holding a residential conference at Wadham College, Oxford, this week with the purpose of seeing whether their priorities of work are right.
As a body which has probably done more on a person-to-person level for under-developed territories than any other, it is interesting to see how they have gone about this reappraisal of their efforts,
OXFAM invited to Oxford a panel of experts in every aspect of development work—such men as David Owen of the United Nations Technical Assistance Board, Arthur Gaitskell of the Commonwealth Development Corporation, John Anderson of the Food and Agricultural Organisation and Professor Ritchie Calder. professor of International Relations at Edinburgh University.
All of this is excellent, but somehow I would like to have seen among their high-powered list of speakers someone from the other side, someone who had seen the OXFAM effort from the receiving end. Such a speaker could throw new light on recent allegations abroad that the funds of some British charitable organisations are being misused at the point of distribution.
IT IS NOT OFTEN that one can say cornplimentary things about publicity matter put out on behalf of church organisations. Too often it is unimaginative and unprofessional, and rarely does it do justice to its fine cause.
This criticism cannot be levelled at the brochure being circulated on behalf of the fund-raising appeal of the Catholic Radio and Tetevision Centre, however.
The brochure is printed in three colours and it states its case with simplicity and forcefulness. The appeal is directed at those who would wish to contribute merely a few shillings, and to those whose bank balance will permit of a larger donation.
Those Who wish to do so may provide funds for a studio, an office, or a section of the living accommodation at the Centre, any of which can bear their name. The cost ... £60,000, £850, and f 1,084 respectively.
INFORMATION REACHED US this week that Peter Benenson, who founded Amnesty International, is to hand over his work as secretary-general of the organisation at the end of this month.
The Amnesty movement has had considerable success in obtaining amnesties or at least a proper legal trial for "prisoners of conscience" throughout the world, men and women who, while not advocating violence, have been imprisoned or persecuted for expressing political or religious ideas unacceptable to their governments. • The new secretary-general who will take over at the movement's third international conference, which will be held at Canterbury later this month, will be Mr, Jack Halpern. Mr. Halpern has had some experience of political problems at first hand, having been expelled from the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland last October, where he was the Central African correspondent of The Observer.
1-1c is a former public relations officer of the South African Institute of Race Relations. The whole question of racial discrimination will be discussed at the Canterbury conference.
Work in Ecuador
Two MEMBERS of a tiny European Peace Corps with headquarters in Belgium visited London fast week to describe their work among the Indians of Ecuador to English voluntary agencies. Their visit was sponsored by the Sword of the Spirit.
Although all, 20 members of the young Corps Furopeene des Volontaires de la Paix happen to he Catholic, the group is not backed by a religious organisation. Half its funds came from the Belgian government, the rest from voluntary contributions.
A group of 11 young men and women went to Ecuador two years ago to improve the status of the Indians there by teaching them more efficient farming, pot-making and carpentry and by running a network of radio schools to enable Indians who can read and write Spanish to teach those who do not.
I was impressed by their realistic goal: to teach the Indians how to teach each other.
Their own ambition is to pull out as soon as everything can run on its own steam. And to make sure it amiss, they send the students of the mountain school back to their villages for several monthly intervals during their 14-month course, so that they will not want to leave their people Once they have become educated.
Young people's Bishop
T AM delighted to hear that the Birmingham diocese has launched a memorial fund to carry on the youth work started by Auxiliary Bishop Bright who died last Maundy Thursday.
For years Bishop Bright devoted himself to the Catholic youth of Birmingham and of England, founding Soli House to give youth leadership courses introducing the Chi Rho scheme to Catholic Scouting, organising youth pilgrimages. advising the National Catholic Youth Association, His lifelong goal—to help young people grow into intelligent, active lay men and women—will be the aim of the Bishop Bright Memorial Fund. The treasurer is Mr. David Mason, superintendent of Se Vincent's Home for Boys, 106 Moseley Road. Birmingham, 12. '
For the inquisitive
".l%._-To'., the man on the other end of the line said patiently, "we're not an association of Catholic tea drinkers."
He went ma to explain that the Calholie Tea Association has been supplying lea in quantities of 20 to 200 pounds to Catholic schools, convents and colleges throughout England for the past 40 years, Another problem off my mind.