Eradicate hunger. Food for All: “Yes we can”
(Vatican Radio) Milan’s International Exhibition Expo 2015 dedicated Tuesday May 19th to the Catholic Church’s humanitarian and relief organization Caritas – invited for the first time ever – to be present on a par with states and governments, all of them celebrating Food for Life. Energy for the Planet .Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni is in Milan at Expo and sent us this report:
When the powerful earthquake that devastated Nepal on April 25 rocked the land across the border in India where it wreaked damage and caused over 125 deaths, the farmers in the region did not complain: they are farmers. When extreme weather conditions rob them of their livelihood, they do not complain: they are farmers. When push comes to shove, they do what they have to: they are small-holder farmers. They feed their families and their communities; they protect indigenous seeds and they safeguard the environment. This was what the representative of Caritas India told Caritas members from across the globe gathered at the Milan Expo 2015 to celebrate Caritas Day – a joyous conclusion to the organization’s 6-day General Assembly.
During an intense programme of power/point presentations, testimonies ,speeches and videos, outgoing Caritas President, Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga passed on the baton to newly elected President Cardinal Luis Tagle followed by appeals from Caritas leaders who in turn took to the stage calling for action at all levels to promote dignity and reject the misunderstanding that hunger is inevitable.
Yes, because as it was pointed out again and again, over 800 million people still suffer from hunger in the world today, and as Pope Francis never tires of saying: hunger is a scandal.
A scandal that Caritas does not turn away from as illustrated by Caritas representatives from countries as far apart as Malawi and Myanmar, Nicaragua and Italy, Canada and Australia, Peru and Philippines, all of whom passionately see their mission as much more than a job.
And although much of the discussion focused on the need to promote sustainable agriculture, on the importance of implementing just land tenure and environmental policies, and on the importance of engaging governments and policy makers who must not be permitted to look away, the lessons that a Catholic dimension can contribute and the whole faith dimension of Caritas was never forgotten.
Because, just as Pope Francis was extensively quoted providing inspiration for almost all the speeches of the day, his invitation to all Caritas members to go out into the world to serve others in the name of Christ was embraced and upheld by all those present, at least judging by the swells of applause that erupted each time the word love – CARITAS in Latin – was pronounced.