By Sonia Pritchard, Knowledge Management Coordinator
Thérèse Mema (in green) with staff from the Justice and Peace Commission in Bukavu, eastern DRC
I have mixed emotions when planning for CAFOD’s annual 16 days of activism against gender violence exhibition. On one hand, I’m eager to share our partners’ incredible work with communities here in the UK who want to make a difference. On the other hand, I struggle to stay positive when hearing about the extent to which women and men are affected by sexual and gender violence across the globe. The statistics are appalling. World Health Organisation figures indicate that one in three women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, it’s estimated that at least 200,000 women and girls have been raped since 1998.
The 16 days of activism against gender-based violence is a global campaign that takes place every year to raise awareness and galvanise action to end sexual and gender-based violence. CAFOD uses the opportunity to speak out with like-minded organisations to raise awareness, to share strategies and to demonstrate our solidarity with survivors.
Find out more about our work on gender >>
Mark Hoban MP and Catherine Mckinnell MP with CAFOD partners in Kenya
By Catherine McKinnell MP and Mark Hoban MP
There are often fierce debates around how the UK should help poorer countries to develop, from foreign aid to how to support less wealthy countries in developing their own economies.
As Conservative and Labour MPs ourselves, we’re used to finding ourselves on opposing sides of those arguments politically. Disputes on what works and how to measure aid effectiveness can at times muddy the waters about what we can do to help developing countries.
Yet amid that noise, we recently found ourselves in agreement on a fundamental point: we will never eradicate poverty, and help poor people to be self-sufficient, if we don’t make sure that every person in the world has access to a reliable and affordable source of energy.
CAFOD is calling on all MPs from all parties to back our call for a transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy for all >>
Today over three billion people lack access to electricity, according to the World Bank. The ability to light a room or cook a meal is a basic right we want all our citizens – especially the poorest and most vulnerable – to enjoy. Despite remarkable progress as a country we still fight for energy access today, hence the political debates that rage around affordable energy bills, securing supplies to meet our future needs and how to tackle fuel poverty.
Tom Jarvis before the 2014 Marathon
This year was a special eighteenth birthday for CAFOD runner Tom Jarvis! Turning 18 only two days before, he was the youngest runner in the Virgin London Marathon, beating over 50,000 others and raising over £6,000 for CAFOD’s work around the world.
6 months on, he’s back running for CAFOD and here he tells us why!
“It’s been quite some time since that long and very tiring Sunday when I ran the London Marathon. But now looking back it’s probably one of the best things I have ever done, the atmosphere was crazy, and the encouragement that the CAFOD supporters and staff gave me was amazing.
With all the interviews and press interest and my 18th birthday celebrations it was a very busy couple of weeks. But from that day I sadly stopped running completely, except for a few painful visits to the gym but nothing too strenuous.
So when I saw the tweet from CAFOD about the Nativity Run I seized the opportunity as I knew it would be a great chance to get back in shape, meet up with the CAFOD team again, have fun and of course support my favourite charity! You can sign up here and all the money raised will be going straight to help mums and babies in need this Christmas time.”
For more information on the Nativity Fun Run, or if you would like to join us in the 2015 London Marathon, please email us at cafodchallenge@Cafod.org.uk
This reflection and prayer were written by Sue Cooper from Corpus Christi parish, Wokingham, and are taken from our weekly reflections email. Sign up to receive reflections every Friday on our Pray pages >>
Based on the gospel for Sunday 16 November – Matthew 25:14-30
CAFOD’s partner in Nicaragua runs a beekeeping project to give women a source of income. They work in a group to care for hives and bees and are then able to sell the honey produced. CAFOD’s World Gifts have a variety of bee gifts – perfect for the honey lover in your family!
“The man who had received five talents came forward bringing five more.”
This parable of the talents reminds us that though we may have differing abilities, we have all been gifted by God and we all have something to offer.
In the passage, the first two servants are empowered by the gift of talents to make a difference. In a similar way people throughout the world are being enabled to improve their lives through the support of CAFOD’s World Gifts. Continue reading
Sarah (right) with Tanya preparing for the young leadership celebration day.
By Sarah Barber, Youth Team Leader
It has been my great privilege since August 2013 to be involved in promoting and enabling young leadership for CAFOD. In this blog I will give some examples of our work we do in supporting and engaging young people to take action and influence others.
We are inspired by young people across the globe. We see that they are able to take the lead in their families and in their communities – making the world a better place for those around them. Sometimes the need to take the lead is as a result of the sickness or loss of parents, because of separation caused by conflict or because their community has felt the impact of an emergency. However, whatever the cause, we have seen young people rise to the challenges and make a difference. It is with this inspiration that we approach the young people that we support in the UK. Continue reading