One of our most important Christian justice partners, the ecumenical Kairos justice coalition, was dealt a major blow when it learned Nov. 30 that its funding from CIDA (the Canadian International Development Agency) would not be renewed.
Please add your voice to urge the government to reverse this decision.
Leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada have been asked to protest this decision. Kairos is urging supporters to ask Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Foreign Affairs Minister Bev Oda and CIDA Director Margaret Biggs to reverse this decision.
Kairos is a social justice organization representing seven of Canada’s largest denominations, including the Anglican Church. It does advocacy, education, and research work on topics including human rights, ecological justice, and Indigenous Peoples.
The Anglican Council of General Synod has approved, by email vote, a motion deploring CIDA’s action and urging the federal government to reconsider the decision. A similar motion before the Anglican House of Bishops is expected to be approved today.
Kairos has received CIDA funding since 1973, and received a positive audit on its last funding period. In March, Kairos submitted its 2009-2013 program proposal for about $7 million—a number consistent with previous levels of funding. On Nov. 30, a CIDA official told Kairos to say funding would not continue because Kairos no longer fits CIDA priorities. No other explanation was provided.
If not reversed, this decision will have a devastating impact on Canadian education programs and Kairos international partners, many of whom face human rights and humanitarian crises. Their work includes monitoring the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan, holding government accountable for military abuses in Indonesia, and supporting women’s rights in Colombia.
Please urge the government and CIDA to reverse this decision. Write to:
The Hon. Bev Oda, Minister of International Cooperation:
Margaret Biggs, President of CIDA:
Please contact your MP as well. In your letter you might wish to:
* Speak about your own positive involvement with Kairos;
* Express grave concern about this decision;
* Ask that CIDA restore its long-standing relationship with Kairos;
* Emphasize the impacts of this decision on global partners and our work in Canada;
* Ask them to call on CIDA to reverse this decision.
Please copy your letters to Kairos at [email protected].
This decision, if not reversed, would cut funds to 21 ecumenical and citizen’s organizations in Latin America, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, and cut educational work that helps Canadians across the country to develop skills and knowledge in the exercise of their global citizenship.
Kairos supports partners in Sudan, the Congo, the Philippines, and Colombia who face extreme human rights and humanitarian crises as well as political repression. Many of them risk their lives for the work that they do. Kairos’ accompaniment, advocacy and education work with partners has saved lives.
- In the Congo, loss of Kairos funding will weaken work by a women’s legal clinic to fight rape as a weapon of war.
- In Sudan, Kairos works with Sudan Council of Churches to mobilize greater action for democratic peace. The full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan is essential to ensuring that basic humanitarian, food security, and livelihood needs of women and children will be met.
- In Indonesia, Kairos, through CIDA, supports KONTRAS: The Commission for Disappearances and Victims of Violence. This group is highly recognized as a credible human rights organization in Indonesia and internationally, working on human rights monitoring, documentation and advocacy. It plays a lead role in ensuring the Indonesian government investigates past military abuses and compensates victims of human rights violations and military atrocities.
- In Colombia, Kairos supports a grassroots women’s human rights organization, Organizacion Femenina Popular (OFP), in Magdela Medio, a region that has experienced terrible human rights abuses. The OFP runs 22 women’s centers, offering programs which include integrated community development, human rights of women, health and legal services, and education. In a recent letter the OFP appealed to Minister Oda to continue funding to Kairos, “so that our sons and daughters grow up without being recruited by armed groups, kidnapped or assassinated — so that they have the right to a dignified life.”
Please take action!
Visit www.kairoscanada.org for details.
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