A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
During GROW Week Belgium has not been lagging behind. For such a small country, we know how to make ourselves heard!
Throughout the week, Oxfam shops are organising a Fair Trade coffee afternoon for their customers or giving out tasty chocolate pastries. Getting together over a nice cup of coffee, which has been grown by small scale producers, is the ideal way to get people talking about the GROW method, don’t you think?
Every year, 16 October is World Food Day. This year, we met Belgian MPs for a working lunch to discuss the coordination of Belgian politicians in the fight against food insecurity, organised by the Coalition Against Hunger. The same day, we organised a Teachers’ Workshop on the GROW campaign. But this is only the start…
In fact, we took part in a demonstration for the implementation of a different agricultural model, which is free from the burden of the agro-industry lobby, and where the growers are recognised as guaranteeing biodiversity and good quality food. We distributed GROW organic seeds to passers-by, in order to raise awareness about our message. Most were extremely delighted at the idea of growing their own basil or parsley and working towards a different food system! This all took place outside the Sheraton Hotel, where the General Convention of the European seed producers lobby, the European Seed Association, was being held.
The next day, we joined the final stage of a march/cycle ride of the landless from around the world. They came from Lille to Brussels, in solidarity with 100,000 Indian farmers, who are marching to New Delhi to defend their rights. What could be more topical in the middle of GROW week, with our campaign against land-grabbing in full swing, than an international solidarity march with small farmers?
This week has been incredible, our supporters have been taking part in our campaign and sharing it far and wide! Just in case you haven’t heard of it, Oxfam is asking the World Bank to temporarily freeze its investment in agricultural land. In fact they are in a unique position: it has both a property investor and advisory role in developing countries.
Through this two-fold role, it can redefine the way in which land is negotiated and overturn the present situation, which leads to entire communities being deprived of their lands. If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to take part in our campaign by signing our petition addressed to the President of the World Bank, Jim Kim!
GROW Week is the ideal moment for talking to others about what we’re all doing to create a food system where everyone has enough to eat. So don’t hesitate, join our movement and help the blossoming of our tree of alternatives by making us part of your action!