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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

One Campaign - Secrets SEC call your representative!

      Secrets, secrets are no fun unless they're shared with everyone.
Have you heard of the Cardin-Lugar Amendment? It's a bipartisan law that requires publicly traded oil, gas, and mining companies to publicly disclose what they pay to governments for natural resources in countries around the world – including in Africa. This is critical for enabling citizens to know where that money goes, arming them with the information they need to ensure the money gets into the right hands.

Right now the SEC is working on its final rule to implement that law. And they need to hear from you. Will you add your name to our petition?

But what do secrets and transparency have to do with extreme poverty? Everything. When these payments are kept secret, money can be easily stolen or mismanaged. By providing citizens with information they need to monitor the money, this law empowers them to hold governments accountable and ensure that the money is invested in things that fight poverty and improve citizens' lives. We can't afford to allow these secret deals.

And the SEC needs to know that. 1-click adds your name to the list of many asking the SEC to issue a strong final rule.

The EU and Canada have passed similar, strong laws in support of transparency. It's now the U.S.'s turn to do the same. Tell the SEC to do the right thing and not allow secret deals.


ONE Campaign


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Coalition of Immokalee Workers - Wendy's

A Battle for the Soul of Social Responsibility… 
Wendy’s new code of conduct is a prime example of the discredited standards-without-enforcement model of corporate social responsibility;
Workers’ Voice Tour to contrast Wendy’s code with the proven success of the Fair Food Program and the Worker-driven Social Responsibility model…
What would you do if you could cheat on your taxes and know that you would get away with it? Not just think you might get away with it if you’re lucky, but really know that no one is watching and there would be no consequences.  Would you do it?
The answer is pretty obvious.  Nobody likes paying taxes.  And even many of those who think taxes are a necessary part of living in a modern, organized society would jump at the chance to pay less than they owe, or nothing at all, if there were no monitoring or enforcement of the country’s tax laws.  We could all certainly find other ways to use the money.
That’s why, when it comes to taxes, we don’t rely on voluntary compliance.  Things like roads and schools, libraries and agricultural extension offices, scientific research and space discovery, and social, economic, and national security don’t pay for themselves, so we have a well-funded and powerful monitoring body, the Internal Revenue Service.  The IRS’s job is simple: to ensure that if we do decide to cheat on our taxes, it is far more likely than not that there will be consequences.
The result?  Most of us pay our taxes, most of those who don’t get caught, and, in the main, compliance is achieved.  As we have said before on this site, enforcement is everything.
When it comes to human rights, however, it seems voluntary compliance is just fine with Wendy’s...
Just as our country has a tax code, Wendy’s has a code of conduct for its suppliers that establishes the rules — on everything from food safety to human rights and labor practices — with which it says its suppliers must comply in order to be “approved to provide goods, products, equipment, or services” to the hamburger giant.
The cover page to Wendy’s new code of conduct.
Yet a deeper review of the code, which went into effect as of the first of this month, reveals that there is little or no reason to hope that Wendy’s suppliers will actually comply with those rules, or at least with those that are in any way inconvenient for them.
Wishful thinking, it seems, is Wendy’s principal, perhaps sole, strategy for compliance...
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Coalition of Immokalee Workers • PO Box 603, Immokalee, FL 34143 • (239) 657-8311 •

Bread for the World

Rev. David Beckmann, Bread for the World
Tell Congress to finish the job!
Act Now!
Dear Patty,

Last night, in his final State of the Union address, President Obama presented a vision for a country and a world filled with opportunity and possibility. Here at Bread for the World, we can envision that world.

But achieving that vision needs leadership. " ... leadership depends on the power of our example," the president asserted. Together with our leaders and lawmakers, our country has a unique opportunity to lead in the fight to end hunger here at home and around the world. But it's going to take more than food banks and soup kitchens. It also takes political will and changes in our laws and policies.

Congress made significant progress last year on three key issues that would provide real opportunity and possibility for people experiencing hunger. Now we're within striking distance of seeing those three bills pass. With your urging, Congress can pass them.

Please call (800/826-3688) or email Rep. Jared Huffman and Sen. Barbara Boxer and Sen. Dianne Feinstein today. Tell Congress to finish the job! Urge Congress to quickly pass:

the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 2123) to reform our criminal justice system, which traps too many families in lives of hunger and poverty years after incarceration

a strong child nutrition bill to give more hungry children access to the meals they need to thrive

the Global Food Security Act (H.R. 1567/S.1252) to provide farmers in developing nations with newer, more updated agricultural methods through the Feed the Future program.

Last night the president emphasized the progress we've made toward ending HIV/AIDS and malaria. Can we also envision a world without hunger, something that was also once thought impossible to overcome? God calls us to pursue that vision here on earth. We can begin by sharing it with our elected officials and calling upon them to lead our country toward that vision. Call (800/826-3688) or email Congress today.

Thank you!

Rev. David Beckmann
President, Bread for the World

Oikocredit December 2015 newsletter

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December 2015
OikoLinks: the Oikocredit USA E-Newsletter

Oikocredit Celebrates 40 Years of Impact

Tree Plantings Mark Oikocredit’s 40th Anniversary

On November 4th, Oikocredit International celebrated its 40th anniversary of investing in people and changing lives around the world. The planting of a beech tree at our head office represents a commitment to long-term ‪‎sustainability, as the tree can live for hundreds of years. Click below to read more about the celebration in the Netherlands and worldwide.
Amersfoort, The Netherlands © Clemens Rikken

Stories From The Field

Fostering Sustainability

Michimikuru, Kenya © Cafédirect
How can we help small producers climb the value chain? Just ask our partner, Cafédirect, who is featured in The Economist for its ‪‎fair trade hot beverages that ensure ‪quality and sustainability at the producer-level. Cafédirect ‪‎bridges the gap in African agribusiness by sourcing from small-scale farmers in five African countries. Cafédirect even directly sources some of its coffee from other Oikocredit partners!

Diversity in Financial Products

Banco Solidario SA, Ecuador © Christoph Hirtz
Clarita del Carmen Moncayo is a client of Banco Solidario, an Oikocredit microfinance partner in Ecuador. Clarita is a kindergarten teacher living in Machachi, a town in the Ecuadorian mountains, and has been a client of Banco Solidario for ten years. Banco Solidario is a microfinance institution providing high-quality integral financial services, credit, savings and other products for micro and small entrepreneurs in urban areas.
ASKI, Philippines © Opmeer Reports

Responding to Typhoon Koppu in the Philippines

In October, the Philippines was hit by yet another devastating typhoon. Oikocredit’s regional office reported from Manila that while Oikocredit staff and families were all safe, some Oikocredit partners on the island of Luzon had not escaped the devastation. Our thoughts are with the people of the Philippines, particularly those worst affected by the typhoon and our partners in the affected areas.

What's New at Oikocredit USA?

Norandino, Peru © Nicolas Villaume

Oikocredit USA celebrates Fair Trade Month!

Reflecting back on October, did you do anything special to celebrate ‪‎Fair Trade Month? Oikocredit has a long history in fair trade, and you can see some of the highlights below. By buying ‪‎fair trade items, you join a virtuous circle that improves lives & protects the planet.

Increase your Impact

As a 501c3 nonprofit, Oikocredit USA raises donations in support of its social investment, women's empowerment, and outreach & education programs.

Donations to Oikocredit USA support capacity building for women in the areas of business training, leadership development, financial literacy education, and other skill sets that enable women empowerment. At Oikocredit, we see each of our female clients as individuals and recognize her power and capabilities through this capacity building support.

Contributions also support the administration of our social investment program and expand our education and outreach efforts in the U.S. in the form of events, webinars, and educational materials.
BIFPL, India © Opmeer Reports
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Laughter erupts among sewers of fishing nets at Yalelo, a sustainable aquaculture company farming tilapia fish in Lake Kariba, Zambia. The Zambian diet traditionally relied heavily on fish as a source of protein, but severe over-fishing has depleted stocks to the extent that the country now relies on frozen imported fish. As an aquaculture company, there is a good opportunity for Yalelo to meet the huge demand for local fish, both in Zambia and nearby regions. Apart from supporting the domestic market and providing people with sustainable fresh tilapia, aquaculture also supports the local soybean industry, which provides high-protein fodder for the fish. Photo © Opmeer Reports