Karno Batiran, executive director of PAYOPAYO, Share Lent’s partner in Indonesia, tends to planted seeds with his daughter. Photo courtesy Development and Peace

Share Lent focuses on farm workers’ rights

  • March 7, 2024

Development and Peace - Caritas Canada’s annual Share Lent campaign is in full swing, focusing this year on impacting rural and peasant communities around the world.

Under the theme “Reaping our Rights,” the 2024 campaign is focused on defending all aspects of small-scale farming and agriculture workers’ human rights. 

“The idea behind that is to address all the challenges and aspirations that peasant communities and small-scale farmers have across the world,” said Mayalène Lavigne-Martel, Development and Peace’s campaigns officer. 

It looks through the lens of partners across three continents: Fundación NUNA from Bolivia in South America, PAYOPAYO from Indonesia in Asia and HOMEF from Nigeria in Africa. Each shares the goal of defending rights to life, land, water, biodiversity, justice, health and more for small-scale farmers and related communities with Share Lent donations helping support each partner’s mission.

Share Lent funds will help fund projects in up to 34 countries. 

“There are a lot of challenges in the book in the Global South and there’s a lot of threats to their way of life (farming and agriculture) so it’s not easy,” Lavigne-Martel said. “This is why we chose to put this year’s theme forward, and with things like climate change, conflicts and land grabbing, there are so many threats that make it even harder for them just to make a living.” 

Share Lent 2024 kicked off on Ash Wednesday, with a webinar featuring partners launched three days later featuring Eva Colque, executive director of the Fundación Nuna organization, and Nnimmo Bassey, director of HOMEF.  

Last year, Share Lent was able to bring in upwards of $5.18 million through its country-wide parish collection, as well as online donations. 

“It is really a significant amount for us and for us to be able to carry out our work,” Lavigne-Martel said. “There have been some fluctuations over the years of course, we’ve all been impacted by the pandemic and it’s been harder (in the past), but we are hoping to be raising at least $5 million again this year.” 

One way Development and Peace hopes to achieve this is through the Share Year-Round monthly donor option, available to donors until Pentecost on May 19. Donations will be automatically matched by Development and Peace. 

The Solidarity Sunday collection will take place in parishes nationwide March 17. Canadian bishops’ conference president Bishop William McGrattan is inviting Catholics to give generously. 

“I invite you to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world through your generosity, engagement and solidarity; to ‘Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you,’ ” his message read, citing Hosea 10:12.

See devp.org/en/campaign/reaping-our-rights/#.

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