Parishioners in Lancaster share Brazilian families’ joy after campaign success

Thanks to the support of parishioners from across the Diocese of Lancaster who were amongst the 4,000 people to support a CAFOD petition, over 1,000 people in São Paulo will spend this Christmas safe in the knowledge that they no longer face eviction from their home.

#FicaMauá – Let them stay

In September 2017, CAFOD launched a campaign to halt the eviction of around 1,000 people living in the abandoned hotel in the centre of São Paulo, Brazil.

The Mauá Building in the centre of São Paulo stood empty for 17 years until 2007, when 237 working families moved in.  They lovingly renovated the building and for the last ten years have called it home.  The building has been home to a thriving community, providing a social use and revitalising an otherwise derelict area in the city centre.

Ever since they moved in, the families have been trying to win the legal rights to their home, which Brazilian law allows, asking that the authorities acquire the building and convert it into social housing for low-income families.

In a landmark case, after ongoing campaigning by the families, public authorities have agreed to purchase the building for around £4.6 million (20 million reais), allowing for it to be converted into social housing.

Your actions helped to bring about change

It is thanks to your support that the fear and uncertainty of losing their homes is no longer a reality for the families living in the Mauá community.

Neti de Araújo’s, a leader in the Mauá community, said:  “I want to thank each and every one of you for your support. I am very happy knowing there are people like you, our friends and companions.

“After so much struggle and sacrifice, ten years of ups and downs, it is finally feasible; we have persuaded the owners of the need for families to live here. The struggle will continue! Thank you!”

CAFOD representative in Lancaster, Patrick Gardner, added: “The way that parishioners from Lancaster have rallied together to prevent this injustice, where over 1,000 people were threatened with being left on the streets this Christmas, has been astounding.

“We are so thankful that so many people in the diocese have acted: spreading the word, signing the petition and even standing in solidarity with the community by photographing themselves with a #ficamaua sign.

“Your prayers and messages of solidarity have given the families strength and hope at this difficult time.”

The fight continues

CAFOD will continue to support stand in solidarity and pray for the families in their struggle for a safe and permanent home.

Find out more about how you can directly support families in Brazil  

 

Lancaster parishioners support #ficamaua campaign

Last Sunday, members of St Peter’s Church, Lytham came together to show their support for the Maua community in Sao Paulo, Brazil. They signed the petition and took photos with a sign saying #ficamaua. The petition was signed by over 50 people, which is a fantastic result!

Cath Powell MBE

Cath Powell, MBE, supporting #ficamaua

The Maua community resides in a building in the centre of Sao Paulo. The building was ficamauaoriginally a hotel, but was left empty for 17 years, until over 200 homeless families renovated it and moved in in 2007. Since then, they have been desperately trying to win their legal rights to live there and have recently been engaging in negotiations with the authorities. The situation has now become urgent as a shock eviction notice has been given to the community, meaning that 237 families, over 1,000 people, now face being forced out of their homes by police. The date was originally set for the 22nd October, but thankfully the eviction has been temporarily suspended for thirty days on the grounds of public interest and considering the vulnerability of the families living in the building. The eviction date has now been moved to 21st November, giving us longer to show our support and to urge the Brazilian authorities to change their minds.

Ficamaua

CAFOD Volunteer, Peter Brocklesby, is supporting the Maua Community, are you?

CAFOD’s partner in Brazil APOIO is currently working with the Maua community to try and defend their right to secure housing, however there is no further legal option to save the community. This means that the only option left to them is for the international Catholic community to put pressure on the authorities to stop the eviction.

Neti de Araujo, a community leader within the Maua community who has met with CAFOD supporters in the past has said: “We in the Maua community have spent 10 years living in this building which we have cleaned, looked after and made into a home for 237 families. For years we have been negotiating for the acquisition of this building for social housing with an affordable rent. Now we are at risk of an eviction. We have not been offered an alternative. We will have to leave our homes and live in the street. I am counting on you and your prayers”

Parish priest Fr David Burns, commented on how important it is to “to reach across the

Fr David

Fr David Burns showing his support for the Maua community

seas to our brothers and sisters in need”, and Emily McIndoe, CAFOD volunteer, added that “it was great to see so many people in the parish taking an interest in the campaign and coming together to help those in need in Brazil, our thoughts and prayers are with the Maua community in this difficult time.”

Can you sign the petition asking the Brazilian authorities to suspend the eviction and to negotiate a just, permanent solution for the families? Can you print off the petition and ask people in your parish or community to add their signatures? Will you show solidarity with the Maua community by taking a picture of yourself holding a sign saying #ficamaua to share with us on social media?

Find out more about the campaign.

CAFOD Lancaster volunteers show their support to Power to Be campaign

We believe that every child can, and should be able to, achieve great things. But with one in six people across the world still living with no electricity, the reality is that this isn’t always the case.  With investment into local, renewable energy, children’s lives can be transformed.

The CAFOD group at Cardinal Newman College after the launch of their Power to Be card signing where they received over 200 signatures!

In our latest campaign, Power to Be, we are encouraging schools and parishes in the Lancaster diocese to speak up and give children across the world the ‘Power to Be’ by signing campaign action cards.

The cards are part of a petition which calls on Melanie Robinson, the UK’s representative in the World Bank, to invest in local and renewable energy which tackles poverty.

2016 gapper, Michelle, holds an action card next to CAFOD Lancaster’s Power to Be display

Nearly 90 per cent of people without electricity live in villages. It can be expensive and difficult to extend the main grid to homes, schools and clinics in rural areas. The cheapest, fastest, and most efficient solution is usually to provide mini-grids powered by renewables.

By taking our Power to Be campaign action cards into your local parishes and schools, and by sharing them with your friends, pupils and families, you can help to make a difference.

Those in the Lancaster diocese are already showing their support for the campaign.

CAFOD volunteers from St Wilfrid’s and Our Lady and St Edwards (Preston), as well as Cardinal Newman College, Preston, and St Mary’s Academy in Blackpool, have already organised card signings within their parishes and school communities.

CAFOD’s local representative in Lancaster, Patrick Gardner, said: “I’m delighted that people from the Lancaster diocese are supporting our campaign, asking the World Bank to invest in safe, renewable energy across the world which would enable children in the poorest places to access the education they deserve and to aspire to a brighter future.  By doing one simple action, such as signing the petition or organising a card signing, you can really help make a change.”

Why not take a card, gather your friends and meet with your local MP to show that you care about energy access for the world’s poorest people?

If you would like to receive campaign action cards to share in your parish or school, please order them online or call 0300 011 5680.  For further information, contact the CAFOD Lancaster Volunteer Centre on 01772 733310 or email lancaster@cafod.org.uk

To find out more, please visit: http://www.cafod.org.uk/powertobe