"Women at the Heart of Change": Development and Peace - Caritas Canada Launches its 50th Annual Fundraising Campaign

MONTREAL, March 1, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of its 50th Share Lent campaign, Development and Peace has chosen Women at the Heart of Change to underscore the important contribution that women make in every aspect of development, be it social, environmental or economic.

Development and Peace's goal is to collect $8 million to support social justice work in solidarity with more than a hundred local partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Share Lent, the organization's main source of funding, also enables Development and Peace to finance its awareness-raising and education programs in Canada.

"Every day, millions of women and girls around the world are courageously fighting to put an end to the suffering, injustice and to overcome the hurdles they face," said Serge Langlois, Executive Director of Development and Peace. "Development and Peace – Caritas Canada has chosen to put women at the forefront of the Campaign, not just to highlight their role and special importance in development, but also to unearth the deep roots of inequality that persists in all spheres of our societies. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the inestimable contribution the women's movement has made here in Canada, as well as the steadfast commitment of Catholic sisters who have been fighting for justice and human dignity around the world for decades."

During this year's Share Lent Campaign, Development and Peace will be sharing the stories of inspiring women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Paraguay and Syria. The work of these women has laid new, solid foundations for positive change in their communities. In March, Development and Peace will also be welcoming some of its partners from Haiti, Colombia and Syria, who will travel to select cities in Canada, to raise awareness about the causes of poverty and injustice in their countries. (See details below)

The Campaign theme also responds to the invitation of Pope Francis in May 2016, "that in all countries of the world, women may be honoured and respected and highly esteemed for their essential contribution to society." For Catholics around the world, Lent represents an important time for contemplation, a period that invites them to practise sharing, forgiveness and acceptance.

With the support of its 8,000 members all over Canada, Development and Peace will be seeking donations from Canadians across the country. The 50th Share Lent Campaign, Women at the Heart of Change, officially launches today, on Ash Wednesday, in dioceses across the country.

Awareness-raising and educational activities will take place from coast to coast to coast throughout Lent so that donors can better understand the real impact of their donations on the people and their communities in the Global South. On April 2, the fifth Sunday of Lent, a special collection will be held in parishes across Canada.

To learn more about Share Lent and Development and Peace's activities, or to make a donation, visit devp.org.

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In support of its theme, Women at the Heart of Change, Development and Peace is pleased to welcome:

  • Luz Estella Cifuentes, Representative of Asociación Campesina de Antioquia – ACA (Antioquia regional peasant association), Colombia
  • Marie-Ange Noël, Coordinator of Fanm Deside, Haiti
  • Rand Sukhaita, Director, Darna Centres, Turkey

About us:

Development and Peace is one of the most important international development organizations in Canada. It was founded in 1967 by the Canadian Catholic Bishops as a means of inspiring Canadians to act in solidarity with their sisters and brothers in the Global South suffering from the injustice of poverty. Over the past 50 years, Development and Peace has invested $600 million in more than 15,000 projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Development and Peace is a strong and diverse movement that brings together Canadians from all over the country working for justice to enable the poorest people to live with respect and dignity. Development and Peace is also Caritas Canada, official member of the Caritas Internationalis confederation, an international network of more than 160 Catholic development organizations.



For further information: For more information or to organize an interview, please contact: Marie-Hélène Bachand, Communications Officer (Francophone media), 514 257-8711 Ext. 318, mhbachand@devp.org; Gay Decker, Communications Officer (Anglophone media), 514 257 8710 Ext 365, gdecker@devp.org


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