“I don’t believe in charity. I believe in solidarity”

#UKHousingFast

Guest blog by James Caspell (@jjcaspell)

“I don’t believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other person. I have a lot to learn from other people.”

Eduardo Galeano, writer, journalist, novelist.

This quotation may seem immediately provocative, but for me it outlines what Ramadan – and #UKHousingFast – is all about.

For practising Muslim colleagues, friends, and the many residents I meet every day in Tower Hamlets, the month gives an opportunity to refocus attention and practice self-sacrifice. But Ramadan is much more than just not eating and drinking as an individual.  It is about undertaking the hardship of those who are starving or dying of thirst elsewhere in the world. 

Increasingly, such hardship is not that far away. Over 1 million people in Britain have used a foodbank and 13 million…

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