By Will Green
The launch for this year’s ‘Hungry for Change’ campaign was held at Westminster Cathedral. I was lucky enough to be one of the few who were able to attend the conference on Saturday 10th November. As a new member of CAFOD I began to wonder how I could play a part in such an important task for our generation.
The Hungry for Change campaign is calling for fundamental changes in the global food system so that power is more justly shared between rich and poor people, and more people can have access to enough food. It is estimated that 870 million people worldwide are without enough food to be healthy and live an active life. The overwhelming majority of these live in developing countries. Hunger is the World’s number one health risk, killing more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. The recent financial crisis has pushed even more people around the world to the brink of starvation.
The conference welcomed around 250 people from all over England and Wales and included several workshops to guide and inform us on how to campaign. These included tips and info to help promote the campaign including ‘political activism’; ‘food faith and standing up for justice’ and ‘CAFOD partners’. The latter was really interesting to find out what an impact CAFOD has had over the last 50 years and what change it aspires to achieve. We also staged a publicity stunt and had a picnic in Westminster Piazza chanting: “Who are we?” “CAFOD” “What are we?” “Hungry for change!” Meeting new people from a range of age and background gave the conference a great combination of enthusiasm and knowledge to be shared. What most struck me, however, was the big impact we, as British citizens can have in being politically active. It is important to remember that the government works for us and, through use of lobbying and unity, the citizens of Britain can bring about great change (simply by writing to your MP) to the way food markets are regulated so that a fairer, sustainable world can be achieved for our brothers and sisters who are struggling to make ends meet.
The meeting gave me a confidence, enthusiasm and, above all, a sense of clarity towards how the campaign could be achieved. It is the small contributions, the awareness and the passion which will ensure that power is fairly shared between the rich and poor.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6