Movement Weekend 2019

Daniela Marques Branco | Uncategorized, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

How great was the Movement Weekend 2019?

From the 13th till 15th of December there was the annual Movement Weekend which took place in Lokeren. We gathered with a lot of Catapistas to learn, brainstorm, be together, have a good time and eat some delicious food.

The weekend started on Friday with a warm welcome and some soup. Afterwards there was an interactive introduction game in which we discussed the different challenges related to the topics that Catapa is addressing. We also followed an interesting presentation about the extraction of Lithium. Lithium is, i.a. used for our batteries of electric cars. We ended the night with a fun game to get to know each other a bit better!

On Saturday we woke up early to kick off a day filled with interesting activities! We started with a group dynamic exercise and followed the working group meetings. Silke and Alberto, presented their research mission in Bolivia, focusing on several mining cooperatives. After a discussion on the results, we did parallel speed date sessions about the internal functioning of our volunteer organization. Here we sat together to give input and discussed solutions about how to improve our organizational, communication and planning skills.

Laura organized a teambuilding activity in which we learned to trust each other (and almost broke a leg). And then there was dinner, with the best falafel we ever ate. After we all overate, we called our GECO’s (Global Engagement Catapa Officers) in Latin Amerika through Skype to learn more about their experiences. And last but not least, Truike gave a kick-off presentation about OpenMinED, an event that will take place in March 2020. Here we invite guest speakers to give more information about mining and the impact of the ICT supply chain. We ended our Saturday night with the unforgettable Fiesta Catapista, in which we got to see some real dance talents!

On Sunday, the last day, Charlotte gave some information about how to make our way of working more efficient. This meant the end of an amazing weekend.

Already looking forward to the next one!

Climate Meet-up in Ghent

Biliana Gaume | Uncategorized
At the Watt Factory on Friday 27th, 2019


Our Catapa team is proud to have been able to meet with social entrepreneurs from both Belgium and South-Africa at the Watt Factory’s Climate Meet-up organized by the Sociale Innovatie Fabriek in Ghent. It was an opportunity to discuss with people who already started to make a positive change through various projects in both countries. Most participants to the event realized how similar we all are in facing the issue of global change.

Picture 1: Round tables, here picture of the talk about the theme of energy democracy

The social innovators we met that day are active about topics such as fair farming, energy democracy and circular economy. All their projects were first presented for everyone to understand the goals and challenges of each one. Then, we gathered around in smaller groups based on themes in order to have more in depth discussions. The interesting part was to see how each project does not only relate to the environment but also to social reactions and potential improvements the projects can bring into society. A good example of this is Iziko Stoves (South Africa), an enterprise which aims at both the reinsertion of former drug abusers into employment and at improving the recycling of waste in South-Africa. This happens through 3 pillars: help to rehabilitate current drug addicts (1), teach them how to recycle items such as boilers for Iziko Stoves (2), and make sure they remain the sober best version of themselves.

Picture 2: Round tables, talk about the theme of circular economy

Another very interesting encounter at the Watt factory was with Jami Nash who explained what his company, Electronic Cemetery, does in South-Africa in order to recycle e-waste in the area of Durban. They collect unused old electronic devices from companies, individuals and public institutions as well. The collected items are then dismantled, components are separated in order, as much as possible, to be recycled or refurbished. Electronic Cemetery has, thus, both the function of making the environment cleaner by recycling, but it also creates job opportunities in the area and provides access to low income families to quality ICT and other electronic equipment. In the future, this enterprise would like to upscale its activities by opening other recycling sites in cities like Cape Town or Joburg. However, they face limitations in doing so. In Joburg, for instance, there are already 2 other well-established e-waste recycling companies which will make it harder to settle there. Our discussion with Jami Nash was, thus, a good occasion for us to hear about the challenges facing those who are at the end of the ICT supply chain, or, considering that Electronic Cemetery brings back those products into the economy, should we say “the new beginning” of the supply chain?


DocuLatino 2019

Daniela Marques Branco | Uncategorized, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

DocuLatino Film Festival – Tracing the ICT supply chain

For the 11th year in a row Catapa organises the Doculatino Filmfestival in Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels and Leuven. Within the Make ICT fair European campaign, whose goal is to achieve a more transparent and fair ICT supply chain, this year we will broaden our focus from extractivism and look at the problems of the global ICT supply chain. Through 3 documentary screenings we will show you the path your laptop, smartphone or tablet follow from the extraction of its components to the dumping of the devices, and the related issues.


1. Minga, by Damien Charles and Pauline Dutron
The journey starts in Latin America, one of the main victims of raw materials extraction. Today for the production of a smartphone more than 60 elements are needed and the vast majority are obtained by mining. As the documentary shows, the extraction industry has huge consequences on local communities and on the environment.

© Minga - Voices of resistance 2019

2. Death by design, by Sue Williams
In Death by Design, we will fly to the other part of the world to Asia (China, Vietnam, South-Korea, etc) where underpaid workers in inhumane working conditions are producing electronic devices thanks to the different metals extracted in Latin America.

© 2019 Death by Design

3. E-waste tragedy, by Cosima Dannoritzer
Have you ever thought about where your old smartphone ends up after you don’t use it anymore? We will discover the often forgotten part of the supply chain: the electronic waste. Huge amount of e-waste is dumped every day in Africa and Asia, shipped mostly from Western Countries. This documentary shows the reality of what people living in those waste dumps have to face every day.

© The E-Waste Tragedy

After each documentary screening, a group discussion will be held and introduced by an expert in the field. All three documentaries will be screened in four different cities of Belgium, each of them in a different day following the order above.

Click in each city to check more information about the location and time!

Antwerp – 21, 22, 23 of October

Ghent – 6, 20, 27 of November

Brussels – 13, 14, 15 of November

Leuven – 26, 27, 28 of November

Are you running the 20 km of Brussels with us?

Laura Garcia | Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Are you also running the 20 km of Brussels for CATAPA on May 19th? Sign up and become one of the CATAPA runners!

On May 19th, CATAPA runs the 20 km of Brussels to continue to fight for the rights of local communities that are victims of the ecological and social impact of large-scale mining; and to strive for a just society in which people and nature live in balance together. Do you want to join us?

YES! I participate!

Register on the website of the 20 km of Brussels (25 euro) and add yourself to the group of CATAPA (group name: CATA10946). Engage yourself to raise at least 50 euros in sponsorship for CATAPA.

You don’t feel like running but you would like to give CATAPA a boost? Sponsor one of our runners! You can help by donating money on: BE49 9795 2861 7871, mentioning “Sponsoring CATAPA 20 km of Brussels (+ possibly: name of runner you want to sponsor)“. This donation is not tax deductible.

⭐ If you sponsor 50 euros of more you get a giftbox from CATAPA!*

For more information and/or questions, feel free to contact

¡Vamos! For socio-environmental justice!

*To pick up in our office in Ghent.

Meet our runners!

Charlotte Christiaens

Charlotte Christiaens

I am Charlotte Christiaens and I run the 20km for CATAPA in 2019, as I did in 2010. My passion to run through nature has only grown over the years. For once I want to exchange nature for the city on May 19th in Brussels.

somehow I’ve often ended up in barbed wire while walking, resulting in torn trousers and wounds. Painful, yet stupid thing to do. But the greeting of my beloved trees and the sound of my familiar birds on my familiar paths I could not miss. When I don’t like it anymore during the race, I say to myself: “Come on Charlotte, this suffering is in no way comparable to how local communities in the South suffer from mining.” Do you sponsor me?!

Kim and Koen Claes

Kim and Koen Claes

We are Kim and Koen, and together we run the 20km of Brussels for Catapa. We walk fraternally on double strength, full of enthusiasm and surrender, because we believe that Catapa brings us one step closer to a more just world.

We will provide the blood, the sweat and the tears, would you put a dime in the bag? We promise to shine, from Catapa you will receive eternal gratitude!

Iris Maertens

Iris Maertens

I am Iris Maertens: graphic designer, illustrator and digital ninja. The thing that I like to do the most is drawing. But as a creative mind, I’m always looking for new challenges!  For CATAPA I will put my best foot forward.

Niels De Vos

Niels De Vos

My name is Niels De Vos, from Lokeren, and I will run the 20 km for Catapa! A challenge for myself, and if a much-needed initiative like Catapa can be supported with it, that is more than welcome! Would you sponsor me?

Froukje Kuijk

Froukje Kuijk

I’m Froukje and I’ve been in CATAPA for a while. I am back in Belgium for over a year now, after having spent a few years in Chile. I find it a wonderful challenge to tighten the muscles for our sublime volunteer movement. I love sports, open air and Brussels so this will be a perfect mix! The goal: fervent team spirit, putting CATAPA on the map during the 20 km of Brussels and hopefully end those kilometers elegantly.

Mining in Paradise?

Laura Garcia | Uncategorized

Mining in Paradise?

With the  campaign Mining in Paradise, CATAPA supported the agricultural and environmental organisations in four provinces in the North of Peru that didn’t want to allow mining in their region. This organisations saw a need in mobilising because of the fact that mining companies harm human rights, cross local development plans and threaten the most bio-diverse area in the world, the tropical Andes, which may cause irreparable damage. Below you will find an extensive list of achievements of our campaign.

CATAPA and her partner organisations wanted with this campaign:

  • To meet the question of information about mining in local farmer communities and support them in the launching of joint actions.
  • To get the subject of no-go-zones on the agenda of regional and national Peruvian politics.
  • Sensitize citizens in Belgium and other European countries about mining issues in North-Peru.
  • Stimulate international solidarity within the farmer’s population of North Peru.

Partly thanks to the help of many volunteers and signers of the petition, our campaign was largely successful.


On regional level, North-Peru

– The Frente, with the support of Red Muqui and CATAPA, has given about ten informative and participative workshops in different villages about mining, globalization and human rights. A total of more than 500 farmers took part in these workshops – large part of which were young people. About 70% of the population in the predominantly rural area is poor and has little or no access to education, nor information about the mining industry.

– Farmer organisations out of four provinces have stated a joint statement ‘Zonas libres de minería’ (or ‘No-go zones for mining’) in which they comment on why they don’t want any mining activities in their area. Their principal requirements are: a spatial planning process with participation of the local population and respect for the environment, investments in the local development alternatives (agriculture and ecotourism) and the approval of a legal mechanism for consultation of indigenous people.

– On the 16th of September, which is the third anniversary of a referendum out of which appeared that 97% of the local people preferred not to have any mining activities in their area, public events were organized in the provinces of Ayabaca and Huancabamba. During these events, the declaration and the campaign video were shown. Hundreds of people were present.

– Thanks to a press conference, the campaign got the attention of different local newspapers and radios. Also the statement was published in El Tiempo de Piura, which is one of the best-read newspapers in the area.

– The people who are candidate at the election of mayor in the local elections on 3th of October, in four North-Peruvian provinces, have spoken out against a statement, during public debates prior to the elections. Many of them signed an ‘ethical pact’, in which they promised to respect the requirements of the declaration. The social organisations will see to it that they keep their promise.

– Also the two new regional governors in the area promised openly in the media that they will be working on no-go zones for the mining industry. Moreover, the new regional governor of Piura has signed a personal agreement with the farmer organisations, in which he promises not to permit any mining activities in the páramos and cloud forests of the Andes, and to recognize the farmer organisations as ‘protectors of the páramos‘.

– On 2nd December 2010, one year after the death of two farmer leaders who died because of the mining industry conflict, the local campaign was finished with an event in the farmer community of Segunda y Cajas. During this event, the death of the two leaders was remembered and the information about the campaign was spread in Lima and Europe. Also during this event hundreds of people were present.

On national level, in Lima

– A lot of networking was done between NGOs and social communities to enlarge the support of the national and international society. Several international NGOs, such as Oxfam America and Friends of the Earth US, supported this action.

– The production house Guarango, which had made documentaries about the mining industry problems in Peru before, made, in cooperation with CATAPA, two sensitizing campaign videos. These were shown during ten informative sessions in the capital, as well as in North-Peru and Europe.

– With the support of CATAPA and a member of parliament from North-Peru, our partner organisations Fedepaz and Cooperacción organized a national forum in the Peruvian Parliament which threats the campaign theme no-go zones for mining. On this forum many experts gave lectures, representatives of local farmer organisations gave a speech and debates were held. The forum was commented in various national newspapers.

– Four (digital) informative bulletins were published, in which each time a certain campaign theme was spotlighted. These bulletins were spread by the campaign partners to the general public. On the final event of the campaign in North-Peru, the people present got a summarizing bulletin of the campaign, with pictures of the different activities.

– In cooperation with our national partners and Friends of the Earth US we sent a critical letter to the stakeholders of Zijin, the Chinese mining company which is the principal stakeholder of the Río Blanco-mining project in North-Peru. This letter was published in The South China Morning Post, an important Chinese business paper.


– On the 16th of September, the website was launched in six languages, with the different campaign videos and an online petition to support the declaration ‘Zonas libres de Minería’.

– On invitation of CATAPA, a European lecture series with Peruvian guests was organized. Some of the Peruvian guests were José De Echave, who is an economist and co-founder of CooperAcción, and the North-Peruvian biologist Fidel Torres. Furthermore, there were some witnesses of communities that had been harmed directly by the mining industry, such as Josefina Aponte, leader of agriculturers of Huancabamba, and Magdiel Carrión, president of the farmer movement FEPROCCA from Ayabaca. There were lectures with Peruvian lecturers in Great-Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain and Italy, to argument the need of No-go zones for mining. Numerous lectures and conferences were held in Flemish and Walloon colleges and universities, with all together hundreds of people present.

– The most important activity of this tour was the international conference in Brussels, where hundred people were present. An extensive article in the newspaper De Morgen about the conference was written.

– A brief investigation paper was written which covered the scientific and juridical foundation of the campaign. In cooperation with photographer Danny Veys, the Photo-exposition Mining in Paradise? was developed, which portrayed the reality of North-Peru and the impact of the large mining industry elsewhere in the country. This was exhibited during some months in Brussels.

– The e-petition was signed by about 3000 people of 75 different countries and 140 different large and small organisations.

– We sold (and keep on selling) the delicious CATAPA-coffee Café por el Paraíso, in cooperation with Oxfam Wereldwinkels and Cepicafé- a coffee-cooperation in Northern-Peru.