New Internationalist

Ideas For Action

Issue 105

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SRI LANKA [image, unknown] Ideas for action

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IDEAS FOR ACTION

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United Kingdom - Botswana Society
Trevor House,
Langford,
Lechlade, GL7 3LN
Telephone Filkins (036-786) 392


AIMS

To increase mutual knowledge, understanding and respect between people of the Republic of Botswana and people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and to promote good relations between the two countries.

METHODS
Provision of speakers who will talk to interested groups on Botswana and its people, problems, lines of development, situation as an African country, history and prospects; providing immediate contacts for students and others coming to U.K. for either long or short term visits; fostering educational and cultural relations and where possible encouraging and promoting visits to Botswana.

Circulation of a Newsletter from time to time through which news about the country and details of meetings in London or in the Provinces are set out.

Making contact with as many people as possible who have had links with Botswana, particularly those, who have worked in the country. In addition to those who may have held Government appointments a considerable number of volunteers have spent one or two years working on a variety of projects.

SUCCESSES
As the Society has been in existence only since April our first concern has been to build up our membership and we are very heartened by the response so far.

FUTURE PLANS
Our first formal meeting is to be held in London in October and it is anticipated that we shall then have a speaker who will be able to bring us up-to-date news of Botswana and its current problems. We hope that our members will indicate how they think we may best serve the interests of this small but important developing country.

HELP NEEDED
At this stage our main concern is to publicise the formation of the Society and to invite anyone who has any links with Botswana to join. Also to invite any groups who would welcome a speaker to write to the Secretary.

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Taskforce on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility
129 St Clair Avenue,
West Toronto,
Ontario M4V 1 N5.
Canada
Telephone 416-923-1758

AIMS
To assist member denominations and agencies in acquiring and sharing information and research. To raise public awareness about issues of social injustices in the area of corporate conduct. To bring to the attention of both church constituencies and the public, social injuries caused by corporations in Canada and abroad.

METHODS
The taskforce was established in 1974 to serve the denominations as a facilitating and coordinating body. Through regular monthly meetings of its board and area sub-committees it relates policy positions of the participating denominations to concerns about specific corporate issues. Representatives meet with senior management and participate in annual shareholder meetings to raise social justice concerns. Reports, briefs and educational material are published and conferences and other awareness-raising events are sponsored from time to time.

SUCCESSES
The Taskforce has helped to establish and expand public concern about corporate social issues particularly in regard to Latin America and southern Africa. Resources and information requests have multiplied.

FAILURES
Due to lack of staff and budget, communication of the work of the Taskforce has been limited.

FUTURE PLANS
The establishment of an additional sub-committee dealing with specific Canadian issues including energy and the environment. Appointment of a full time Associate for Education and half time Associate for Research in the fall of 1981 will increase communication capacity.

HELP NEEDED
Contacts for information on Canadian corporations and banks operating in Canada and abroad with special reference to social justice issues.

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Oxfam Community Aid Abroad 156 George St
FITZROY, Vic 3065.
Australia
Telephone: (61) 03-9289 9444


AIMS

To provide financial and moral support for Third World groups, including Australian Aboriginals, working for improved living conditions and justice for the poor. To challenge the Australian community's perceptions of the causes of poverty and oppression, and increase awareness of the effects of Australian aid, trade and lifestyles.

METHODS
We identify and support groups who we feel are effective at a grass roots level in working to create constructive social and economic change in their local communities. We raise money in Australia through individual donations, an annual nationwide 'Walk Against Want', and about 180 CAA Groups who 'adopt' specific projects. CAA Groups also engage in awareness-raising activities such as organising study programmes, lobbying politicians, companies, etc. on particular issues, e.g. Aboriginal Land Rights, Infant Formula Marketing in the Third World.

SUCCESSES
CAA raises about $Aus 1.5 million each year. A nationwide study program in 1980 involved 2,500 people in looking at the causes of poverty and oppression. Our voice is heard increasingly in the media on issues of international justice.

FAILURES
Some projects we supported have failed and the effect of our successes is small in relation to the total problem. Personal financial commitment from members and the community is still small. Many supporters give money and time without developing an understanding of the need for social change. Our influence on Government and business activities in the Third World and Aboriginal affairs is limited.

FUTURE PLANS
Increased emphasis on the awareness-raising and lobbying side of our activities.

HELP WANTED
Dedicated people to join a CAA Group, raise money.

 

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