Jubilee Debt Campaign Birmingham

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 Clipboard03Jubilee Room Houses of Parliament.

Some 80 or so MPs and campaigners were present. It was the fifteenth anniversary of Jubilee Debt Campaign (formerly Jubilee 2000)

Peter Price, Bishop of Bath and Wells, saw JDC as a movement of ordinary people. He recalled Bill Peters who had the original idea and was at time the chair of USPG while he Peter was the General Secretary. Bill had asked him for £1,000 to get the idea off the ground. Though they were sort of men, they agreed. Bill, together with Martin Dent, got the vision going. The change had come about through grass-roots action, from the bottom up. “When debts are remitted, lives are changed.” New life had been made possible thanks to the people, faith leaders and parliament.

Bhai Mohinder Singh from the Sikh Community recalled how the Sikh Scriptures spoke of there being one God and the human race being one large family; God abhors our exploiting other human beings – our own kith and kin. The different faiths could agree about the millennium goals and about the principles of compassion and love. His Sikh community held continuous days of prayer for peace and prosperity for all. A global infrastructure was required, and a just and fair financial system. There should be responsible lending and borrowing, with a proper debt work-out mechanism. He had been delighted to sign the faith leaders’ letter. There were enough resources in the world as long as people were not greedy. It was greed that led to financial crises.

Rabbi Sybil Sheridan from The Movement for Reform Judaism referred to the book of Leviticus chapter 25 verse 10 by which, in the year of Jubilee every 50 years, liberty was ensured for everyone in the land. People’s ancestral lands which might have been sold to others were then restored to them. Wealth then was seen not so much as a wealth but as a gift from God, with corresponding responsibilities to take care of the widows, the orphans and the strangers; neighbours who had become slaves were to have their liberty bought back. The same principle should be followed today through the development of some sort of international bankruptcy procedure by which indebted nations could have their situations resolved.

The Revd Dr Mark Wakelin, President of the Methodist Conference, said that organisations like JDC encouraged us to change our narrative so that politicians could change the world.

Trisha Rogers, a past Director of JDC and Vice Chair of the British Humanist Association felt honoured to be present. Humanist values, she said, included thinking for oneself with reason, empathy and compassion, respect for the individual, democracy and cooperation. Unfortunately international debt was not subject to the safeguards that applied to lending within the UK where judges could overrule repayment conditions that were unfair; international loans were often to the advantage of the lender and the conditions unreasonable

Nick Dearden, current Director of JDC, spoke of the success of JDC over the years in putting pressure on the G8 and holding governments to account. The most important change had not in fact been the $130 debt relief achieved but rather the change in values – the principle that debt should not always be repaid, irrespective of circumstances or consequences. That was still relevant for another generation since we now had a debt crisis on our own doorstep, with the worst features of the Latin American experience applied to Europe. It was not acceptable for the poorest to be paying the price of the errors of the rich. Justice required not just a one-off cancellation of debt but, in the pattern of the biblical Jubilee, a continuous process within the world economy. A spiritual renewal was needed, the equivalent today of the abolition of slavery, something once thought utopian but which actually happened. We needed to think the impossible and embark on a major fight against soaring inequality and deep levels of world poverty. He expressed his thanks for the past and looked forward to further cooperation in the future.

John Nightingale

More exciting news is coming from Jubilee Debt Campaign  London office about the Faith Leaders take up of our latest action.

“191 faith leaders have signed the letter so far, including Members of the Sikh, Jains, Arya Samaj, Hindu. Jewish and Muslim  Community, Also  many Christian denominations have  signed the Faith Leaders letter. Including Archbishops Bishops and prominent leaders for all sections of the church in the UK.”

Do be inspired by looking at the full list here

You can also view some photographs taken at signings here in Birmingham

The JDC office is now  getting  thousands of chain links  signed by members of  all the faith communities and indeed those of no faith. The level of support  given in just a few weeks has been wonderful.

Keep up the good work.

For more in formation on how you can do your part go to www.jdcmultifaith.org.

 

This is your invitation to the Dharmic Faith’s Conference “Faith in Justice”
You are cordially invited to experience a fantastic event scheduled to take place during the World Interfaith Harmony Week on Thursday 2nd Feb 2012.

We have distinguished speakers from the Dharmic Faiths – Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Zoroastrian.who will share their faith perspective on global poverty and debt.
Chaired by Rev Prof Michael Taylor and including words from Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh

The event will enable those from all faiths and none to appreciate the role Debt plays in global poverty We hope within this conference you will get the opportunity to share some core beliefs and thoughts on social justice issues as they relate to debt.

JDC is very keen to collect diverse new resources for educational use that reflect the theology of many different faith groups and how they might link with the issue of international debt. It is our intention to make these new resources freely available via the web site www.jdcmultifaith.org you can collect hard copies at the conference when some leaflets will be launched for the first time.

The purpose of the day is also to raise awareness of Dharmic faiths with other faiths communities and also to raise awareness of JDC multi-faith project during the Interfaith Harmony week 2012.

This exceptional event will take place on:

Thursday 2nd Feb 2012
at
The Nishkam Centre
6 Soho Road, Birmingham,
B219BH

Please ensure you book your place by contacting
Audrey Miller
E: Jubileedebt@blueyonder.co.uk
T: 0121 471 4175

JDC MULTIFAITH organised its first women’s only event to celebrate International Women’s Day and and draw attention to the need for action on Global Poverty.

It was an inspiring experience to be part of a meeting with seventy women from 9 different faith groups taking part.

The programme was very varied beginning with poems and drama before moving into song.You can see photos on the web links given above.

The high light of  evening for me was to hear the stories from Jewish, Sikh,Hindu  Christian and Muslim women about how they are making a difference to the world. All could relate to how their faith was instrumental in tackling issues such as international debt, fair trade, education for all, health and peace.

The “star” of the evening was the keynote speaker Shabana Mahmood MP who set out her own faith story of being an activist at local and national level.Most of the audience were attending their first JDC event and left very encouraging messages  about how much they had learnt during the evening and the sence of enpowerment they felt  by being together. Now the task is to tackle the issues with  other similar meetings. In fact one outcome is an invitation to repeat the programme.  Praise indeed.

November 1st to the 7th was Islam Awareness Week with daily involvement of Jubilee Debt Campaign in sharing our concern for Moslem  indebted countries. especially Pakistan. Many new supporters signing the Pakistan petition calling for cancelation of thier debt rather than giving more loans.

I certainly learnt a great deal about the Muslim way of life during the week and realised how JDC ideals link to the Moslim prospective on debt. Salma Yaqoob provided an inspiring address at our event , then poetry and drama all added value to the  JDC evening.You can download a summary  for your own use.

Now we are getting ready for the even bigger programme of   Inter Faith Week which runs from 20th to 27th of November. The JDC Multifaith project will be displaying our  educational and faith resources that raise awareness of on how faith groups can take action on Global poverty.

The week promises to have really varied programme of films from Birmingham  film co op with lively Question time at the Nishkam centre plus music, dance and poetry not to mention lots of eating in with  Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist and Moslem communities. Find out more  on West Midlands Faith Forum.

If you are attending any event and can offer to help staff our display stand do please get in touch with Chris Bloore the Multifaith co ordinator or me Audrey Miller.


Liam Kara is from a Hindu background

Unfortunately the world we live in is not equal. This may not be a revelation, but the fact that the standard of living and the opportunities available to an individual vary so severely depending upon their birthplace is an alarming truth that is one of the great global challenges facing humanity.
I believe the Jubilee Debt Campaign, as an ethical and widely respected organisation, plays a pivotal role in providing hope and opportunity to the millions that suffer in poverty, that one day their country and their future will be free to develop and prosper. Consequently, I am a huge admirer of the Jubilee Debt Campaign’s work, not just because of its ambitions but also because of its committed and progressive approach.
Having mainly worked in the ‘green energy’ sector and volunteered with several Non-Profit Organisations, I have witnessed the impact that an individual can have on a micro and macro scale. Given the opportunity, I believe that I can ensure the Jubilee Debt Campaign progresses with its aims and goals by encouraging greater participation in this essential fight against social injustice

In a world where such luxury items as mobile phones are taken for granted it seems impossible that countries are still struggling to satisfy their people’s basic need for food and clean drinking water. The first problem is the crippling debt these countries have looming over them; debts which have been taken on illegally, by corrupt regimes or with unfair, exploitative interest rates. To give these countries a chance to escape poverty their debts need to be cancelled.  I have joined the JDC team as a volunteer so I could help a great cause on the exciting front line of making poverty history.

Ian Stanley.

Chris Bloore  the Multifaith  co- ordinator is  seeking volunteers from other faith communities to help raise awareness of the  issue of Global Poverty and how JDC can seek justice on the issue of international debt. Contact him at the

Nishkam centre 18 – 20 Soho Road
Handsworth
Birmingham
B21 9H

Website: http://www.jdcmultifaith.org
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/JDCMULTIFAITH


When asked by a young Sikh friend Pritpal Kaur if I would like to donate to the charity Malaria No More UK (Registered Charity 1126222) I was keen to get involved with a   scheme that involves faith communities across Birmingham. The focus of Faiths Act Birmingham (FAB) is grassroots multi-faith action, which is making a special appeal from April 25th until May 1st.

Having seen the effects of Malaria at first hand and even getting the disease myself when I lived in Malawi, means I would naturally be sympathetic but this appeal had an added twist and ticked some extra boxes for me.

I know all to well that Malaria is one of the largest killers in sub-Saharan Africa and those who suffer have the most debilitating weariness as well as the fever and other symptoms. Yet it is very easily treatable disease. I  recovered in a few months. But above all it is easily preventable if  those living in infected areas sleep under a bed net. The cost of a net, which is minimal, can prevent this horrendous plague taking hold of vast areas of the world

£100 – enough to produce and distribute 20 bed nets, protecting 20 families from malaria for 5 years!  That’s just £5.00 each and seems a real bargain in whichever currency you use.

But  one extra  added attraction of giving to this particular Birmingham venture  was the fact that my donation would also draw down something from the former UK Prime Minister, Rt Hon Tony Blair, who has generously offered to match all funds raised. Which means  my donation will be doubled!  Twice as many bednet will be on the way across the globe

If you also want to support this scheme either go to www.justgiving.com/FaithsAct or send a cheque (payable to Malaria No More UK) to:

Faiths Act Birmingham

Nishkam Centre

6 Soho Road

Birmingham

B21 9BH

Audrey Miller

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This is the blog of the local group of the UK campaign calling for cancellation of international Debt.

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