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					Student’s notes
Registered charity no. 285776

Activities
Activity 1. What do YOU think?
Below are a number of different statements to do with poverty, the environment and living more sustainable lives. Mark down if you agree or disagree with them. Compare your views with the person sitting next to you. People in developing countries have enough problems to think about without ‘being green’ as well. AGREE /DISAGREE Charities like CAFOD should concentrate on making sure people aren’t starving rather than spending money on supporting things like local environmental campaigns. AGREE/DISAGREE

Living sustainably: so what does it mean?
Money raised for CAFOD supports projects that help some of the poorest people worldwide live sustainably. But what does ‘living sustainably’ actually mean and why is it so important? If people are to escape poverty, they need to be able to support themselves without having to rely on hand-outs. Having a secure source of income means families can plan for the future and feel confident that they can send their children to school and feed and clothe themselves properly not just this year or next year but every year. This is much of what living sustainably is about. But that’s not the whole story.
Living sustainably is also about being able to do all this without depleting or damaging the natural environment. People need to be able to improve their standard of living without having to take things from the environment that cannot be replaced. Future generations need these things, too. So actions like using renewable energy sources where possible, replanting trees, looking after water supplies or simply learning new skills so that there are alternative ways of making money are all crucial. The nature of modern life means that pressures to do things in an unsustainable way are never far away both here and in developing countries – as illustrated in Nu-Ganon’s story below. But we all have a responsibility to make sure we live as sustainably as we can for everyone’s sake.

If I live in a more sustainable way, it makes a real difference to people all over the world. AGREE/DISAGREE Helping poor people in other countries is all about giving them food, clothes and a place to live. AGREE/DISAGREE Poor people are affected by environmental problems just the same as wealthier people. AGREE/DISAGREE People in other countries need to deal with their own problems whatever they are. AGREE/DISAGREE It’s too late for us to stop environmental damage – the worst has already been done. AGREE/DISAGREE It’s more important that people in poverty can earn money now if the chance is there – even if that means they damage their environment in the process. AGREE/DISAGREE Having a greener lifestyle isn’t hard – it just involves a bit of effort. AGREE/DISAGREE

Student’s notes
Registered charity no. 285776

Activity 2. Stories from around the world
Read these true-life stories and answer the questions.

Cambodia: money from trees
Nu-Ganon is a resin tree tapper. He makes his living collecting and selling the resin from trees he owns in the local forest. The money he makes from the resin goes towards all sorts of things to look after his family – including being able to afford to send his children to school and buy them their school books. Nu-Ganon’s way of life – and the lives of other tree-tapping families in the area – has been under threat because of the activities of illegal tree-logging companies. The logging companies have put the farmers under a lot of pressure to sell their trees to them. They want to cut them down and use them as valuable timber. Farmers were told that if they didn’t sell their trees, they would be cut down anyway and then they’d get nothing. Nu-Ganon and other farmers have ended up selling trees because they felt they had no choice. Once the trees are sold, although the farmers get money for them, they loose a valuable source of income for the future as they can no longer collect the resin. They can’t pass the trees on down to their children as an inheritance either, as has traditionally been done in the past. CAFOD supports an organisation in the area that runs a project helping the farmers fight back against the tree loggers and keep their trees. Nu-Ganon and other farmers now understand the long-term effects of not having any trees: “If we sell the trees to the company we only get one benefit but if we keep the trees so we can continue collecting resin, we continue to get benefit for 100 years,” says Nu-Ganon. As well as protecting the trees and teaching the farmers about their rights, the project helps the farmers sell the resin at a higher price. Nu-Ganon and his family now feel more secure that the trees they have will continue to provide them with an income for many years to come. “We are not afraid anymore about the companies coming,” says Nu-Ganon.

Zambia: water from the sun
Anolaska is 14. She lives with her parents and seven brothers and sisters in the village of Kalisowe (meaning ‘lost place’) in Zambia, central southern Africa. Getting water used to be a big problem for Anolaska’s family and other families in the village. Changes in climate mean that drought is an increasingly frequent problem. During times of drought villagers in Anolaska’s village – including children whose job it is often to collect water – had to walk up to four hours away from the village to find water. Once they found it, they’d have to dig a hole to get at it and then carry it all the way back again. This meant they had limited supplies to drink or wash with, and it was hard for people to grow crops to feed themselves or to sell to make extra money. “We used to share dirty water with the animals. I used to have to collect the water from a faraway place. It took ages. Often we used to get to school late because of it,” says Anolaska. All that has changed now. CAFOD is supporting a ‘sustainable livelihoods’ programme run by the Diocese of Monze, which helps people find ways of achieving a sustainable way of life without having to rely on emergency aid during the harder times. In Anolaska’s village, the programme has provided villagers with a solar-powered water pump to extract the water from deep under the ground up a hill into a large water tank where it is stored. From the tank, the water is piped to the school and the rest of the village for drinking, washing and for growing plants. Because they don’t have to fetch the water, families now have more time to do other things, including cultivating their land. The water is even being used to make bricks for a new building for Anolaska’s school in the village. And at the school, Anolaska and her friends help cultivate the school garden, where they grow fruit and veg to eat and sell. School pupils are taught the best ways to cultivate the land and to try out new crops. Then they take these ideas home to their parents. “Before there was a lot of hunger but now it’s much better because we have things to grow,” says Anolaska.

Student’s notes
Registered charity no. 285776

Honduras: farming for the future
Erik, 11, is from a remote rural area in Honduras, Central America. He and his family work hard to farm their land in an eco-friendly way. Erik’s main job in the home is to feed the animals. He even has his own cow, given to him by his grandmother. He is also responsible for the fish in the family’s new fish tank. “I take care of the fish in the fish tank. We have 50 fish and we grow them to eat,” he says. Erik’s Mum, Marcelina, and Dad, Andres, have been able to buy the fish and the fish tank because of the extra money they have earned through Marcelina’s involvement in a special organic-farming scheme run by a local rural development organisation supported by CAFOD. The organisation aims to encourage women to expand their skills and earn money by growing organic crops using eco-friendly farming techniques. The women aren’t just helped with cultivating the crops. They receive support and advice on marketing and selling their crops – not just locally but to other countries, too. Erik helps harvest their crop of organic coffee, which, together with coffee grown by other organic producers involved in the scheme, is sold as far away as Germany. Organic aloe vera is also grown by Marcelina and other women. Some of the women also have jobs in a factory where the aloe vera is made into soap and shampoo and sold as far away as Switzerland. Erik’s family life has been changed for the better through their involvement in the scheme. His Mum now runs their farm and has a job teaching other women in the area about organic production. Erik’s Dad has been able to take on paid work as a builder. Erik’s home is more comfortable now there is money coming in. Before, they had a mud floor. Now it is cement. Before, their oven used to fill the house with smoke which damaged their lungs. Now they have a proper oven and the smoke goes outside. The food they produce is different too. “Before, we produced it with chemicals. It tastes better now and is healthier” says Erik’s Dad. The family are looking forward to their future which, in the short term, involves making a chicken coop and building an organic composter to improve things even further on the farm.

Questions Read through each story and highlight or underline the ways that these families are now living more sustainable lives. What are the families able to do now that they couldn’t do before they got the extra support? Think about your own life and ways that you live sustainably now – and how you could live more sustainably in the future. Think about how you can do this at home, at school and in your wider community. How do you think that your actions to live more sustainably might have a positive impact on people in the countries where CAFOD works?

Activity 3. Fundraising ideas for ‘Go green with CAFOD’
Go green with CAFOD is a special green fundraising scheme happening in schools and youth groups all over the country. Join in and you’ll be raising money to support projects that help people all over the world look after themselves and their environment. Start off by writing down three fundraising ideas with a green theme. If you’re stuck, don’t fret. You can read and download a special fundraising kit from www.cafod.org.uk/bigdeal. It’s full of ideas and has loads more useful info on helping run a fundraising event. Remember, we’d love to see photos and reviews of your event. Email bigdeal@cafod.org.uk and your school could be featured on the site.

Activity 4. Press pack
How will you get publicity for your ‘Go green’ event? Write down a ‘publicity plan’ covering all the ideas you have for raising the profile of your event – press releases, creating a web page, making a banner. For more ideas, visit www.cafod.org.uk/bigdeal.

Activity 5. Try the aid-worker challenge
Scenario: Imagine you are an aid worker. You have been sent by CAFOD to a village in a beautiful but poor region in South America. Your task: to fact-find and report back on how CAFOD money can best help the community. Here are some of the things you find out about the people and the area they live in during your stay: • The people are very poor and have few opportunities to improve their lives but they are not starving.

Student’s notes
Registered charity no. 285776

• Few of the children go to school for very long because families can’t afford to send them or they need them to work on the farms. • The super-rich farmer nearby has all the best land while the poor farmers are left with the worst soil. Local government officials back the rich farmer but do very little for the poor farmers. The villagers think this is unfair but aren’t sure if they can do anything about it. • People used to be able to sell fish from the nearby river in the local market but now pesticides used by the rich farmer have polluted the water. • Food is grown on small plots of land but the soil quality isn’t great and things don’t grow as well as they could. • The women in the community weave beautiful traditional cloths, which they use for clothes and to decorate their homes. • The village is near a road, which is used by workers travelling to large towns further afield – when they want a break from their journey, the workers tend to stop at the next village along as it has a café. • Lots of the men from the village have now left the area in the hope of finding work elsewhere. The women left behind tend to follow traditional roles of looking after children and farming. • The village is buzzing with rumours that an eco-hotel might be opening in the forest not so far away. You need to report back on what can be done for the community to CAFOD head office. Bearing in mind what you have found out about the village, write down three ideas for projects CAFOD could fund, which you feel could help this community. Say why you have chosen them. Remember you’re looking for ways to help the community develop and prosper in a sustainable way.

Activity 6: Fact finding
Find out more about the people in the true-life stories by going to www.cafod.org.uk/bigdeal You can see more photos and film clips about the communities they live in and the problems they face. Look at the main CAFOD website to find out about other examples of sustainable living in other countries www.cafod.org.uk/wherewework. You can also find out about living sustainably on a whole host of other websites. Why not try these?: www.dfes.gov.uk/aboutus/sd/index.shtml www.sustainable-development.gov.uk www.eco-schools.org.uk

Now you know more about living sustainably – what’s next for you?

Illustration: Daniela Guglielmetti Photography: Marcella Haddad, Caroline Irby, Purple Flame


				
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