The outreach committee is an active, vibrant group that endeavors to help achieve the 8 United Nations Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).
The Eight Millenium Development Goals are:
1. Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
2. Achieve Universal Primary Education for Children
3. Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
4. Reduce Child Mortality
5. Improve Maternal Health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases
7. Ensure Environmental Sustainability
8. Create a Global Partnership for Development
Read more about the MDGs:
United Nations: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/
Episcopal Relief and Development: http://www.er-d.org/
Global Outreach to El Salvador
Some Facts You Might Not Know
- Only 15% of Salvadoran students make it to secondary school. About one-half the population has not studied beyond 3rd grade.
- Unsuccessful investments in coffee plantations, a long civil war in the 1980s and then a destructive earthquake in 2001, has left El Salvador with serious environmental degradation.
- According to the CDC (Center for Defense of the Consumer) and the Center for Investigation of Salvadoran Public Opinion, 5 in 10 Salvadorans state they are subject to water rationing and the water they receive is not fit to drink. Also, 90 percent report water shortages at some time.
During January of 2010 a group of parishioners traveled to El Salvador and visited 7 communities throughout the country with the objective of forming a partnership with a community there. Planning and fundraising for the trip took a full year and at times it was difficult to describe why it was important on this first trip to develop relationships and NOT focus on a physical work project. Greg Mortenson, the now-famous school builder in Pakistan, wrote about this very subject in his book, Three Cups of Tea.
“’That day, Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I’ve ever learned in my life’,
Mortenson says. ‘We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly. We’re the country of
thirty-minute power lunches and two-minute football drills. Our leaders thought their shock and awe
campaign could end the war in Iraq before it even started. Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea,
to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me that I had more to
learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them.’”
The group stayed in the capital city, San Salvador, and took day trips through the country, which is approximately the size of Massachusetts. In San Miguel, the travelers spent a day painting the Episcopal community center. The painting supplies and also funding for roof repairs were contributed by St Paul’s parishioners, friends and family of the travelers.
Other places visited were:
- San Mateo in Lourdes
- San Miguel Archangel in Sal Salvador
- San Francisco de Asis in Lourdes
- San Miguel and Hato Nuevo
- El Maizal
- Santa Maria Virgin in Bartolo
- Santisima Trinidad
Among Friends is our thriving community outreach ministry that provides a nutritious meal in a welcoming atmosphere to all comers three times a week, on Monday evening (5:30pm – 6:30pm) and Tuesday and Friday (11:00am – 12:30). It has been a part of St. Paul’s for over twenty years. The ministry is supported by the efforts of approximately three dozen regular volunteers. More than 8500 meals per year are served. Volunteers for cooking, serving and cleaning-up are always welcome and necessary. Please join us!
Reading Program at the Boys & Girls Club
Members of our St Paul’s community read to the 3rd graders at the Boys and Girls Club in Salisbury once a week on Thursdays. Each volunteer reads one Thursday every 3 months. If you are interested in participating in this rewarding program, contact Sarah Warren through the church office.
Pettingill House, a social service agency in the neighboring town of Salisbury, receives donations of food and personal items each week. These items are collected in a basket that is always at the altar.
Other Initiatives of the Outreach Committee
Fair Trade Coffee
St. Paul’s now serves Fair Trade coffee 100% of the time.
Conditions for coffee workers on large plantations varies widely, but most are paid the equivalent to sweatshop wages and toil under abysmal working conditions. In Guatemala, for example, coffee pickers have to pick a 100-pound quota in order to get the minimum wage of less than $3/day. A recent study of plantations in Guatemala showed that over half of all coffee pickers don’t receive the minimum wage, in violation of Guatemalan labor laws. Workers interviewed in the study were also subject to forced overtime without compensation, and most often did not receive their legally-mandated employee benefits.
Fair Trade means an equitable and fair partnership between consumers in North America and producers in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The chief concern of the Fair Trade movement has been to ensure that the vast majority of the world’s coffee farmers (who are small holders) get a fair price for their harvests in order to achieve a decent living wage. Fair Trade guarantees to poor farmers organized in cooperatives around the world: a living wage (minimum price of $1.26/pound regardless of the volatile market); much needed credit at fair prices; and long term relationships. These fair payments are invested in health care, education, environmental stewardship, and economic independence.
BSAFE is the acronym for “Bishop’s Summer Academic & Fun Enrichment Program,” that runs for six weeks each summer. It is a Diocesan program that started in Boston at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and it has grown to serve approximately 450 children and youth in Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, the South End and Chelsea. The camp day includes academics, technology classes, sports, art and music. Every Friday there is a field trip.
St Paul’s hosted a Friday field trip for the Chelsea Camp in 2008 and 2009. Though the Outreach committee members were the organizers, much of the parish participated in this fun and worthwhile event. The field trip was held at Moseley Woods Park with hiking, relay races, games and a barbecue lunch. The day was a huge success. As the bus drove away we heard, “See you next year!”
Bead for Life
BeadforLife is an organization working to eradicate extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens. Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads, and people who care open their hearts, homes and communities to buy and sell the beads.
The outreach committee hosted a BeadforLife party during the 2008 St. Paul’s fall fair. The beads were also for sale during Sunday morning coffee hours in November. The sale was successful beyond imagination, raising more than $2600 for the bead makers in Kampala Uganda. Our gratitude goes out to the members of St. Paul’s Church and the Newburyport community who supported this effort.