[REDES] Africa: a matter of life, a matter of obligation
According to Javier Ojeda, spokesman for the Technical Secretary of the Campaign, "the African continent faces a painful contrast: on one hand it has an immense richness and a great development potential due to the abundance of resources and its young population, since most of its inhabitants are under 18 years old; on the other hand the majority of the African countries are at the end of the list in human development and life expectancy decreases every year".
Ramiro Viñuales, REDES spokesman, explained that " with this campaign, we demand that the Spanish Aid for Development allocated for Africa will be exclusively directed towards eradication of poverty regardless financial or geostrategic interests". It also pointed out the "forgotten illnesses" that affect millions worldwide, especially the poorer populations.
The aim of this campaign is to promote the Millennium Goals in Africa, especially those related to the Basic Social Services ( Health, education, water and sanitary facilities), in spite of the current crisis.
For this purpose, REDES has elaborated information materials, after many years of experience in the field, in order to become an efficient mobilizing tool.
For more information on these documents see: www.africacuestiondevida.org
Why the slogan "a matter of life, a matter of obligation" ?
- It is a MATTER OF LIFE because it affects the basic social needs such as health and housing, the right to education, health care, the population's access to water and sanitary facilities.
- It is a MATTER OF LIFE because it prevents the African people from making their own decisions and be the main actors of their development.
- It is a MATTER OF LIFE because it affects basic issues such as justice, peace and human rights.
- It is a MATTER OF OBLIGATION because we consider that it is necessary to take up a commitment with Africa and question our responsibility in this situation.
- According to the 2009 World Education Follow Up Report, in Sub Saharan Africa, one third of children in the age of primary school, do not attend school.
- Sub Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where the number of people living in extreme poverty has almost doubled, from 164 million in 1984 to 314 million nowadays.
- The lack of drinking water is the main direct cause of the high infant death rate in Africa
- In all of the Sub Saharan region there are less than 5 doctors for every 100.000 people.
What is REDES?
The "Network of Entities for Solidarity Development", REDES, is a group of 52 DNGOs linked to religious institutions and other organizations of Christian inspiration with presence and work in Sub Saharan Africa. Entreculturas is a member of REDES.
REDES in Africa
REDES bases this campaign on the uninterrupted work that its members have been carrying out in Sub Saharan Africa over the past 25 years. However, many religious institutions had been carrying out work on education, health and other basic needs, many years before. Burkina Faso, Cameroon or Equatorial Guiney, are some of the countries where they have been working for over 50 years. .
REDES works actively accompanying development processes in 36 out of the 48 Sub Saharan Africa countries. In some of these countries, the work of REDES is especially relevant both for the number of entities involved as for the intensity of the work regarding human end financial resources. This applies to Cameroon, Ghana, Equatorial Guiney, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, the DRC, Rwanda and most recently Sudan.
The main cooperation areas where the work of REDES is especially relevant are:
- The assistance in specific refugee needs, displaced persons and illegal immigrants in : Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Zimbabwe, South Africa, etc.
- Accompaniment of development processes especially on education for ethnic minorities: Lake Victoria, Lake Turkana or Equatorial Jungle in Cameroon.
- Specialized attention to mentally ill patients.
- Assitance to children in need of special attention: street children, AIDS orphans, etc.
- Health services, education and access to water in rural areas. This work is carried out in every country where REDES works but we can point out examples such as : Equatorial Guiney, Mozambique, Madagascar or Togo.