New Orleans The transfers of money from families working in developed countries through remittances back to their families in their home countries soars at the end of the year just about everywhere and big time in Latin America given Christmas and New Years. The hard hitting ACORN International report issued right before the holidays, Past Time for Remittance Justice (available for download at www.acorninternational.org), has begun to attract attention and important support.
First there was a great column by Carol Goar in the Toronto Star jumping on the bandwagon. Then right before Christmas there was an amazing radio interview with ACORN Vancouver leader and native Kenyan Pascal Apuwa on Radio Canada International with a reporter based in Ottawa. This was a big boost running first in English and then being translated into 8 languages used by RCI. Listen yourself and enjoy:
EXHORBITANT REMITTANCE FEES CRITICIZED
We have quietly begun a petition to support the campaign as we move to put pressure on transmitting organizations and banks. People are already finding it, but your support would be critical, so please link and sign at: www.remittancejustice.org
Last night I heard that the 6.5 million member internet campaigning organization, Avaaz.org, has decided to join the campaign over the last week and got enthusiastic support on their first 30000 test, so are ready to go. They are targeting Western Union specifically and quoting Pascal on the more than $28 on $100 it costs for him to send money to family in Korogocho where ACORN Kenya also organizes and has more than 1000 members. They are citing our report and downloading a copy of ACORN International’s Past Time for Remittance Justice on their website and rolling out the English language appeal for support later today and adding appeals in other languages as they are translated. ACORN International is wildly enthusiastic about this partnership with another organization with global reach. We may be big at the grassroots, but they are huge on the internet, so we’re hoping their members respond as strongly so that we can redouble pressure on Western Union, MoneyGram and the banks.
Big stakes here since predatory pricing is grabbing more than $44 billion right out of the hands of families desperate for the dollars in developing countries, so this will be a long and difficult fight before we win, but as King reminded us all, “the arc of justice is long and unbending.”