Bishop Reding’s JUST Youth for Development and Peace
Development and Peace is the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada. Its mission is to support partners in the Global South who promote alternatives to unfair social, political, and economic structures. It educates Canadians about the causes of poverty and mobilizes Canadians towards actions for change. For over 40 years, Development and Peace has supported 15,200 local initiatives in 70 countries in areas such as agriculture and land reform, education and training, conflict resolution and peace building, citizen participation and democratic elections, as well as promoting and defending human rights.
For the past five years Bishop Reding’s JUST Youth for Development and Peace has conducted Fall Education and Action campaigns through student and staff presentations on topics including the just extraction of natural resources in the Global South, promoting food sovereignty, supporting water as a human right, not a commodity, and opposing the privatization of water. We take political action by signing and sending action postcards to our Prime Minister and Members of Parliament, in addition to having twice met with our MP to share our concerns about social justice issues involving Canadian mining companies.
We raise funds to support the work of Development and Peace throughout the Global South. In addition, we work with our parish Development and Peace group to educate fellow parishioners about social justice issues through presentations at the conclusion of masses and at our annual Solidarity Poverty Meal prior to mass on Ash Wednesday. BR’s JUST Youth for Development and Peace meets every Wednesday in Room 105 from 2:35 – 3:30. New members are always welcome at any time throughout the year! Come and join us and be the change you want to see in the world!
Over the last five years we have:
- Presented to BR staff and students each year’s Fall Action Campaign
- Collected over 1000 action cards each year and presented them to the MP and mailed them to the Prime Minister (calling on the government to hold Canadian mining companies accountable for any human rights and/or environmental violations, and this year to use their influence at the G8 summit to encourage developed countries to put life before profit when it comes to creating trade policies re agrofuels, considering the negative effect the production of such fuels is having on the poor)
- Some members have presented the fall action campaign talk at Sunday masses at our church
- Met with our past MP – Garth Turner, and hopefully this year with Lisa Raitt to discuss our concerns
- Viewed several educational movies about injustice in the Global South and the challenges our brothers and sisters face every day, and what D & P’s partner organizations are doing to help them
- Attended D & P regional workshops and conferences on social justice issues
- Started fair trade coffee sales for our staff (would like to see that expanded to the whole school)
- Invited 10,000 Villages to our school to increase awareness of Fair Trade and provide an opportunity for students and staff to support Fair Trade products. 10,000 Villages provides vital, fair income to countries of the Global South by marketing their handicrafts and Fair Trade products. They work with artisans who would otherwise be unemployed. The income generated helps to pay for food, education, health care, and housing.
- Organize and promote the B.R. Share Lent Coin Drive for Development and Peace
- Encourage the school to continue its Civvies Day financial support for D & P
- Raised nearly $4 000 for emergency relief for Haiti this past January
- Conduct the annual Shrove Tuesday pancake breakfast for the entire school with profits going to support D & P
- Participate in the annual Holy Rosary Development and Peace Solidarity Meal on Ash Wednesday to help focus parishoners’ attention on the injustice faced by our brothers and sisters in the global south, promote community building in our parish by sharing a fasting meal, and gather together for the Eucharist