Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
March 26, 2001
Look to your grandchildren
CCODP gives dignity today so we may have a better tommorow
Why is it so important to contribute this Lent to Development and Peace? Is it only because Development and Peace continues to support community development programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America?
Let's look at the question first, because in it there are two important elements: the act of giving itself and that of supporting Development and Peace. There is even a more basic question: Why should I share with the world's poorest?
I would like to share with you my own personal response to this question: I give for life and I give back to life. I share so that the world will have a better and brighter tomorrow, especially for our children, our grandchildren and future generations.
For me, this future is one that is painted in vivid, broad brush strokes that includes my three children and five grandchildren. That's because when I make a donation to Development and Peace I am ultimately making it on their behalf.
My grandchildren, who now teach me many things in "child-speak," might say that a contribution to Development and Peace "doesn't connect, grandpa," that is, that appears to be an action quite separate from their own lives. That's because they don't see how all of us benefit from our contributions. Yet, there is a real and direct connection.
Clearly, my sharing with the world's poor through Development and Peace is inspired by my faith, my emotions, my vision of the world and the desire that the people of the South live life today? But it is also in the hope that life emerges and grows in dignity both for today and for tomorrow.
More than 60 per cent of the world's population makes less than $2 a day. They are involved in a daily struggle for their own survival and that of their children. A major pre-occupation is their next meal.
When I take the time to reflect, when I look at my grandchildren, I want them to grow up and live in a world of beauty, of goodness, of dignity, of liberty and of love. I wish to leave them a more sustainable and habitable world for tomorrow.
Seen in this light, my "generosity" mirrors a different reflection, that of the solidarity that I feel for my children and of my love for my grandchildren. Giving generously to Development and Peace is part of my response to the question, "What heritage will we leave to tomorrow's generations?" and more especially to my own grandchildren.
In a world that tolerates inequality towards women, even my granddaughters stand to lose. Yet how much more will be lost by the granddaughters of the Third World? In the eyes of my own grandchildren, I see the grandchildren of the world. Acting in solidarity with all the grandchildren of the world puts me in solidarity with my own grandchildren.
A world of poverty and injustice is not only a world devoid of dignity but also a world of perpetual war and insecurity. Development and Peace supports local groups in the South - Africa, Asia and Latin America - that nurture the seeds of a new world, a world of justice, of rights, of dignity, of respect, of peace and of harmony.
That's why Development and Peace supports communities in countries in the South that are struggling for basic human rights, dignity and access to a decent life. It's why for more than 30 years, Development and Peace has supported groups that struggle against the poverty and violence that victimizes them. In short, it supports groups that are struggling for a better future.
In a world where increasingly women, men and families are sacrificed to productivity and profit, Development and Peace supports groups of people whose "small projects" search out more viable and sustainable ways of doing things.
Many in our world today are increasingly being deprived of their rights and their ability to live in dignity. This happens when people involved in making decisions that affect the public do so without involving them in the decision-making; these persons include corrupt politicians, profiteers and business people.
That's why Development and Peace supports more than 300 projects in the countries in the South that promote democratization and civic responsibility. These projects are the enduring building blocks of a strong civil society and the sole basis of a true democracy.
That's why I support Development and Peace with a regular payroll deduction. It's why I contribute to a group insurance policy of which Development and Peace is the beneficiary. It's also why I contribute to Development and Peace's special emergency appeals.
And, it's why I make my annual contribution during Lent to Development and Peace through my parish on Solidarity Sunday. It is a unique opportunity because it is the only collection taken in every parish in the country where the funds go to help Development and Peace partner organizations around the world.
This is also why I ask you to give to Development and Peace, to share with the world's needy. In giving them a life of dignity today, we offer our own children and our grandchildren a more promising world for tomorrow: a world of life, of beauty, of goodness, of dignity and of universal solidarity.
(Fabien Leboeuf is executive director of Development and Peace.)
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