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Where You Bank Matters April 20th, 2016
Where You Bank Matters, by Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI
In collaboration with the Socially Responsible Investment Coalition (SRIC), ICCR sponsored an informative and engaging roundtable on sustainable banking at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio on April 6th. The idea for the roundtable was part of the vision and mission of the ICCR financial services caucus and was realized when the group found an accomplished and energetic partner in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.
Recently, a Catholic parish of St. Mary of Sorrows in Virginia,United States donated to the local community in Bhomela in Zimbabwe. This generous gift has enabled people of Bhomela to get a borehole for clean water supply and help in development of local farming initiatives during the prolonged dry season. Bhomela community is a mission church for the Zimbabwe Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
“Many children suffer from water-born diseases as well as malnutrition in Bhomela area. This borehole project will go a long way in alleviating these problems and developing ‘self-help’ initiatives in solving local problems,” says Zimbabwe Missionary Oblate, Fr. Charles Rensburg, OMI speaking on behalf of the local community.
“Words cannot begin to describe the community’s joy in having received a ‘life-line’ of water for the whole village. The borehole will be maintained by the local Catholic community whilst at the same time, complete access has been given to the whole village of over 3000 people.”
Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI participated in the 10th Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance held in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 24-25, 2012. He was a panelist in the plenary session on Faith-Based Investment and Social Responsibility.
The Forum brochure offered this summary of the proceedings:The Tenth Forum features three main parallel sessions, which reflect three major themes within the topic of economic development. These include the Islamic financial sector’s contribution to global economic development, Islamic finance and the development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), and faith-based investment and social responsibility. Apart from these three main sessions, there are also parallel sessions on Islamic finance and the Arab Spring movements, global perspectives on Islamic finance, Islamic finance and alternative economic thinking, and current academic research on product development in the Islamic finance industry. With over 50 speakers and 30 nationalities represented, the forum attracts the leading practitioners from academia and the industry to critically discuss the issues highlighted above with a view to proposing sustainable developmental plans for the Islamic finance industry in general. There is no doubt that this rapidly developing field of the global financial system requires a close scrutiny to maximally harness it for the development of the global economy.
Land Grabs in Africa Leave Communities Impoverished April 5th, 2012
The problem of land grabbing in Africa and Asia by investment firms and multinational corporations is a serious and growing problem. Governments make deals with large multinational companies while thousands of poor farmers are left with inadequate compensation, low wages, polluted water and exposure to toxic agricultural chemicals that cause health problems.
While problems with land grabs abound, SOCFIN Agriculture. Co. is a particularly egregious company. Owned by French billionaire Vincent Bollore, SOCFINAF Group owns and operates plantations of rubber, oil palm and coffee in Indonesia, Cambodia, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and Liberia. SOCFIN recently has secured 6,500 hectares of farmland for rubber/palm oil production in Sierra Leone.
The Oakland Institute, a California-based think-tank, has detailed a pattern of coercion, lack of consultation, and failure to fairly compensate Sierra Leonean landowners who have been pressured into ceding their land to the corporate giant. Watch this video on SOCFIN’s Sierra Leone’s operations:
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Reflections from a Recent Trip to Asia February 14th, 2012
Seamus Finn, OMI reflects on his experiences and observations during a recent trip to Asia and the implications for the Oblate work with corporations. He looks at questions raised by the realities of life experienced by ordinary people, from Bangladeshi tea plantation and garment workers, to Burmese refugees in Thailand, and Cambodians dealing with the long-term impacts of land mines.
Updates on Events and Resources from the JPIC Commission Office in Rome January 26th, 2012
A course on Catholic Social Teaching (in Spanish): A comprehensive written course on Catholic Social Teaching, prepared for University students, was written and published in Latin America. It can be downloaded at: http://www.kas.de/sopla/es/publications/29414/
JPIC Promoter’s Formation Course in the USA: An intensive week-long seminar for JPIC Congregation promoters takes place at Saint Mary’s Notre Dame, Indiana from June 3-10. The brochure is due out in February. For more information, go to http://www.holycrossjustice.org/JusticeCraft/JusticeCraft.asp
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