Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Young Catholics Launch Movement Against Land-Grabbing

More than 10,000 Catholics, including 30 international delegates, took part in a rally launching a global campaign against land-grabbing to produce bio-fuel.

As dancers performed Kerala's traditional ethnic dances at the July 24 rally, elderly women could be seen holding colorful umbrellas with placards declaring, "Stop land-grabbing, this soil is our future."

The campaign is spearheaded by the International Movement of Catholic Agricultural and Rural Youth, which works with young people ages 12-30 on four continents.

Syro-Malabar Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of Trichur, secretary-general of the Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council, congratulated the Catholic youth movement for taking the lead to raise awareness against land-grabbing and food security.

"The food we eat is no more the beautiful creation of God. (Food items) are highly toxic due to the greed for profits. We need to make the public aware of all these concerns," said Archbishop Thazhath.

George Dixon Fernandez, president of the international rural youth movement, said in a statement from the movement's headquarters in Brussels: "Agriculture has no more culture attached to it. It has been reduced to agro-industry, and business houses are grabbing agricultural lands to promote their business."

In the bid to develop bio-fuel, Dixon said, food crops are being replaced by commercial plantations in Africa and South America.

"This has affected even the food availability in many countries," he said. Unless these trends are stopped, he said, food prices will rise "and the poor will have to suffer."

Carolin Grieshop, the youth movement's secretary-general, told Catholic News Service: "This is only the beginning. We will organize intensive programs in each of our member countries to bring these issues to the mainstream.

"Our aim is to make this a global campaign," she added.

Courtesy: Anto Akkara, Catholic News Service

Saturday, July 24, 2010

International Youth Meet at Chalakkudy

Ahead of the launch of the campaign against international land grabbing, today, an international symposium, youth demonstration, rally and public meeting will be organized by MIJARC at Chalakkudy in Kerala. MIJARC is the the International youth movement that stands for the development of the agricultural and rural sector.

The symposium on 'Biodiversity, Seeds, Role of Small Scale Farmers and Threat of Global Land Grabbing” will be inaugurated by E.D. Devassy MLA at Athirapally. The symposium which is scheduled to begin at 10 AM will be moderated by P.P. James and prominent environmental activists like Dr. Vandana Shiva, C.R. Neelakandan, V.D. Satheeshan MLA, D.C. Syriac IAS will present their papers on the topic. Youth representatives from different parts of the world will also take part in the symposium and express their opinions on the subject.

Following the Symposium, at 2 PM, Jose Thettayil, Minister for Transport in Kerala, will inaugurate the public meeting, which will be held in Chalakkudy. Bp. Mar. Pauly Kannookadan, Bishop of Irinjalakkuda Diocese and Archbp. Mar. Andrews Tazhath will deliver the benedictory address and Key note address respectively. K Vishwambaran IAS, Vice Chancellor, Kerala Agricultural University, Mannuthi will be the chief guest in the meeting in which MIJARC world president George Dixon Fernandez will preside.

MIJARC World Secretary General Caroline Grieshop, K.P. Dhanapalan MP, E.D. Devassy MLA, Msgr. Vincent Alappat, KCYM State President Deepak Cherkkot, KCYM State Secretary Lijo Payyappilly, KCYM Irinjalakkuda diocese Director Fr. Wilson Koonan, MIJARC Asian Chaplain Fr. Sunny Uppan, KCYM State Director and MIJARC National Chaplain Fr. Jaison Kollannur, MIJARC Asian Coordinator Anil Jose, MIJARC Kerala Coordinator Jomy Joseph will address the gathering.

Friday, July 23, 2010

MIJARC's Fight Against Global land Grabbing Appreciable: Prof. K.V. Thomas

“Activities for the promotion of agricultural sector and against global land grabbing being taken up by MIJARC, the international youth movement is appreciable. The activities of MIJARC is worth appreciating and implementing the society in which we are living today”, said Prof. K.V. Thomas, Minister of State for Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, while inaugurating a session on “Biodiversity: The Role of Youth”. The mindset of people should be changed to implement development in our midst. Technologies that do not adversely affect agriculture should be used and promoted, he added.

MIJARC Secretary General Cariline Grieshop delivered the keynote address in the inaugural meeting which was presided by MIJARC World President George Dixon Fernandez. Charles Diaz MP, MIJARC Asian Chaplain Fr. Sunny Uppan, KCYM State President Deepak Cherkkott, KCYM State Drector and MIJARC National Chaplain Fr. Jaison Kollannur, MIJARC Asian Coordinator Anil Jose, MIJARC Pan African Coordinator Doreen Hona, MIJARC European President Claire Quintin, MIJARC Kerala Coordinator Jomy Joseph addressed the gathering.

The session was conducted as a part of the International seminar on “The Role of Small Scale Farmers in Protection of Biodiversity and food Sovereignty”, which is conducted in Pastoral Orientation Center, Kochi from July 20 – 25, 2010.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Young Rural Catholics Promote Food Sovereignty to Protect Biodiversity

This summer in India, the monsoon is not as strong as it used to be; rain is less abundant. Some will reckon it is a natural coincidence, but we see climate change and its impact on rural populations in the world, regarding access to water, agricultural production and health.

The life of rural populations is highly dependent on natural elements, which is why for centuries they have learnt to find their own place within ecosystems. Peasants, small farmers in particular, are the main pillars of this sustainable balance between human beings and the rest of Nature.

Through their lifestyles and specific production modes adapted to each territory, they preserve biodiversity, mainly seed banks and local variety crops; have their own water management systems and production-adapted eating habits. Thus, they ensure the food sovereignty of their territories.

However, we currently see the development of a land-grabbing phenomenon. Foreign companies, or even States, grab hold of the lands used by these peasants. Indeed, as some have destroyed their local farming systems and changed their eating habits, they are not able to provide food and raw materials to their populations anymore. They buy land in other countries and exploit them in order to export their resources to their country of origin, mainly agrofuels.

This phenomenon is disastrous for the inhabitants of grabbed land, as it deprives them of their means of subsistence and disrupts the natural balances they had built. On the other hand, it does not solve the problems faced by countries that lack land. Many scientists showed that small farmers are far more productive than big-scale agriculture: they use little energy and the food they produce is more nutritious. Besides, the biodiversity they protect offers them a better adaptability and resistance to climate vagaries.

Land-grabbing, instead of being guided by this wisdom, tends to continue a production model which is not viable, does not enable peoples’ food sovereignty and is doomed to failure.

Fortunately, we did not wait for the low monsoon to grab theses challenges. Actually, we are here to hold a study day:

“Biodiversity, seeds, the role of small producers and land-grabbing”
Saturday July 24, 2010, in Kerala State, India.

The day will start in Aroormuzhy, Kerala, with a round-table opened by Prof. K.V. Thomas, Minister of Agriculture & Consumer Affairs, food & Public Distribution.

Then, a panel of specialists will take the floor, including Dr. Vandana Siva, Miss Carolin Grieshop, Mr. Alphons Kannanthanam MLA, Mr. V.D. Satheesan MLA and Dr.C.R Neelakandan.

This round-table will be followed by a conference in Chalakudy (St Mary’s Forane Church Parish Hall), held by Dr. Vandana Siva, Monsignor Mar Andrews Thazath, (Thrissur Diocese Archbishop), Monsignor Mar Poly Kannookkadan, (Irinjalakkuda Dioscese Bishop), MIJARC members and actors from Kerala State Dioceses.

Carolin Grieshop,
Secretary General,
Mouvement international de la jeunesse agricole et rurale catholique (MIJARC)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

മിജാര്‍ക്ക് ഏഷ്യന്‍ സമ്മേളനത്തിന് തുടക്കമായി

ആഗോള കത്തോലിക്കാ കാര്‍ഷിക യുവജന സംഘടന ആയ മിജാര്‍ക്കിന്റെ ഏഷ്യന്‍ സമ്മേളനത്തിന് തുടക്കമായി. മിജാര്‍ക്കിന്റെ അംഗസംഘടനയായ കെ.സി.വൈ.എം.ന്റെ ആതിഥേയത്വത്തില്‍ എറണാകുളം പി.ഓ.സി. യില്‍ നടക്കുന്ന പ്രതിനിധി സമ്മേളനം മിജാര്‍ക്ക് വേള്‍ഡ് സെക്രടറി ജെനറല്‍ മിസ്സ്‌. കരോളിന്‍ ഗ്രിശോപ് ഉത്ഘാടനം ചെയ്തു.

യുനൈറ്റ്‌ഡ നേഷന്‍സിന്റെ കീഴിലുള്ള FAO  (Food and Agricultural Organization), ILO (International Labour Organization), IPC (International Planning Commission), UNESCO തുടങ്ങിയ സംഘടനകളിലെ ഔദ്യോഗിക അംഗസംഘടനയാണ് മിജാര്‍ക്ക്. ഏഷ്യയിലെ വിവിധ അംഗരാഷ്ട്രങ്ങളില്‍ നിന്നുള്ള പ്രതിനിധികള്‍ പങ്കെടുക്കുന്ന സമ്മേളനത്തില്‍ ആഗോള കാര്‍ഷിക ഭക്ഷ്യ മേഘലയിലെ സാധ്യതകളെ കുറിച്ചും പ്രതിനിധികളെ കുറിച്ചുള്ള പ്രബന്ധങ്ങള്‍ അവതരിപ്പിക്കും. ജൂലൈ 20 മുതല്‍ ഓഗസ്റ്റ്‌ 1 വരെ പി.ഒ.സി.യില്‍ നടക്കുന്ന ലോകസമ്മേളനത്തിന്‍ മുന്നോടിയായാണ് ഏഷ്യന്‍സമ്മേളനം സംഘടിപ്പിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നത്.  ലോക സമ്മേളനത്തോടനുഭന്ധിച്ചു ജൈവ വൈവിധ്യ സംരകഷണത്തിനും ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷയ്ക്കും വിഘാതമായ ആഗോള ഭൂകയ്യേറ്റത്തിനെതിരെ നടക്കുന്ന ആഗോള ക്യാമ്പ്‌യിന്റെ ഉത്ഘാടനം ജൂലൈ 24ന് ചാലക്കുടിയില്‍ വന്‍ ബഹുജനറാലിയോടനുഭന്ധിച്ചു നടക്കും.

ഏഷ്യന്‍ സമ്മേളനത്തിന്റെ ഉത്ഘാടന സമ്മേളനത്തിന് മിജാര്‍ക്ക് ഏഷ്യന്‍ കോ-ഓര്ടിനേറ്റര്‍ ശ്രീ. അനില്‍ ജോസ് അധ്യക്ഷത വഹിച്ചു. ഏഷ്യന്‍ കോ-ഓര്ടിനേറ്റര്‍ ശ്രീമതി സരിത മിന്‍സ്, കെ.സി.വൈ.എം. സംസ്ഥാന പ്രസിഡന്റ്‌ ശ്രീ. ദീപക് ചെര്‍ക്കൊട്ട്, കെ.സി.വൈ.എം. സംസ്ഥാന ഡയറക്ടര്‍ ഫാ.ജെയ്സണ്‍ കൊള്ളന്നൂറ്‍ , ഏഷ്യന്‍ ചാപ്ലിന്‍ ഫാ. സണ്ണി ഉപ്പന്‍ തുടങ്ങിയവര്‍ സംസാരിച്ചു. മിജാര്‍ക്ക് നേതാക്കളായ ശ്രീ. ജോസ് പള്ളത്ത്, ജോമി ജോസഫ്‌, എവ്ലിന്‍ ഡി റോസ്‌, കെ.സി.വൈ.എം. സംസ്ഥാന ഭാരവാഹികള്‍ തുടങ്ങിയവര്‍ സമ്മേളനത്തിന് നേതൃത്വം നല്‍കും. സമ്മേളനം ജൂലൈ 19 ന് സമാപിക്കും.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pontiff Notes Empty Promises Made to Youth

Says Consumer Culture Keeps Man from Understanding Himself

Among the shadows that “obscure the horizon” of young people there are not only economic difficulties but also the threat of the “consumer culture” that creates “false values,” Benedict XVI is warning.

The Pope met today with a group of young people in the Cathedral of Sulmona at the end of his apostolic visit to the city in Italy’s Abruzzi region. The area was devastated by an earthquake in 2009 and this is the Holy Father's second trip to the zone.

In his address, based on the experiences that the young people shared with him, he noted “shadows that obscure your horizon: they are concrete problems, which make it hard to look to the future with serenity and optimism.”

"But there are also false values and illusory models that are proposed to you and that promise to fill up life but empty it instead,” he added.

The Holy Father explained that “the current consumerist culture” tends to “flatten man to the present, to make him lose the sense of the past, of history; but in this way it also deprives him of the capacity to understand himself, to perceive problems and to build tomorrow.”

"So, dear young people, I would like to tell you: the Christian is one who has a good memory, who loves history and seeks to know it,” the Pope said.

Benedict XVI traveled to Sulmona on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the birth of Pope St. Celestine V (1209-1296). Before returning to the Vatican he prayed before the casket containing the remains of Celestine V in the crypt of the cathedral.

Courtesy: Zenit News

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pope’s Prayer Intentions for July

Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for July is: "That in every nation of the world the election of officials may be carried out with justice, transparency and honesty, respecting the free decisions of citizens".

His mission intention is: "That Christians may strive to offer everywhere, but especially in great urban centers, an effective contribution to the promotion of education, justice, solidarity and peace".

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Imitate Martyrs' Heroism: His Holiness Benedict XVI

Calling to mind the feast of the First Roman Martyrs on June 30, 2010, Benedict XVI is encouraging youth to imitate their witness and be faithful to Christ in every moment.

The Pope said this today at the conclusion of the general audience, when he offered his traditional greeting to youth, the sick and newlyweds.

"Dear young people imitate [the martyrs'] heroic evangelical witness and be faithful to Christ in every situation of life," he said.

"I encourage you, dear sick people, to take up the example of the protomartyrs to transform your suffering into an act of donation for love of God and of brothers," the Holy Father added. "May you, dear newlyweds, be able to adhere to the plan that the Creator established for your vocation, so as to succeed in bringing about a fecund and lasting family union." 

Courtesy: Zenit News

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Registration for WYD11 Open

Benedict XVI Is 1st signed up for '11 Youth Day

Registrations opened today for the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid, with Benedict XVI being the first participant signed up.

The registration system for the Aug. 16-21, 2011, event was presented at a press conference before the registrations opened.

Auxiliary Bishop César Franco of Madrid, general coordinator of WYD, pointed to the practical need for accurate registrations so as to "treat young people well" and "know how many are coming, how many need accommodation, food or cultural areas to cover their needs."

Though participation is free in the main events of World Youth Day (the inaugural Mass, welcome ceremony, Way of the Cross, Saturday vigil and Sunday Mass), participants are encouraged to register and pay a fee that helps cover WYD costs and brings the benefits of being a registered participant.

Fees for the full package (food, lodging, WYD pack and reserved seating sections at the events) range from €210 ($262) for participants from developed countries to €122 ($152) for participants from poorer countries. An early-registration discount is available.

Participants are also encouraged to make a €10 ($12.50) donation in solidarity with pilgrims facing economic difficulties.

"The Days are for everyone, not just for the rich. Whoever has more economic possibilities should help others: Solidarity is the key of WYD," said Bishop Franco.

Gearing up 

Some 600,000 young people from outside Spain have expressed their intention to register: 120,000 Italians, 70,000 French, 50,000 Poles and 25,000 North Americans, according to data from local organizations. If these figures are confirmed, a record participation is expected.

Organizers for Madrid 2011 are hoping to get 40% of participants registered, as opposed to about a 25% registration average for previous WYDs.

The registration system is online and accessible around the clock in five languages. There is also 24-hour phone support in English and Spanish.

The registration program was financed by the Madrid Vivo Foundation, which obtained the support of several Spanish businesses and institutions for this project.

After the event, WYD-Madrid will donate this system to the Vatican so that it can be used in future WYDs.

Registration includes accident insurance, public transport during the WYD week, the backpack -- with shirt, cap, Guide to Madrid, book for the ceremonies and other useful items -- free entrance to cultural activities and priority access, and reserved areas in the principal events.

Courtesy: Zenit News

Friday, July 2, 2010

ദുക്‌റാന തിരുനാള്‍ മംഗളങ്ങള്‍

കെ.സി.വൈ.എം. സംസ്ഥാന സമിതിയുടെ ദുക്‌റാന തിരുനാള്‍ മംഗളങ്ങള്‍

Thursday, July 1, 2010

മിജാര്‍ക്ക്‌ രാജ്യാന്തരസമ്മേളനത്തിനുള്ള ഒരുക്കങ്ങള്‍ പൂര്‍ത്തിയായി

അന്താരാഷ്ട്ര കാര്‍ഷിക യുവജനസംഘടനയായ മിജാര്‍ക്കിണ്റ്റെ രാജ്യാന്തരസമ്മേളനത്തിനുള്ള ഒരുക്കങ്ങള്‍ പൂര്‍ത്തിയായി. 13മുതല്‍ ഓഗസ്റ്റ്‌ ഒന്നുവരെ എറണാകുളം പിഒസിയിലും 24ന്‌ ചാലക്കുടിയിലുമാണ്‌ സമ്മേളനം നടക്കുന്നത്‌. ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷയ്ക്ക്‌ ഭീഷണിയാകുന്ന ആഗോള ഭൂകൈയേറ്റങ്ങള്‍ക്കെതിരേയുള്ള അന്താരാഷ്ട്ര ബോധവത്കരണ പ്രവര്‍ത്തനങ്ങളുടെ ഉദ്ഘാടനവും ഇതോടൊപ്പം നടത്തും. പരിസ്ഥിതി സംരക്ഷണം, ജൈവവൈവിധ്യ സംരക്ഷണം, ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷ, കാര്‍ഷിക മേഖലയിലെ യുവജനങ്ങളുടെ പങ്കാളിത്തം, വിത്ത്‌ സംരക്ഷണം, ചെറുകിട കര്‍ഷകരുടെ പങ്ക്‌ രാജ്യപുരോഗതിയില്‍, കാലാവസ്ഥാ വ്യതിയാനം, ഭൂകൈയേറ്റങ്ങള്‍ എന്നിവയെ അടിസ്ഥാനമാക്കിയുള്ള സെമിനാറുകളും സിമ്പോസിയങ്ങളും സമ്മേളനത്തിണ്റ്റെ ഭാഗമായി നടത്തുന്നുണ്ട്‌. 24ന്‌ ചാലക്കുടിയില്‍ ബഹുജന റാലിയിലൂടെയും പൊതുസമ്മേളനത്തിലൂടെയും അന്താരാഷ്ട്ര ബോധവത്കരണ പരിപാടി ഉദ്ഘാടനം ചെയ്യപ്പെടും. പരിപാടിയുടെ സ്വാഗതസംഘം ഓഫീസിണ്റ്റെ ഉദ്ഘാടനം മിജാര്‍ക്ക്‌ വേള്‍ഡ്‌ പ്രസിഡണ്റ്റ്‌ ജോര്‍ജ്‌ ഡിക്സണ്‍ നിര്‍വഹിച്ചു. 24ന്‌രാവിലെ അതിരപ്പള്ളിയില്‍ നടക്കുന്ന അന്തര്‍ദേശീയ സിമ്പോസിയത്തില്‍ അന്താരാഷ്ട്ര പ്രതിനിധികള്‍ക്കൊപ്പം വിവിധ സംഘടനാ പ്രതിനിധികള്‍, പരിസ്ഥിതി പ്രവര്‍ത്തകര്‍, സാമൂഹ്യ രാഷ്ട്രീയ നേതാക്കള്‍ എന്നിവര്‍ സംബന്ധിക്കും.

മിജാര്‍ക്ക്‌ വേള്‍ഡ്‌ പ്രസിഡണ്റ്റ്‌ ജോര്‍ജ്‌ ഡിക്സണ്‍, ഏഷ്യന്‍ കോ-ഓഡിനേറ്റര്‍ അനില്‍ ജോസ്‌, കെസിവൈഎം സംസ്ഥാന പ്രസിഡണ്റ്റ്‌ ദീപക്‌ ചേര്‍ക്കോട്ട്‌, കെസിബിസി യൂത്ത്‌ കമ്മീഷന്‍ സെക്രട്ടറി ഫാ. ജെയ്സണ്‍ കൊള്ളന്നൂറ്‍, മിജാര്‍ക്ക്‌ കേരള കോ-ഓര്‍ഡിനേറ്റര്‍മാരായ ജോമി ജോസഫ്‌, എവ്ലിന്‍ ഡി റോസ്‌, സോളിഡാരിറ്റി കമ്മീഷന്‍ മെമ്പര്‍ ജോസ്‌ പള്ളത്ത്‌, കെസിവൈഎം ഇരിങ്ങാലക്കുട രൂപതാ ഡയറക്ടര്‍ ഫാ. വില്‍സണ്‍, പ്രസിഡണ്റ്റ്‌ നിറ്റിന്‍ തോമസ്‌, മുന്‍ സംസ്ഥാന പ്രസിഡണ്റ്റ്‌ തോംസണ്‍ ചിരിയങ്കണ്ടത്ത്‌, സംസ്ഥാന ഭാരവാഹികളായ ജോണ്‍സണ്‍ ശൂരനാട്‌, അനിത ആന്‍ഡ്രൂ, എ. ബി. ജസ്റ്റിന്‍, ലിജോ പയ്യപ്പള്ളി, സന്തോഷ്‌, മെറീന റിന്‍സി, ട്വിങ്കിള്‍ ഫ്രാന്‍സിസ്‌, ടിറ്റു തോമസ്‌, ഇരിങ്ങാലക്കുട രൂപതാ ഭാരവാഹികള്‍ എന്നിവര്‍ പരിപാടികള്‍ക്കു നേതൃത്വം നല്‍കും.