensures that the whole community participates actively in the spiritual, educational and fundraising aspects of the campaign.

 

The slogan for the 2001-2003 Share Lent campaigns continues to be THE EARTH IS FOR ALL.  The 2001 campaign highlighted the initiatives of our partners in the South to improve their living conditions, particularly in South Africa, the Philippines and Colombia.

 

Other Fundraising

 

CCODP’s other fundraising programs, while modest in relation to Share Lent, continue to flourish.  Response both to the monthly giving and planned giving have grown by over 20 percent in the past year.  We have recently reached our goal of 3,000 monthly donors. Think Fast, our educational and fundraising activity geared to young people, grew by approximately 15 percent, reaching over 5,000 young people across the country last year.  Through direct mail, over 12,000 donors contributed to CCODP’s work in 2000-2001.

 

3.  International Program

 

The main objective of Development and Peace’s overseas program is to support the initiatives of groups and communities in the South by enhancing their capacity to gain greater control over their lives and combat exclusion. To attain this goal, Development and Peace supports the participation of the poor in shaping social, economic and political processes in their countries.  This includes strengthening local organizations, promoting women’s participation, fostering economic alternatives rooted in equity, and increasing the participation of communities in the management of resources and the environment.

 

Africa

 

Many Development and Peace partners in Africa are mobilizing intensively for national peace and reconciliation efforts, an approach we firmly support.

 

Last January, Bishop Jean-Guy Hamelin headed a joint solidarity mission of the CCCB and CCODP to Kisangani, to highlight the concern of Canadian Catholics over the conflict in the Congo which has claimed between two and three million lives since 1998.  The mission met with Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo of Kisangani, a leading figure in the Congolese peace movement, Cardinal Frédéric Etsou, Archbishop of Kinshasa and Chair of the National Conference of Congolese Catholic Bishops (CENCO), as well as with civil society representatives working on peace, democracy and development initiatives.   

 

Development and Peace has been very active in the New Partnership for Africa’s Development   (NEPAD) initiative, including dialoguing with our partners in African civil society, as well as Canadian justice and Canadian ecumenical networks. We helped organize and participated in a number of forums on this issue and were part of a consultative group which advised the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) on the coordination of a major international conference held at the beginning of May, Canada and Africa: A New Partnership.  CCODP was also an active participant on the advisory group to CIDA on the NEPAD initiative.

 

Development and Peace was part of on advisory group working on the statement by the CCCB Permanent Council for the G-8 Summit, That We All Might Have Life, In Abundance. 

 

To ensure adequate support for the Africa programs, we are currently consolidating our operation through the addition of more staff.  Over and above the regular program, we have a number of CIDA-funded bilateral projects. 

 

Latin America

 

In Latin America, Development and Peace has continued to support groups working for social change by defending human rights with outstanding courage and determination.

 

Sadly, the year 2001 was marred by the kidnapping and assassination of two prominent CCODP partners: indigenous leader Kimy Pernia in Colombia and human rights lawyer Digna Ochoa in Mexico.  This pattern of violent repression has continued in 2002, with the recent assassination of Bishop Cancino Isaias Duarte in Cali and the death threats against Bishop Alvaro Leonel Ramazzini in Guatemala.

 

In Central America, particularly in Honduras, with the help of CIDA bilateral programs, Development and Peace plans to intensify its assistance to groups and organisations working to bring about urgent ecological and social changes that will decrease the vulnerability of the most marginalized communities.

 

For the second year, Development and Peace was present at the World Social Forum in Porto Allegre, Brazil.  We also supported a number of Southern partners at this conference.

 

The importance of the role played by CCODP was confirmed recently by the appointment of our Latin America team leader, Mr. Paul Cliche, as chairperson of COPLA, the Latin American Continental platform for International Co-operation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE).

 

Asia

 

In Asia, Development and Peace continued to work closely with the Asia Partnership for Human Development (APHD), an association of 23 Catholic agencies from Asia, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand that are mandated by their respective Bishops' Conferences to work for integral and sustainable human development. Development and Peace staff attended the APHD General Assembly held in Macau, in November 2001.

 

In Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, CCODP worked with the CIDSE program. Supported by 14 non-Asian Catholic agencies, this project aims to strengthen the ability of local groups to become self-sufficient in development work.

 

We continued our work in Timor by helping support the Bishop Belo Centre for Peace and Development and also the only Catholic radio station in Dili in order to promote the ongoing processes of peace and democratic development of this new nation.  Timor officially became an independent nation on May 22, 2002.  Along with 50 other solidarity groups, we were presented by President Xanana Gusmao with a commemorative medal honouring our support for the Timorese people in their struggle for independence.

 

Emergency Assistance

 

The highlight of Development and Peace’s  humanitarian work this year was our emergency assistance campaign for Afghanistan following the events of September 11. This campaign, officially endorsed by the CCCB, was launched by Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte in Montreal and Archbishop Marcel Gervais in Ottawa. Presently, through its membership in Caritas Internationalis, Development and Peace is involved in relief activities with Caritas Pakistan; the Dutch Catholic agency, CORDAID; and the US Catholic agency, Catholic Relief Services (CRS).  We have raised almost $2 million including $180,000 from CIDA and $50,000 from the Quebec government for the displaced people of Afghanistan inside the country and the refugees in neighbouring Pakistan.

 

Development and Peace annually allocates up to 10 percent of the proceeds of its Share Lent collection to emergency relief as well as additional donations received in response to emergency situations, either spontaneously or after special appeals.   The largest portion of grants for emergency relief this year went to Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, Mozambique and India.

 

****

We have included two tables illustrating Development and Peace’s financial commitments for international action as of June 2002 as an appendix to this report.

 

4.  Strategic Alliances and Work in Coalitions

 

Alliances with social change movements and coalitions are becoming indispensable for organizations such as Development and Peace in order to make a meaningful impact in an increasingly globalized economic system.  It is our hope that new lines of communication will be opened between the NGO community and senior policymakers in governments and international organizations.

 

Washington Conference on Humanizing the Global Economy

 

At the request of the CCCB, Development and Peace was pleased to serve as one of the major sponsors for a conference in Washington, D.C., in January 2002, with the theme “Humanizing the Global Economy”.  The meeting was organized by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), and the CCCB. It brought together Church leaders and major players in the economic world to debate the impact of globalization and challenges facing developing nations. The National Council President and Executive Director of Development and Peace were also present at this conference.

 

Caritas Internationalis  and CIDSE

 

Development and Peace continues to be active as a member of the two main international Catholic development networks: CIDSE and Caritas Internationalis. Both provide us with considerable assistance in our solidarity work at home and abroad. Close working relationships are maintained with the two organizations in areas such as popular education, advocacy and implementing projects overseas. Development and Peace was host to the CIDSE Directors’ meeting, in Montreal, in June 2002. It also played a major role in organizing a meeting for the CIDSE Working Group on Debt in Calgary,  during the Kananaskis G-8 Summit. 

 

KAIROS

 

Development and Peace was instrumental in reorganizing 13 ecumenical coalitions into one, unified organization that began work on July 1, 2001, under the name of KAIROS. Mr. Keith Gauntlett of Toronto is Development and Peace’s representative on the KAIROS Board of Directors, which also includes CCCB representative Mr. Joe Gunn.  We are working closely with the CCCB General Secretariat to help ensure the smooth functioning of KAIROS operations.


5.  Organizational Life

 

Triennial Orientation Assembly (TOA)

 

Our second Triennial Orientation Assembly (TOA) was held in June 2002, in Montreal. This assembly brings together members from every diocese in Canada, once every three years, to help shape our programming. The TOA was assisted in its deliberations by the results of a review process that the National Council launched April 2001, to determine how Development and Peace could improve performance in the areas of education, fundraising, service to members and governance. The Triennial Assembly was also a good occasion to celebrate Development and Peace’s 35th anniversary.

 

Limited Institutional Review

 

A limited institutional review involving the membership, staff and various Development and Peace stakeholders was completed in Spring 2002. The main orientations of the report, Designing for the Future, included the need for leadership identification and training as well as the development of a strategy to increase fundraising.  It was also recommended that the National Council be affirmed as the primary decision-making body at CCODP.  

 

Focus on Diversity and Youth

 

Development and Peace is continuing to commit to broadening its membership by recruiting more young people, increasing outreach and better integrating members of diverse ethnic and cultural communities within our movement.  

 

The work around our youth strategy includes hiring of Youth Program Officers for the English and French education sectors, developing a Development and Peace youth Web site and establishing a Youth Working Group to act as a focus group for youth programs and assist in building a national youth network.

 

Development and Peace’s Diversity Action Plan, approved in 2001, is aimed at increasing outreach and better integrating members of ethnic and cultural communities within our movement.  This plan includes formation sessions for the membership and staff to promote ethno-racial diversity in the organization and concrete measures to mobilize the entire organization toward this goal.  A National Advisory Committee on Diversity has recently been given the mandate to review the organization’s procedures, practices and decision-making processes to ensure the removal of any systemic barriers to diversity.

 


New National Council President

 

The new President of the National Council, Mr. Roger Dubois of Winnipeg, was elected in June 2002 and introduced to the membership at the last assembly. He succeeds Ms. Susan McNamara-Scott.  Mr. Dubois has been active in Development and Peace for many years and on the National Council since 1997.  He is a psychologist, now retired, from Manitoba’s Norwood School District.

 

6.  Perspectives for 2002-2003

 

In the coming year, Development and Peace will focus mainly on the implementation of the TOA and National Council’s decisions around the Limited Institutional Review.  As mentioned previously, the main focus of this work will be around leadership, membership and fundraising.

 

Development and Peace is also intensifying its efforts to obtain more funding from CIDA for its partners in developing countries. Requests have been introduced for bilateral projects in Honduras, Nigeria, and the Congo.

 

Following the lead of other Catholic development organizations, Development and Peace is setting up a working group to examine what our contribution can be in fighting the devastating impact of AIDS/HIV in Third World countries. Research on this question has already begun and CCODP has requested the assistance of the CCCB on this issue.

 

Conclusion

 

As mentioned recently by the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, “We cannot have a world of peace without addressing the world of need.” Thanks to the support of the CCCB and of Catholics throughout Canada, Development and Peace continues its vital action of solidarity with the poor and education for justice.  Although enormous strides have been made, our mission remains as urgent and relevant today as it was 35 years ago when CCODP was founded by the Bishops of Canada.  

 

 

 

 

+ Jean-Guy Hamelin

+ Martin Currie

CCCB representatives on the

National Council

Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace

 

October 2002