2021-01-29 GENERAL HOUSE

Sustainable Development Goals, 2: Zero Hunger

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out a series of points for us to work towards in our quest to improve our world. These goals are ambitious, yes, but they are also achievable. They aim to be achieved by 2030 – we still have 10 years to go! A long way to go and an opportunity to grow as humanity, as society, as Christians, as Marists.

The second of these goals proposes to eradicate hunger in the world, under the title “Zero Hunger”. This is not a new goal. As Marists of Champagnat we have been working for many years to reduce inequalities, to prevent other human beings, our brothers and sisters, from going hungry.

The pandemic situation has significantly aggravated many situations of inequality, especially among the most vulnerable in our societies. The latest reports from international organisations raise an alarm bell regarding the eradication of hunger in the world.

As Marists, in many corners of the world, emergency projects are being implemented. Local, provincial, regional and also General Administration projects are trying to respond to the emerging needs that have arisen in recent months. Situations caused not only by Covid, but also by other causes. Projects in Syria, Chile, Cameroon, Honduras… The need is urgent and our response must be and is  urgent.

The 22nd General Chapter spoke of building bridges. In the fight to eradicate hunger we can also build bridges, work together, help each other from different parts of the world. Every day we see the generosity of the Marist world, helping in other parts of the world, collaborating with other institutions and congregations, opening our field of action beyond our own works. Is this not also what Pope Francis asks of us in Fratelli Tutti?

Special attention should be paid to children, particularly those in their early years. We know that a deficient diet can condition a person’s full development. We, who have a special vocation to work with children and young people, have a clear commitment: “to face today’s challenges”. Hunger is one of these current challenges. Hunger in the short term, through programmes and projects to alleviate this scourge suffered by millions of people. Hunger in the medium and long term, through quality education, enabling today’s children and young people to develop fully and acquire the resources and skills necessary for their future lives and those of their families. Many of you, brothers and lay people, know first-hand the realities of hunger, and know the importance of a good education in this area.

Marcellin learned to deal with situations of sickness, pain, and weakness, both his own and those around him. Our spirituality is also rooted in these situations, from a compassionate heart, sensitive to the concrete problems of people, particularly children.

Brother Ernesto, Superior General, invited us in his circular “Homes of Light” to care for life and to generate new life. To care for and to generate, two verbs that we have to understand “outwards”. This care and this generation of life must be outward, outward, it cannot be a purely selfish movement towards ourselves. Can we not imagine our God-Trinity who would not have wanted to go out to meet the human being, to care for him and “give life in abundance”?

Congratulations to those of you who are directly involved in helping the hungry. Lots of encouragement to continue your work. To those of us who do not work directly in these situations, courage to do our bit. We are all called to give the best of ourselves, from our concrete reality. Age, nationality and abilities do not matter. We are all called, today and always, to respond generously to the clamour of our world today.


Br ├üngel Diego – Director of the Solidarity Bureau

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