Having attended the Big IF G8 rally in Hyde park with other representatives from Nottingham diocese, Krystyna Szmukala, CAFOD Parish Contact from Hucknall, decided to continue to stand in solidarity with those living with poverty and hunger by travelling independently to Belfast.
Less than 48 hours before world leaders descend on Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, for their two-day summit some 8,000 people hed signed up for the Big IF Belfast concert in Botanic Gardens, Belfast. The good-natured crowd braved the rain to ensure their message urging G8 leaders to take action to end the scandal that sees 1 in 8 people go to bed hungry every night.
CAFOD supporters like Krystyna, joined the event in Northern Ireland, along with supporters and campaigners from sister organisations Sciaf and Trocaire. She travelled overnight by bus from Boadmarsh bus station in Nottingham to Cairnryan in Scotland, followed by a ferry journey and finally another bus to Belfast city
On arrival In Belfast, she first met up with Christian Aid supporters and walked with them to the Botanic gardens. At the concert venue she discovered the Trocaire stand and participated in the activities that they had laid on. Just as in Hyde Park, London, there was a big screen so everyone present could feel part of the action.
Krystyna had taken a little ‘banner’ with her, made up from her parish’s prayers written by the Children’s Liturgy Group, and decorated with spinning flowers as seen in Hyde Park. As she wandered around, one photographer took her picture after she explained that the spinning flowers were one of the symbols of the IF campaign
Amazingly, in the midst of the crowds, Krystyna saw familiar faces – Sammy & Lesley McKenzie from Southwell!
After such a busy day, Krystyna simply caught the bus once again and headed back home. She says the journeys were comfortable and passed very quickly!
CAFOD, as part of the Enough Food for Everyone If campaign, is calling on the G8 to help end hunger by:
- Helping poor countries make sure that people have enough nourishing food and support poor families to grow their own food, particularly championing the call for aid that empowers small-holder farmers;
- Tackling tax havens and launch a Convention on Tax Transparency to stop the billions of pounds that flow out of developing countries and could be used to end hunger;
- Giving people in developing countries more control over their land by protecting poor farmers from land grabs and using land to grow food not biofuels.