Currently studying at the Agricultural College, Denis is the first student to receive a Micro Finance Loan. Here a rather nervous Denis talks with Martin, our Coordinator, about himself and how he will use the loan.
The latest row in the trouble stricken Maracano Stadium is between the holders of perpetual tickets and Rio officials, who want to negate these rights in order to hand over a ‘clean’ stadium to FIFA. Who in effect will have sole control of the stadium for the duration of the tournament. Perpetual Ticket Holders received the concession in 1950 in return for sponsorship and an annual subscription.
However the loss of stadium seats, seems of little consequence, when compared to the loss of homes belonging to thousands of families who have been forcibly evicted. The eviction orders come under the guise of infrastructure developments for the World Cup and the Olympics, or sometimes the reason given is for safety such as preventing land slides. More often than not it is a means to acquiring what has become valuable real estate for the gentrification of favelas.
With little chance to contest the eviction orders, families and their communities are uprooted and relocated to the edges of the city away from their work and away from services. Compensation rights are mired in bureaucracy and difficult to access.
This video captures the views of residents who have been relocated and highlights in particular the cost of travel into the city, which interestingly is an employer responsibility, but which often results in workers been sacked because of this increased cost.
Rosalba and I have have just returned from journeys to Fatima in Portugal and Santiago de Compostella in Northern Spain, both centres of world wide pilgrimage. It was wonderful to experience people from across the globe participating in personal and communal journeys of spiritual reflection.
Being in these places where people gather to reflect on their life’s journey feels very special and the ethos and atmosphere created helps one to venture into one’s own heart. The journey into our ‘internal’ landscape is often more adventurous, scary and arduous than the rugged paths of the camino. I set out on this journey with the hope of finding a clear camino (path) for our future – I might just have found one!
On Saturday 18 of May, as part of the Brazilian National Day to Combat the Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, public rallies were held in cities and towns around the country. Cristino Castro took part.
In 2000, the National Day to Combat the Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children and Adolescents was set in law for for May 18, the anniversary of the death of Araceli Santos, an 8-year old girl, who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered 31 years ago, in the state of Espírito Santo.
The exploitation networks are active in all regions of the country, but the largest concentration of cases is in the North and Northeast. Most of the victims are women and adolescents between 15 and 25 — the group most affected includes girls between 15 and 17. The profile of the victims shows that they generally come from families with low levels of income and schooling, live with relatives, and, in many instances, have already suffered some kind of sexual violence at home.
In a remarkable move President Rouseff has stripped FUMAI, the government department responsible for the protection of indigenous people, of it autonomy.
Violence between farmers and indigenous tribes over land rights, in the southern state of Mato Grosso du Sol, has escalated since farmers were forcibly cleared off their land to allow the Xavante tribe to be reinstated on their traditional home land early in 2013.
To halt what the farmers see as bias towards indigenous tribes the farming lobby tabled a amendment that would establish a congressional committee to approve reservation boundaries rather than it resting on just the federal government. This incited hundreds of Indians to occupy the floor of the Lower House. FUMAI said that it defended the reasons for the protest but said it took no part in its organisation. Later in the month the farming lobby showed its outrage by jeering the president when she visited Mato Grosso du Sol.
The surprising greenness of the landscape dotted with almond trees, eucalyptus trees, fig trees, carob trees, and the cork trees unceremoniously stripped of their bark and numbered. (As a child I always thought taking the bark from a tree led to its death.)
Pretty houses painted with the traditional blue, red, green and
yellow symbolising the spirits and elements of earth, sky earth and sun. Many spouting the distinctive chimney pots of Moorish design used to represent the faith of those living in the house.
The incredible east to west unrelenting mass of apartment buildings which allow the resident population to rise from 400, 000 in the winter months to around 2, 000,000 during high season.
The under population of the countryside and demise of agriculture as the young people migrate to work and live in the coastal region.
Meldronho a drink distilled from arbutus berries referred to as fire water and very aptly named is produced in the mountains. It reminded me of other fire waters that is distilled from sugar cane in Brazil called Pinga and also that of Ireland called Poitin distilled from barley, potatoes or whey. All deadly.
The wonderful storks, with their amazing nests seemingly perched precariously on top of pylons and disused factory chimneys. I am told they can weigh up to half a ton.
And of course the language experience !
We had a fascinating trip but it is lovely to be back home.
Christian Aid, in this new report, asks the question … who pays the price for the hidden cost of Tax Injustice?
Ana Maria Ayala’s maize crop was completely destroyed by floods in El Salvador in October 2011. Most of El Salvador’s farmers rely on what they can grow in their smallholdings. Inequality, an unfair tax system and lack of government investment in agriculture mean almost half the population live in poverty, and one-third of all children aged under five die from malnutrition.