A few days ago, Manos Unidas, association of the Catholic Church in Spain for assistance, promotion and development of Third World countries, presented in Madrid the 55th campaign titled “a new world, a common project”. The campaign that will be ongoing throughout 2014 draws inspiration from the Millennium Development goal n.8, namely: “To promote a world association for development”. “The campaign – Manos Unidas made known – lies within the path for universal brotherhood as a necessary condition for full development, a development that should be grounded on truth, justice, love and freedom”. The campaign has four key works: “hope, world, new and common”. Monos Unidas intends to act as a promoter this new thrust alongside with its member bodies in Developing Countries, in cooperation with all associations and individuals committed “in the implementation of a common project for a more humane, just and fraternal world”. Everyone’s commitment. The 2014 campaign was presented, inter alia, by Soledad Suárez, president of Manos Unidas, Covadonga Orejas, missionary of the Carmelitans of Charity Vedruna, Covadonga Orejas, and Óscar Bazoberry, chief coordinator of the Institute for the rural development of South America. The president of Manos Unidas recalled that the aids collected in 2013 for NGO projects “have decreased for the fourth consecutive year as a consequence of the crisis”. In particular, in 2013 Manos Unidas collected a total amount of 44.2 million euro, four million less compared to 2012. Suárez made known that the campaign concludes the 200-2014 cycle that Manos Unidas dedicated to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Although the latter, said Soledad Suárez, “have not been fully achieved”, the president pointed out that “without them things would be much worse”. “In fact, many countries have reached many of the goals and these results have positively impacted the population as a whole”. The last Millennium Objective at the centre of the campaign of the Catholic NGO, according to Suárez, “is the one that mostly involves developing countries. In this common project, which is a ‘global Alliance’, we are all called to take part: governments, institutions, enterprises, international organizations, NGOs, and most of all, the population”. World projects. Manos Unidas supports and implements projects such as the ones coordinated by missionary Covadonga Orejas in Togo and Gabon, notably, the “Kekeli” (Togo) and “Arc en Ciel” (Gabon) centres for the integration of street children and of the victims of child trafficking in these Countries. Thanks to that commitment, children stripped from their families with false promises can look forward to a positive future. In reality, the missionary said during the presentation of the campaign, the children victims of human trafficking “spend their days working, and in the case of girls, if they don’t bring to their pimps the requested earnings, sometimes they are forced to work as prostitutes”. As regards the situation in Bolivia, where Manos Unidas has launched 259 projects, Óscar Bazoberry pointed out that “greater resources are available, as well as new technologies, health and education services, development of the middle class and new consumption rules”. Nonetheless, other areas are “moving backwards”, such as the rights of indigenous populations or increasing murders of social leaders, especially in the countryside. Bazoberry equally denounced the gap between the rich and the poor and the impact of mining activity and transgenic farming on the local population. “Large capitals intend to appropriate themselves of the so-called green economy, ecosystems and biodiversity, which would grant them unprecedented control over life on the planet”, he underlined. To be the protagonists. The national Day of Manos Unidas was celebrated February 9 with a special fund collection across Spanish parishes. Until February 12, 27 missionaries from 19 countries where the organization finances cooperation for development projects were the main speakers in conferences and meetings with the press to present the 2014 campaign in 52 cities in Spain. In his pastoral letter for the 55th campaign against hunger, the Cardinal archbishop of Madrid, Antonio Marìa Rouco Varela, said that the initiative “is a reminder of our responsibility to be the protagonists of history, and not mere spectators. Since its establishment, Manos Unidas has been committed to the establishment of a new world on the basis of the faith in our Lord Jesus”.
Millennium Development goals: the annual campaign of Manos Unidas